Brave is a privacy-focused open source web browser revolutionizing the way in which users are served ads and interact with content creators. The Brave browser boasts a lot of unique, positive characteristics we will analyze in this article.
Brave is based on Chromium, an open-source web browser based on Google's Chrome. The core function of the browser is to block ads and other data collection methods, such as analytic scripts and impression-tracking pixels.
Originally designed with security in mind, Eich told Venturebeat in 2016, "The way we differentiate for most users, especially as we grow, is through speed, because no other browser blocks all the cookies that are third-party tracking, all the fingerprinting techniques, all the scripts that try to inject ads — we block all that stuff."
User growth has been substantial since launch. By October 2018, more than 4 million people downloaded Brave. By January 2019, total users topped 5.5 million active users. The Android app has been downloaded more than 10 million times.
Shields - Default Ad Blocker
In the wake of the 2016 Cambridge Analytica scandal, internet users have woken up to the sheer amount of personal information voluntarily given up in every moment. The core business of every internet-based tech company is to collect personal data from its users. Google, Facebook, Uber and others use this data to build algorithms to better deliver ads, sell you products and modify your behavior.
Shields makes it incredibly easy to protect your personal privacy while browsing online. Shields blocks trackers, ads, and scripts, deletes cookies for sites not frequently visited, forces https connections if possible and blocks malicious code.
Shields prevents trackers from collecting data about you and your computer for monetization purposes. This default feature is always running and does not inhibit browsing speed. Ads shown in search are not blocked.
One of the big differences between Google Chrome and Brave is that the former does not offer ad blocking by default. Blocking apps are available in the Chrome store, such as Adblock Plus, but they have a partnership with Google to show ads. In the future, Chrome will stop supporting third party ad blockers that do not have a partnership with Google.
Brave offers private tabbed browsing using Tor, short for The Onion Network, to mask browsing and anonymize data. Tor is a decentralized network of computers that enables encrypted internet traffic to be run through several computers before arriving at its destination. By running data through several computers, Tor creates layers of privacy, hence the Onion reference in its name.
Tor browsing is currently only available for the Web browser, but Brave has already announced it will roll out the feature to mobile users in the future.
Fast Browsing Speed
Brave is fast, really fast. Its light weight client loads pages faster than Chrome and Firefox, plus it requires less RAM than its counterparts. While I would not say that it's 3 or 6 times faster than Chrome, the difference is noticeable.
One of the downsides of running Brave instead of Chrome is that Google apps like Translate are not natively supported in Brave. Users must install an authorized Google extension to gain access to these services. Almost all Chrome extensions are supported in Brave through the Chrome Web Store, just double check compatibility before you install them into Brave.
Brave ICO and BAT
Only 130 people were able to purchase tokens during the ICO. One person purchased 20,000 ETH, or $4.7 million USD worth of BAT.
The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is used as a means of payment and reward for Brave users who view ads in the browser. BAT is a way to monetize attention and generate a new method of revenue generation for the company. Additionally, Brave uses the tokens to fund "grants" to improve the platform.
The browser comes with a native BAT wallet.
Brave Rewards for Content Creators
One of the coolest aspects of Brave is that you can tip creators directly or distribute BAT to their favorite websites based on time attentive to the site.
This website, for example, is apart of the Brave Rewards program. If you open your BAT wallet in the search bar, a drop down menu will show you that you can donate various amounts of BAT. Payments can either be recurring or singular.
Brave Rewards connect to Youtube, Twitter, personal websites and other social media accounts. I really like the idea of having direct fan support from people who actual benefit from my writing. Brave has my full support for this feature.
In August 2019, Brave achieved the goal of advertiser-to-user ads. Instead of websites like Google and Facebook tracking your every digital move, Brave serves up groups of ads based on browser data collected locally. No personal data or user behavior is ever sent to any third party.
“It’s a private ad system that doesn’t involve tracking on the front side,” Eich told Coindesk. “It can pick ads that are specific to you based on your browser data.”
Users receive 70% of revenue paid by the advertiser. BAT tokens are paid out once a month to users. Opting into this program is completely voluntary.
Brave browser is breaking ground with its new features and philosophy on privacy and advertising. It's changing the way advertisers interact with users, putting more control back in the hands of people.
What I love about the browser is the ability to reward content creators directly with BAT. It's one of the reasons I've switched in the past year to Brave.
If you are interested in earning some income from your internet browsing or want to protect your privacy better, download Brave today and give it a try. And while you are at it, use your BAT to support and reward the content you engage with.