Brave Browser is actually alright — Robin Wils's website

Last modified: Mon, Aug 29, 2022

Table of Contents

Brave

The Brave logo. An orange lion.

Brave is a free software, web browser which includes an ad blocker and gives you free cryptocurrency. It sounds too good to be true, but it is true.

Why is it good?

Privacy

It is a step forward in privacy for many people. Most people use Chrome. Brave is based on Chromium, and provides extra security features like using Tor for private windows. Tor in Brave isn’t the same as using Tor in the Tor browser though.

Tor Browser is still much better than the majority of browsers when it comes to privacy, but nothing tends to make you truly anonymous. There are many Firefox based and Chromium based browsers. Most of those browsers don’t add many extra features.

Spyware lies about Brave

Some privacy geeks believe that Brave contains extra spyware. Most rumors tend to come from a neocities article. There is proof which you can reproduce on your own computer against these claims.

The code of Brave is open, so you can read the code or research papers about Brave, if you aren’t convinced yet.

It blocks ads

Brave blocks ads by default, which is neat. The ad blocker is inspired by uBlock Origin and Ghostery.

Donation system

Brave comes with a donation system. Brave shows tip buttons on some sites and you can use it to donate to people. This is pretty neat.

You can gain rewards

Go to brave://rewards, and check of the ads slider is toggled. Check of the auto-contribute slider is not toggled on.

You can get more money if you allow receiving donations in Brave Rewards. Brave is not a scam and gives you some cryptocurrency. The embedded Brave wallet does not require any identity verification.

Configure Brave for more rewards

Go to brave://rewards and click on the tiny settings button. You can ask Brave to show more ads here, which means more BAT.

The location of the Brave Rewards settings button.

Figure 1: Screenshot of the location of the Brave Rewards settings button By Robin Wils - CC0 licensed.

What I don’t like about it

Do not use Firefox

Firefox advertises itself as secure. I liked that Firefox was a form of competition in the browser engine market. I loved the browser for that, until I figured out that it lacks security. It is not as secure as Chromium, and will likely never be. Firefox is dying and it might be best to let it die.

Madaidan made a webpage which lists how many basic security features Firefox does not have. It includes a couple of links of other security experts which share the same views.