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Home / Technology / Brave 1.0 Browser Test: Browse faster and safer while ticking off advertisers

Brave 1.0 Browser Test: Browse faster and safer while ticking off advertisers



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Jason Pepper / CNET

With the release of Brave 1.0, a browser's privacy-driven speed daemon that caused a sensation with its careless approach to blocking ads and promises of cryptocurrency payouts, a long phase of beta incubation has been completed. Developed by JavaScript and co-founder of the Mozilla project Brendan Eich, Brave, the open source Brainchild now promotes over 8 million users worldwide and promises to automatically block trackers and invasive ads to improve speed, privacy and battery life.

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Everything you need to know about the Brave browser





2:09

The compromise between safety and speed is over.

Brave is undoubtedly the fastest browser I've used this year on all mobile and desktop operating systems. Memory usage by the browser is much lower than most browsers, while web site loading is much faster (Brave claims to be 3-6x faster than others on the market). Lowering resources also reduces the battery life of your device.

At the core of Brave's Speed ​​is the suite of security and privacy features. Web sites loaded with flashing banners, pop-ups, and trackers can slow the browser down for crawling if your device is having trouble scanning a bunch of foreign data. While ad blocking and antitracking plug-ins are available for Firefox and Chrome Brave has been designed to run these functions by default.

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Every time you open a new tab, Brave offers you an updated list of saved time and blocked annoyances.


Screenshot of Rae Hodge / CNET

One of the most widespread privacy concerns is fingerprinting, a sophisticated way in which advertisers can track their activity across multiple websites, creating a unique, identifiable profile without cookies to use. Most browsers are now resisting this type of tracking, and Brave is no exception. In addition to the fingerprint, the Brave's Shields feature blocks a variety of tracking cookies and invasive ads.

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En route to Amazon for a shopping spree, Brave 1.0 may block a number of cross-trackers.


CNET, Rae Hodge

The problem with some browser security features is that they can affect a website so much that you can not access the content for which you came to the site. For security-conscious users, this means we may have to go through an often-nasty process of individually disabling each of our security plug-ins or on-board features until we find out what's causing the problem.

The best thing about Brave's privacy suite is that it eliminates the game with broken website hits and makes surfing safer and less annoying. A simple click on the Brave icon in your address bar will bring up a small menu of simplified buttons that will appear under the extensive, customizable security area on the browser settings pages.

Because it's based on Chromium – the same engine that runs Google Chrome – you can improve privacy by adding Brave to the extensions you want just as easily and in the same way as Chrome. However, building on chrome does not mean that Brave puts your data back into Google's pocket.

Brave earns a garland here because he removes Google-specific code from his own Chromium engine. In simpler terms, it's not just about preventing data from coming in from outside, but also getting data inside. This means that you can use Brave without worrying about background features that quietly send your browsing history to Google.

BAT-ery power

This brings us to the feature offered by Brave, which seeks to strike a balance between users' privacy to advertisers and the advertising-based revenue that web sites rely on. Brave estimates that users who want to help revenue-generating websites while protecting their privacy can opt for Brave Rewards.

Brave exchanges ads on a site with their own ads, which appear as notifications from the operating system and do not track you. If you see what Brave refers to as "privacy-related ads," or engage with them, you're not getting revenue for a publisher like you would normally do with other browsers. Instead, you earn Brave's basic attention token (BAT), a kind of cryptocurrency that can turn into real dollars.

Every month, you earn 70% of the BAT revenue that advertisers spend on the ads displayed, while Brave gets the remaining 30%. As BAT stacks into your account, you can contribute to sites you love and give tips to users on Twitter, Github, YouTube, and other sites. Publishers receive contributions in the form of cryptocurrencies if they choose the system.

According to Brave, a typical user earns about $ 5 a month, but that number depends on the region and "other factors." When CNET first introduced Brave's BAT feature at the beginning of this year, the total in our reporter account, after a good tooling effort, was $ 27, though not all of it came from viewing ads.

Earlier, Brave fought to see his currency cross the threshold from crypto to cash. This is now possible through the cryptocurrency exchange Uphold, and Brave said that early next year users will also be able to redeem BAT for subscriptions, gift cards, discounts and more.

Since its launch, Brave's BAT proposal has provoked a hornet's nest of controversies from advertisers who are not happy that their content is being covered. But from the point of view of a well-meaning Internet user who is fed up with corporate oversight, Brave's BAT currency model is a bargain that's worth beating. Hundreds of advertisers have signed up for Brave advertising campaigns, though some of them just dip their toes in the water.

However, the browser needs more users to really build its new advertising system: While 8 million people are a good start, it will still be necessary with over a billion users of Google Chrome and over 250 million users of Mozilla Firefox compete.

Full Disclosure: In the hypercapital dystopia of our attention-grabbing online economy, anything that causes advertisers discomfort gets a thumbs-up from this reviewer. It's not a high bar, of course, but Brave seems to get there faster than anyone else.

Originally released earlier this week.


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