The Brave browser has been gaining in both popularity and userbase for some time now and for good reason. The privacy-centric browser is full of nifty features that make it a top contender against Google Chrome. Let’s find out what these useful features are that make Brave a good alternative.
1. Manage Ad Blocker
The Brave browser already does an excellent job of blocking ads and trackers by default, but advanced users will appreciate more control over what is blocked and how.
For example, go to “Settings -> Brave Ad Block,” and you can enable additional filters as well as add your own filter at the bottom.
2. Block Social Media
Hidden inside the Brave Settings page is another privacy feature that’s toggled off by default. You can block social media sites like Facebook from displaying login buttons and other embedded posts on websites.
This is useful if you are worried about being tracked by such sites across the Web. Social media sites are known to collect user data to serve relevant content and better ads.
3. Stream Torrent Files
Most browsers won’t let you play downloaded torrent media files directly. You need an app, but Brave works differently. It integrates with WebTorrent natively to allow users to stream torrent files directly in the browser. The option is enabled by default, too.
Note that there are other extensions built into Brave browser than just WebTorrent.
4. Brave Talk
Trying to take on the likes of Google Meet and Zoom, Brave has launched Talk, their own take on video calling and conferencing. Brave ensures that the chats are encrypted and no data will be collected.
Other interesting features include the ability to live stream to YouTube and watch a stream together with friends (watch party). All of this is for free. While there is no limit to the length or number of calls when making 1:1 calls, group calls require a subscription that costs $7/month and offers premium features, such as recording. You can’t use BAT tokens to pay for Talk yet. Read on to learn more about BAT.
5. Earn and Tip with Brave Rewards
The Brave browser turned heads when it launched, as it was the first blockchain-powered browser with its own crypto token. Basic Attention Token – or BAT – is how Brave rewards users for viewing up to five ads a day and is optional. The idea is to split the revenue with the end users, rewarding them for their time and attention.
You can easily toggle the Ads switch under the “Settings -> Rewards” page. The token can be used to tip content creators, too. Not making enough tokens or don’t want to see ads? Buy some BAT tokens to top up your browser wallet to either tip or auto-contribute content creators.
Again, the Brave team says that ad matching will happen on your device and that your personal data won’t be leaked to receive relevant advertising. We are a verified Brave content creator allowing readers to tip the site for its efforts. Click on the triangle icon to check if your favorite site is a member or not.
6. DuckDuckGo and TOR Integration
The Brave browser supports DuckDuckGo, which is a privacy-centric search engine and have also integrated TOR. The onion router browser is largely considered to be the most secure and private browser.
Open Incognito Mode and Brave will automatically use TOR; however, note that using TOR inside Brave is not the same as using the standalone TOR browser app. But it still offers good protection, especially when combined with Brave’s own search engine.
7. Brave Search
The latest trick Brave has for the world is a search engine, and the beta version was made available recently. While it is nowhere close to what Google offers or even Bing, it is indeed a bold step.
Once again, the focus is on privacy and security first. Brave claims searches are not tracked and activities leave no trace whatsoever. It won’t replace your daily driver anytime soon but is certainly interesting to use.
8. Brave Sync
Instead of relying on email or user ID to sync data across platforms, the Brave browser offers a 24-word seed phrase associated with your wallet. This is how all crypto wallets work on a blockchain.
Simply open the Brave browser on your smartphone and scan the QR code or type the seed phrase manually to sync data on both devices. Note that whoever has access to the phrase has access to your Brave wallet, its data, and crypto tokens stored within.
9. Brave Shields
Ads are not the only thing you have to worry about when visiting a site. There are many scripts running in the background too. Some of them collect data while others autoplay a video, for example.
Brave Shields, when enabled, will block all such trackers. Just click on the Brave browser’s icon at the end of the address bar to view results and enable/disable Shield. This will not only improve the browsing experience but also increase page load times.
10. Crypto Wallet
The Brave browser’s native wallet integrates with MetaMask, a popular wallet used to access DeFi (Decentralized Finance) products via Dapps (decentralized apps).
There are also widgets connecting the browser to popular centralized exchanges like Binance and FTX.
Using a combination of the wallet and Brave’s integration with DeFi, centralized exchanges, and dapps, you can now buy, sell, trade, and stake cryptocurrencies and more, all from a single browser and wallet.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which platforms does the Brave browser support?
The Brave browser is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
2. Is the Brave browser safe?
Yes. The Brave browser’s source code is available on GitHub for anyone to check and audit.
3. Does Brave sell user data?
The Brave browser website notes that it doesn’t have access to identifiable user data. The data is anonymized before it is shared with advertisers.
4. How much does Brave pay you?
If you have opted in for the advertising, Brave will share 70 percent of the ad revenue that Brave receives in its native token, BAT.
Certain features like VPN are restricted to iOS devices, but there are plenty of other VPN apps that cover all popular mobile and desktop platforms. Do check them out.
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