As a freelance writer, I research a lot of topics and visit a ton of tech-related sites. So I'm always amused when I see ads for those same topics after I'm done for the day—in my social media feeds, on search engines, and basically everywhere else digital I go. That's one reason I switched to the Brave browser: I was a dedicated Chrome user for years but got tired of my work following me around. I made the switch last year and haven't looked back.
Not only is Brave privacy-focused, reducing the number of trackers that follow you around the web, but it's also faster than other options, offers you customizable privacy controls, and even has a free video conference app built into it.
If you're considering using Brave, here's my review—along with some tips to get the most out of it from the very beginning.
What is Brave browser?
The Brave internet browser blocks ads and other online trackers by default, while other browsers don't. I noticed a difference immediately when I started using Brave: after a day or so, I could see I wasn't being "followed" online anymore.
Blocking ads and trackers isn't just about privacy, though—it also speeds up your browsing experience by reducing site load times. Most ads and third-party trackers are scripts that run in the background of websites, slowing things down. Chrome, for example, collects your browsing information, so Google and its advertising partners can send you targeted ads.
Brave downloads only the essential elements for websites, so it loads way faster than other browsers like Chrome—especially if you tend to have a lot of tabs open. I don't usually have tab overload, but my six-year-old computer appreciates getting a break with the 15ish I tend to have open while working.
(P.S. Take a look at Brave's claims for reduced memory usage, increased speed, and increased battery life when using it compared to Chrome.)
The experience of using the Brave browser vs. Chrome
Like many other browsers, Brave is based on the Chromium web browser project, an open source project from Google (the same folks who built Chrome). Microsoft Edge, Samsung Internet, and Opera use it as the foundation for their code, and it offers users a Chrome-like user experience while allowing developers to include the unique features they want.
That's all to say: if you've used Google Chrome, switching to Brave won't feel unfamiliar. It has a similar user experience, lets you install the same browser extensions, and makes it easy to sync your bookmarks and settings across devices. There are several browser extensions I use every day while working, and Brave made it easy to install and use just like in Chrome.
Brave's unique (and free) features
Here are a few other features that make Brave a good option:
Brave Talk is a video calling feature available for free in the Brave browser. Similar to Google Meet or Zoom, you use it to chat for free with up to four people without downloading an app. You can even create breakout rooms, conduct polls, or live stream right from the Brave browser. And because it's all done through the Brave browser, calls are encrypted. (The only caveat is that the call must be started in the Brave browser.)(Video) Brave browser review 2022 | Is Brave browser safe to use?
Using Brave on a mobile device gives you access to a free VPN and firewall. Brave Firewall + VPN protects your device as you use it: it doesn't log your online activity or IP address, so Brave can't sell your data (unlike free VPNs, which sell data to make money).
Brave Rewards lets you earn rewards just for browsing. If you've turned on Rewards, you'll earn Basic Attention Tokens (BATs,) a utility token on the BAT platform, a Blockchain-based digital advertising and services platform. You can collect them for yourself or donate them to your favorite websites and content creators. Creators and publishers can transfer their BAT to a crypto wallet and exchange it for real money or use it to buy more ads on the platform. (For more details, check out the BAT site.) If you're earning rewards, Brave can automatically distribute your earnings based on how much time you spend on sites, or you can choose to tip sites directly. Your browsing history is still kept private, and your tokens are made available through an anonymous blockchain ledger system, so you can't be identified.
You get all of this for free with the Brave browser.
7 tips to get the most out of Brave
If you're convinced to make it your daily driver web browser, here are seven tips to get the best and most out of Brave.
1. Set Brave as your default browser
As with any new web browser, you can make Brave the default browser on your computer, either when you install it or later on. To set Brave as your default browser, open Brave and:
Click the hamburger menu button to open the Brave main menu. (It's in the upper-right corner of the browser window.)
Click Get started.
Click Make default under the Default browser section.
2. Import your bookmarks and other settings
Even on a new computer or mobile device, you've likely got a lot of bookmarks and preferred settings for how you like to browse. Brave makes it easy to import them all to get you started fast.
To import bookmarks and settings:
Click the hamburger menu button to open the Brave main menu.
Click Get started.
Click Import bookmarks and settings.(Video) Brave Browser Review 🎯 How Safe is This Web Browser? (2023)
Choose the browser you want to import from.
Choose the information to import (bookmarks, settings, auto-filled passwords, etc.), and click Import.
Depending on the browser you're importing from, you'll have different information you can import.
3. Enable Brave Sync
You can keep your settings and bookmarks updated across all your devices easily with Brave Sync. Instead of creating an account on the browser and then logging in everywhere you're using it, Brave uses a one-time-use random passphrase to sync the data.
To turn on Brave Sync:
Open the Brave main menu in the browser you want to sync information from, and click Sync.
Click Start using sync to start a new Sync chain (what Brave calls "syncing.")
Choose the device type you want to sync to, computer or phone/tablet. Brave creates the passphrase you can use on the second device. For computers, it's the plain passphrase you can copy/paste, while for phones/tablets, it's a QR code of the passphrase.
On your second device, go to Main Menu > Settings > Sync, and click I have a sync code.(Video) ONE YEAR LATER: Do I still love Brave Browser? (Brave Browser review 2023)
Enter the passphrase (computers only) or scan the QR code (phones/tablets only). Your two devices are now synced, and information is shared between them.
4. Manage Brave Shields
The Brave browser uses security best practices to protect you from ad trackers, cross-site content, and unsecured websites automatically. But sometimes, you want to allow cookies for certain sites or unblock social media platform embeds.
By default, Brave Shields block everything, and the lion icon appears orange.
When Shields are down, the icon is gray, allowing everything on the site through.
You can adjust Shields globally through the browser settings (Main Menu > Settings > Shields). These options will apply to every website you visit.
You can also adjust them while browsing, by clicking the Brave icon in the address bar. Open the Advanced controls section to change the options as needed.
The default settings will work for most users, but if you find a site isn't working as expected, you can turn them off individually to test it out.
5. Block social media trackers
Some sites use single sign-on (SSO) buttons for popular platforms like Google and Facebook and embed posts from social media. You can block all of this in Brave if you don't want to see those options or information.
I tend to allow the embedded posts as I want to see them, but I turn off the single sign-on integrations, as I prefer to create individual login information for each site. That way, I don't run into issues if the integration fails or my Google or Facebook account gets hacked. I still retain control over my account elsewhere (and protect my information).
To change the social media blocking options in Brave:
Open Main Menu > Settings > Social media blocking.(Video) Stop using Brave Browser?
Click the options you want to remain on or off as you like.
6. Use DuckDuckGo as the default search engine
Using Brave is just the first step in your online privacy. Combining it with a different default search engine ensures you're not tracked online any more than necessary. The Brave browser uses Brave Search by default when you search from the address bar, but you can switch to an alternative search engine if you want. I like DuckDuckGo, which like Brave Search, doesn't track users.
You can set Brave to use DuckDuckGo in regular windows and private windows or use different search engines in each as you like.
To change your default search engine:
Open Main Menu > Settings > Search engine.
Under the Normal window and Private Window sections, choose DuckDuckGo from the dropdown menu.
7. Use advanced private windows
We're used to incognito or private browsing windows, but in Brave, a private window is truly private. It prevents your internet browsing history, form data, cookies, and site data from being saved once you close the window.
However, your current session's activities may still be visible to certain websites you visit (including ads and the resources used on those sites like social media platforms), the administrator of your network (if you're browsing at work or on a public Wi-Fi network), and your internet service provider. This applies to any browser's private browsing window, not just Brave's.
Brave has two private browsing options, Private Window and Private Window with Tor.
Private Window: This option stops Brave from saving your browsing activity beyond the current session, so when you close the window, it deletes your activity data.(Note: Brave Private Window doesn't always protect your browsing activity from other websites, your network administrator, or your ISP if those options are configured on them.)
Private Window with Tor Connectivity: This option connects you to websites with a VPN-like proxy of three computers, partially protecting your browsing activity from websites and other trackers. (Note: Brave does not implement most of the privacy protections from Tor Browser.) Websites only see the final connection of the three your activity takes to get to the website, protecting your originating IP address. While this option protects your browsing activity, it does slow down the browsing experience, so you may only want to use it when browsing specific sites instead of using it as your regular option.
So: is Brave a good browser?
It really is. Brave is a good option for people looking to protect their privacy online. It offers many of the same features as popular browsers like Google Chrome, while ensuring more control over their data. And it doesn't skimp on the features either. It's easy to set up, so give it a try and see if you notice the difference like I did.
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Brave browser review : Should you switch? | Zapier? ›
So: is Brave a good browser? It really is. Brave is a good option for people looking to protect their privacy online. It offers many of the same features as popular browsers like Google Chrome, while ensuring more control over their data.Is it worth switching to Brave? ›
Brave is a great option for those who give importance to their browsing privacy. With brave you no longer see ads based on your search history and you don't have have to install any extensions to do this.Is it worth switching from Chrome to Brave? ›
Brave Browser blocks all ads by default and not just ads, all creepy privacy-invasive trackers too! So no website can track your movements, no website can steal your cookies and use them against you. Even your browser fingerprint is randomized so that your device cannot be linked when you visit multiple websites.Why not to use Brave browser? ›
However, like many other browsers, Brave isn't perfect. It has recently come under fire for showing persistent online ads and misusing affiliate links for profit. Brave was caught autocompleting URLs of some sites with affiliate links, earning a commission for every visit.What is the negative of Brave browser? ›
The negative point is due to the consumption of RAM resources in the Desktop version, when compared to other browsers such as Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox. Uses Brave on a notebook with 4gb of Ram and when used with other applications simultaneously, we have a problem with computer resources.Is Brave a Chinese company? ›
Brave Software's headquarters are in San Francisco, California.Why is everyone using Brave? ›
Conserve Data and Battery Life and Optimize Browsing
The Brave browser blocks these ads and keeps your browsing activities private. Since Brave does not have targeted ads, you'll use lesser data and battery power. Pages will load faster, so you have an improved overall browsing experience.
The results show that Brave is faster than Chrome on Android with a score of 250.97 against 217.56 on the Basemark Web 3.0 test. We conducted the tests on the same device with all other apps closed during the testing period. Brave should be your go-to browser on Android if these numbers matter to you.Is Brave better than DuckDuckGo? ›
DuckDuckGo: What Is the Best Privacy Browser? If you want a set of features to enhance your privacy while browsing the web, Brave should be a good pick. But, if you want a no-nonsense mobile browser for a private browsing session out-of-the-box, DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser would be a perfect choice.What is the number one browser in the world? ›
As of February 2023, Google's Chrome is the leading internet browser in the world with a global market share of 65.74%. In other words, more than six in ten people use Chrome to browse the internet.
Is Brave browser safe for banking? ›
It's safe to browse your bank with just Brave. I just use the built-in Microsoft Anti-virus, and just being careful which sites I visit and what programs are installed. Just being cautious, don't download dodgy programs or visit dodgy links. Occasionally running malwarebytes to ensure everything is okay.Is any browser better than Brave? ›
The browser that rethinks the web. The best alternatives to Brave Private Browser are Mozilla, Opera, and Sidekick Browser. If these 3 options don't work for you, we've listed over 70 alternatives below.Does Brave slow down your computer? ›
Brave is at least 3x faster than any other browser. There are numerous reasons why your web browser might be slow, but one sure way to make it faster: Ditch Big Tech, and use Brave instead. It only takes 60 seconds to switch.Is Brave a security risk? ›
Unlike other browsers, Brave puts you in control of your data. The secure browser automatically blocks trackers and unwanted ads while also providing anti-phishing and anti-malware protection.What is the safest browser? ›
Chrome may be the most secure browser on the internet, but t's also one of the worst for user privacy. Google Chrome is available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux.Which one is better Brave or Firefox? ›
Brave blocks ads, while Firefox does not. Both block third-party cookies by default. Firefox blocks tracking or malicious scripts by default, whereas Brave has this option, but you must enable it in the settings. Brave comes with a crypto wallet to keep your coins.Is Brave selling your data? ›
Brave Firewall + VPN protects your device as you use it: it doesn't log your online activity or IP address, so Brave can't sell your data (unlike free VPNs, which sell data to make money). Brave Rewards lets you earn rewards just for browsing.Which country owns Brave browser? ›
Who owns Brave Browser? Brave was developed by California-based startup Brave Software. The startup was founded in 2015 by Brendan Eich and Brian Bondy, both previous employees at Mozilla, the creator of the Firefox browser.How does Brave make money? ›
Brave Software is a privately held, for-profit company. We generate revenue in several ways, including: The sale of New tab takeovers and Brave Ads, the first-party ad units that users opt into via our privacy-preserving ad platform. Note that opted-in users receive 70% of this ad revenue back in the form of BAT.Does Brave hide your IP address? ›
With Brave, your browsing behavior is hidden from Big Tech: You're more anonymous regardless of whether you're in a regular or Incognito (private) window. Brave also gives two options to hide your IP address while browsing: private windows with Tor, and our built-in Firewall + VPN.
Does Brave really remove ads? ›
Brave comes with simple, built-in ad blocking, thanks to its Shields feature (viewable right in the address bar). Brave also blocks third-party trackers, again without reliance on risky extensions. And Brave's open-source lists allow you to easily customize what's blocked and what's not.Why Google is better than Brave? ›
Both browsers are fast, but Brave has no ads, making it slightly faster. Google Chrome has better password and payment management features.Does Brave stop Google tracking? ›
1. Brave Search. Brave Search doesn't track you, your searches, or your clicks.Which is better Brave or edge? ›
Brave has 216 reviews and a rating of 4.76 / 5 stars vs Microsoft Edge which has 304 reviews and a rating of 4.26 / 5 stars. Compare the similarities and differences between software options with real user reviews focused on features, ease of use, customer service, and value for money.Should I use Brave or safari? ›
Brave doesn't track your browsing or search data. And, unlike Safari, Brave has a built-in integration with Tor anonymous browsing. Compared with Safari, Brave has all the safety features you want, and some you didn't even know you needed.What is the downside of DuckDuckGo? ›
While using DuckDuckGo, your traffic is not encrypted, making it vulnerable to eavesdropping and IP address discovery. Even if you change your default search engine, your internet service provider (ISP) will still be able to see what you're doing online and may share that information with third parties.Is Brave more private than Google? ›
Brave Automatically Blocks Trackers and Ads
By default, Brave provides much stronger privacy protections than Chrome because it automatically blocks trackers, cross-site cookies, and advertisements.
But, you can always use some privacy-focused chrome extensions, and Google's Safe Browsing feature should keep you safe from malicious websites. Generally speaking, if you do not visit shady websites, you should be OK with Google Chrome. And, if you are a privacy enthusiast, Brave can be a better choice.Why are people leaving Chrome? ›
People might have come to Chrome for speed, but if there's one reason they're leaving, it's because of privacy. Privacy experts have long warned that Chrome collects so much data on users that you'll be mindblown if you even had the smallest peek into its server data sets.What is the #1 most used browser in the US? ›
- Samsung Internet1.10%
Is Brave browser a scandal? ›
Brave, the open-source browser designed to prioritize privacy by blocking third-party ads and trackers, is facing criticism from users for redirecting URLs from cryptocurrency companies to affiliate links that Brave profits from, Decrypt reported.What happens if you use Brave browser? ›
Brave is one of the safest browsers on the market today. It blocks privacy-invasive ads & trackers. It blocks third-party data storage. It protects from browser fingerprinting.Which browser is best for Internet banking? ›
- Newer version of Operating System with latest security patches.
- Latest version of Browsers (IE 7.0 and above , Mozilla Firefox 3.1 and above, Opera 9.5 and above, Safari 3.5 and above, Google chrome,etc.)
- Firewall is enabled.
- Antivirus signatures applied.
Staying secure online is tricky. Brave helps you simplify. Our VPN is built right into the browser, and one subscription protects up to 5 devices, across Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows.Does Brave block online trackers? ›
Brave blocks ads and trackers by default, as well as third-party cookies and a variety of fingerprinting techniques. This blocking impedes a tracker's ability to recognize you as you browse different sites.Why does Brave lag so much? ›
The more extensions you have installed, the harder your browser has to work, and the slower it will run. To speed up your browser, try removing unwanted or unused extensions.How much faster is Brave than Chrome? ›
With 3x faster page load times than Google Chrome, 1 33% less memory usage, 2 and up to one hour more battery life, Brave is the browser that's built to perform.Why Brave is slower than Chrome? ›
It's using more RAM than before. Web page loading time has increased significantly. Does anyone feel like this? I think a little bit optimization is needed.Is using Brave illegal? ›
It's good for internet users who want a more private browser than Brave's big-name competitors, but it's also good for those who need a cryptocurrency wallet built directly into the browser. Is the Brave Browser Illegal? No, Brave is not illegal.Are passwords safe in Brave? ›
Any password stored in Brave can be accessed if someone gains access to the device. Any password stored in any browser can be accessed if someone gains access to the device. That's why passwords should never be stored in any device, or, a specific password manager should be used with a very strong key.
Which browser has most vulnerability? ›
Google Chrome might be the most popular browser in the world, but it's also the most unsafe. A report published by Atlas VPN reveals that 303 vulnerabilities were discovered for Chrome in just 2022 alone.What browser does Apple recommend? ›
Safari is the best way to experience the internet on all your Apple devices.Which browser has the most vulnerabilities? ›
With 303 vulnerabilities and a cumulative total of 3,159 vulnerabilities as of 2022, a new report said that Google Chrome is the most vulnerable browser available. According to a report by Atlas VPN, these figures are based on data from the VulDB vulnerability database, covering January 1, 2022 to October 5, 2022.Why use Brave instead of Firefox? ›
There's simply less to load so it takes less time. In terms of actual precious RAM usage, the Brave browser is much heavier than Firefox. Brave comes pre-loaded with various features and “add-ons” which can be attributed to its usage of more RAM.Is Brave rewards worth it? ›
Brave Rewards won't make you rich. Let's just get that out of the way. You won't earn a lot from it. Also, they don't really explain how many BATs you will receive for every ad viewed using their browser.Is Brave browser safer than Chrome? ›
Simply put, the Brave Browser is 3x faster than Google Chrome. By blocking all privacy-invading ads & trackers by default, there's less stuff to load on every single webpage you visit. That means pages load much faster, saving you time, money, and battery life. It also means you're much safer online.Is Brave slower than Chrome? ›
And this blocking comes via Brave's built-in Shields protection, meaning there's no need for an extra extensions that could slow things down. The result? Brave is at least 3x faster than any other browser.Can I convert Brave rewards to cash? ›
Once you receive your BAT at Uphold or Gemini, you are able to withdraw it to your bank account. Yes, this will convert to your currency first, as pretty much no banks will directly accept cryptocurrency.Do I need an antivirus on Brave browser? ›
Unlike other browsers, Brave puts you in control of your data. The secure browser automatically blocks trackers and unwanted ads while also providing anti-phishing and anti-malware protection.Does anyone use Brave browser? ›
It really is. Brave is a good option for people looking to protect their privacy online. It offers many of the same features as popular browsers like Google Chrome, while ensuring more control over their data. And it doesn't skimp on the features either.
Which is better Chrome or Brave on Windows? ›
Brave has 216 reviews and a rating of 4.76 / 5 stars vs Google Chrome which has 1506 reviews and a rating of 4.77 / 5 stars. Compare the similarities and differences between software options with real user reviews focused on features, ease of use, customer service, and value for money.Does Brave use more Internet than Chrome? ›
Brave comes with bells and whistles enabled and ready to use, most importantly — Shields. Because of this, Brave uses slightly more memory than Chrome with no sites open (297MB for Chrome vs.
Brave blocks ads, while Firefox does not. Both block third-party cookies by default. Firefox blocks tracking or malicious scripts by default, whereas Brave has this option, but you must enable it in the settings. Brave comes with a crypto wallet to keep your coins.