Every once in a while a new web browser is released into the computing market and everyone asks the same question: Is it better than Chrome? Long the industry standard, Chrome has become the gold standard of web browsing. The Brave browser is the newest entry trying to dethrone Chrome. Founded by Brendan Eich, one of the co-founders of another Chrome competitor, Mozilla’s Firefox, Brave is heavily focused on privacy. There is no question it’s going to require moving mountains to get users from Chrome to any other browser, but Brave is ready for the challenge.
What Is Brave?
What is Brave? Stated simply, Brave’s goal is to look and act like Chrome, while aggressively working to protect its users private/personal data. In some ways, Brave isn’t all that different from Chrome. Brave uses the same Chromium open-source framework that powers all things Chrome. In that sense, Brave has a distinct advantage of being able to utilize the deep well of Chrome extensions, syncing across devices, etc., without any of the typical Chrome “pain points.” Brave even claims that it can load major news sites up to six times faster than Chrome, Safari or Firefox.
The Biggest Differentiator – Brave Rewards
To really understand what Brave is, you have to consider that it is coming to market with a very unique and risky business model. Because of its built-in ad-block, Brave’s developers recognize it could limit income potential for the websites its users visit, so it is doing something about it with Brave Rewards. Incorporating Cryptocurrency into its business model, Brave is essentially paying you to browse the web by “paying” you with the “Basic Attention Token” or BAT for short.
Unlike Chrome, Brave is allowing you to completely control the number of ads you can see. Going one step further, you can earn up to 70 percent of the ad revenue that Brave receives from advertisers. These tokens accumulate in your wallet, and you can distribute them to your favorite publishers as you browse the web. Essentially, the more you browse, the more you earn, so you can pay more to your favorite sites.
If you do not want to see any private ads as you surf the web? That is okay. Just turn off Brave Rewards via the Settings page.
Why Escape Chrome?
The answer to the question of why people are running from Google Chrome has both an easy and a not-so-easy answer. First, the easy answer. Many people are growing increasingly uncomfortable with how much data Google knows about their lives. Everything from our YouTube habits, browser/search history to app usage on an Android device is known by Google.
With Brave, you have no such fear. They do not track you and will help block tracking cookies on websites you visit. This is a big stake in the ground for Brave, as it’s even front and center on its home page. Every time you return to the home page, you will see a number for how many ads and trackers have been blocked. Once you try it for a week, you are going to be shocked by how quickly those numbers add up.
All About Security
Another feather in Brave’s hat is its penchant for natively securing your web browsing with HTTPS everywhere. While Brave does not convert every HTTP site into an HTTPS site, it does automatically look for and load the latter. To be fair, this alone is not a Chrome killer, and there are Chrome extensions to help achieve the same goals, Brave does it natively.
Brave blocks ads and trackers by default, and that is a massive differentiator from Chrome. Chrome requires a third-party extension like AdBlock to achieve the same results. Chrome can allow parent company Google or mega-advertisers like Facebook to track your browsing on almost every site you visit. If that does not scare you, keep using Chrome. If you want a browser that defaults itself to blocking these cookies, Brave is ready for your download.
Brave also goes out of its way to promote that it stores your browsing history locally on your computer. This means you can delete it at any time without exception. If you would prefer to not have your browser history tracked altogether, Brave offers “New Private Tab with Tor” as a private window option.
Conclusion – What Makes Brave Special
Choosing a browser is an intensely personal decision. It is the central hub of your entire Internet life. That Brave is faster, more secure, will “pay” you to browse and has a well-known founder should make you take a long, hard look at it as a Chrome competitor. If privacy matters to you above all else, then you should make the switch immediately.