Hot Take Better understanding Brave Browser's content blocker


Level 85
Thread author
Honorary Member
Top Poster
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Aug 17, 2014
A recent thread on Reddit resulted in a heated discussion about Brave Browser's content blocking and the company's dual-role as a browser maker and ad-tech company. The thread starter criticized Brave Browser for displaying the company's own ads on Brave Search in the Firefox subreddit.

Brave Search is the default search in Brave Browser. It is developed by Brave Software Inc, just like the browser. When you visit a Brave Search result in Brave, you may see an ad unit at the top of default. Shields, Brave's content blocking and privacy protection feature, is enabled by default in the browser, but ads are shown.

brave default blocking
This may be confusing to some users. To better understand Brave's content blocking feature, it is important to understand the differences between the three available Brave Shield modes.

Brave uses the standard tracker and ad blocking mode by default. Users may change the mode for individual sites with a click on the Shield icon in the Brave toolbar or for all sites on the brave://settings/shields settings page.

The two other modes, aggressive and disabled, change the functionality significantly.

brave configure shields

One of the most important differences between standard and aggressive blocking modes is that the former does not block first-party ads.

Most advertisement on the Internet is third-party based. Sites embed scripts from companies like Google on their websites to display advertisement and earn revenue from the ads. The technology and ads are provided by the third-party. Tracking is a bigger problem when it comes to third-party ads as well.

First-party ads are different, as no third-party connections are involved. A basic example is a text ad with a link displayed on a website. It loads no third-party content and is therefore considered a first-party ad. Brave's standard blocking mode does not remove these from any Internet site.

This means, that Brave handles Brave Search like any other website that displays first-party ads. These are not blocked in the default Shields configuration. Users may switch to the aggressive mode in the Brave settings to block first-party ads as well on all sites.

About us

  • MalwareTips is a community-driven platform providing the latest information and resources on malware and cyber threats. Our team of experienced professionals and passionate volunteers work to keep the internet safe and secure. We provide accurate, up-to-date information and strive to build a strong and supportive community dedicated to cybersecurity.

User Menu

Follow us

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to know first about the latest cybersecurity incidents and malware threats.