Is Brave Browser Safe to Use?
For probably a year or a year and a half, everyone around has been pushing the Brave browser. So much has been written about it that at some point almost everyone began to think: everyone uses it except me.
Active promotion is part of a well-thought-out advertising strategy aimed at increasing brand awareness and systematic audience growth, and eventually, even your humble servant decided that he had no right to ignore the new trend.
Today we’ll consider how Brave works, its advantages and disadvantages, and also find out is Brave browser safe to use or not.
What is the Brave browser?
Brave is a browser focusing on privacy and with support for cryptocurrencies, which by default prohibits sites from tracking you.
The two main advantages of the Brave browser are the high speed of loading web pages and its privacy, which does not allow sites to collect important information about users.
Brave surpasses the fastest browsers in the world – Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox – in terms of page loading speed. Only Firefox Quantum is faster. Brave for mobile platforms loads web pages 8 times faster than Safari on iPhone and Chrome on Android. This speed is achieved mainly because the browser removes online ads and blocks user tracking, resulting in the amount of downloaded content decreasing dramatically.
At the same time, its performance remains on par with, but not higher than, the leading browsers. Another advantage of the browser is the low level of resource consumption. Thus, for older and slower computers with weak hardware, Brave can be extremely useful.
On the main page, you can see detailed statistics on how many ads are blocked every day. In addition, you can configure the blocking mode or disable it for an individual site or the browser as a whole.
Using the Brave browser, users remain anonymous on the web, blocking any attempts by advertisers to identify and collect information about them. The company claims that it does not store any user data on its servers. However, according to one of the creators of Brave, ex-co-founder of Firefox Brendan Eich, data is stored outside the cloud storage by default. Furthermore, the company’s privacy statement claims that Brave does not collect user data other than search and page prediction services.
The special Shields menu allows configuring the lock at your own discretion. For example, it is possible to disable blocking of scripts and tracking, cookies, allow device recognition, and add a forced connection of the HTTPS protocol. But anonymity will cost some convenience. For example, if you disable transmitting query data in search engines, then the forecasting service for searching and loading pages will be disabled.
Have you heard about browser fingerprints? Read more here.
Brave’s accessibility features
The Brave browser is based on an unusual business model: it removes ads from websites, and instead shows its own ads, rewarding users with the BAT (Basic Attention Token) cryptocurrency. Users can send cryptocurrency to their favorite bloggers and sites that have enabled the widget to receive rewards. The only exceptions are Google Ads from other search engines.
BAT tokens will be credited to the browser’s internal account as a reward for viewing ads and promoted content. In addition, users can transfer these tokens to the address of bloggers they like or to support sites if they find the content interesting. Premium features will also be available, which can be activated by paying with BAT cryptocurrency.
Users independently decide how to dispose of the tokens: transfer them to the sites or receive them as compensation for viewing ads – or do not use either of them but use the browser without any advertising.
The browser allows you to enable the automatic donations feature. Then the rewards are distributed based on which sites the user visited and how much time they spent on them. You can also set a fixed number of rewards for individual resources, which will be directly transferred to the site owners. By default, the reward system is disabled, but you can enable it directly on the main page. All transactions are anonymous.
How can you increase your data protection on the internet? Read tips from our expert.
Is Brave browser safe?
The creators of Brave position it as the most secure browser. Even though it is based on the Chromium engine, the developers have improved it, adding several protective mechanisms. For example, they excluded Google’s tracking algorithms from the browser, prohibited cross-tracking between sites, and enabled blocking of scripts and trackers that analyze user behavior. In this way, it is possible to ensure users’ privacy, not allowing sites to show them ads based on their preferences. In short, everything is great.
But, no matter what the creators of Brave try to tell us, referring to its absolute reliability, this browser has never passed a security audit that can confirm the truth of the developers’ statements. This is a universal procedure that is carried out in relation to sites, services and browsers based on the standards set out in the guide for “modern secure browsers.” It includes checking for the following criteria:
- Support for the master password mechanism
- Built-in update mechanism
- Support for blocking telemetry collection
- Support for domain restriction rules
- Content protection policy support
- Maintaining the integrity of sub-resources
- Support for browser profiles
- Organizational transparency of the browser
As it turns out, the browser tracks the sites that the user visits to detect cryptocurrency exchanges to substitute an abstract link at the right time. Then, if the user registers or buys something on the exchange, the creators of Brave receive a commission. They earn good money, given that often the commission can reach 50%.
There is nothing wrong with the desire of developers to earn a little money. But the very fact that the browser can identify the site, form a referral link for each user, and then send this data to its creators for identification already causes wariness.
When this became known, the creators of Brave confirmed that they cooperate with cryptocurrency exchanges and do not see anything wrong with receiving a commission from users. However, they promised to remove this mechanism from the browser with the next update’s release to avoid further scandal. But even if they do, the reputation of the project is already dented.
Of course, Brave is better than many browsers in terms of security and privacy. It can be used as an alternative to Google or Mozilla.
All the truth about Google privacy.
However, it will not be able to ensure the anonymity and privacy of the user in the internet space. Unlike Utopia – a decentralized ecosystem built on peer-to-peer technology. With Utopia there is no single server for storing data. Instead, a separate cryptographic container is created for each user. The user simultaneously performs two functions: the client and the server. This technology ensures privacy and confidentiality when storing data.
In addition, the registration and subsequent use of the ecosystem is completely anonymous: no one knows the real names, phone numbers, or even the IP addresses of users. After registration, a variety of built-in ecosystem tools are available: instant messenger, email, wallet, browser, and even games.
By the way, the browser opens only those web pages that have already been created within the ecosystem. However, each user can create a new site or mirror an existing one thanks to a special API function. All visitors to the website, as well as the creator, will be anonymous.
Read more about the benefits of the ecosystem here.