oldschool

Level 50
Verified
I thought I'd do a feature review of Brave browser release v. 1.3.115 Windows, for those who haven't tried it. So, here we go...

Brave Browser is a "privacy"-oriented browser that is fast and has some nice features. It is an un-Googled Chromium browser (depending on settings choices) so you will notice many features that are similar to Chrome and other Chromium forks. Brave's business model centers on offering a privacy-oriented browser with the choice to opt-into its Brave Rewards program, where users earn BAT (Basic Attention Token) with which they can "reward" or support websites that rely on donations, e.g. gHacks before it started using an ad-based business model. More info on BAT can be found here basicattentiontoken.org . Another Brave feature is the "Browse in private with Tor" feature.

Below are some screenshots with a general and/or specific descriptions of features.

In "Appearance" (below) there are a number of settings, including light or dark theme, custom themes, options to use a wide address bar, hide Brave rewards icon and the usual Chromium appearance settings. Brave users can choose whether to opt-in to Brave Rewards. If choosing not to, users may hide the "Brave Rewards" icon.
Capture.PNG

Capture1.PNG

The Brave browser page features quick access to: configure Brave homepage, settings, bookmarks and browsing history. Plus, it's beautiful!
Capture1a.PNG

In the Shields section are switches to use simple or advanced Shields view, block trackers & scripts, upgrade to HTTPS and fingerprinting protection.
Capture2.PNG

Social media blocking has its own settings ... and managing search engines is easy.
Capture3.PNG

Extensions, plug-ins, etc. are here ...
Capture4.PNG

Privacy and Security here ...
Capture5.PNG

It includes the "Clear all browsing data on exit" feature ...
Capture12.PNG

Capture6.PNG

In "Downloads" you have the option to "Ask where to save downloads". Plus, it has the option to "Run or Save" when you download a file, which Edge Chromium currently doesn't have.
Capture7.PNG

Per site Shields switches in address bar drop-down, and the option "Global shields defaults" to go directly to Settings > Shields (a nice touch!) ...
Capture8.PNG

The "Allow scripts once" switch, and granular script control right at your fingertips ...
Capture9.PNG

Built-in adblock feature the ability to add custom filters ... Plus, some granular element blocking via right-clicking your mouse which works pretty well (but, if you have severe OCDC, occasionally requires using Developer tools to create rules.)

Capture10.PNG

Summary:

All-in-all, I like Brave quite a bit, despite the occasional bug. After using both Edge Chromium and Brave built-in anti-tracking features for some time, Brave is quickly becoming my main browser. It's very fast (maybe as fast as Edge?) and has great built-in features. Its adblocking protection is very good and its script blocking is the most granular built-in feature of any browser with which I'm familiar. It beats the current Edge Chromium's "privacy" ;) settings hands-down. (Firefox probably has the advantage over Brave in anti-fingerprinting protections and privacy in general). There are enough built-in features to satisfy some tweakers' desires, within limits. Last but not least Brave is beautiful. It just might be the best looking browser available. That, my friends, is for you decide. Try it, you just might like it! :cool:(y)(y)
 
Last edited:

HarborFront

Level 51
Verified
Content Creator
Yes, it has many features of google removed or proxied but can you show where the developers say it's an ungoogled chromium browser?

Look at how Iridium says

Quote

Iridium is an open modification of the Chromium code base, with privacy being enhanced in several key areas.

Unquote


Here's what Bromite says

Quote

Is Bromite de-googled?
Yes, although this has not been verified (and hardly can be) under all situations; if you were to find connections to cloud-based services please report them via the issue tracker. Bromite uses ungoogled-chromium's python script to disable URLs in the codebase since version 78.0.3904.93.

Unquote

Ah ah, not 100%.


Interestingly, as of today, Brave for android is still not available at F-droid.


FYI, Ungoogled Chromium, Brave, Bromite and Iridium browsers do share patches with some from other sources amongst one another to improve on their privacy
 
Last edited:

oldschool

Level 50
Verified
Yes, it has many features of google removed or proxied but can you show where the developers say it's an ungoogled chromium browser?
You may check here for starters. How much Google is removed from Brave Beta?
There are other posts at Brave blog or Community which I can't remember ATM. You can check and I'll update if I find them.

Edit: here is a more substantial reference Brave, Chromium, Google, and your data

Edit #2: and more technical details here brave/brave-browser
 
Last edited:

Lenny_Fox

Level 10
My second thoughts about the 'privacy-oriented' browsers
- most of them lag to much behind in update patches from Chrome,
- Brave and Opera are the two privacy oriented with substantial development teams and are generally not (to) far behind chrome releases security patches

So it comes up to choosing between Brave and Opera for me, I tried them both and had second thoughts on both browsers

Brave's reward system and (burning cash) business model
  • Brave currently was at the time when I tried them both ad-free in the Netherlands but Brave native ads are were being rolled out in the US, Canada, UK, France and Germany. Because a company can't burn money for ever, Brave has to start generating income at some point and will start to show its native-ads.
  • Brave offers an opt-out to rewards systems (and native-ads), but will Brave generate enough income in future to maintain this generous attitude towards its own ad-supported business model, when Brave user keep opting out?
  • Brave facilitates TOR browsing i

Opera's origin and business model
  • Opera has a running business model, largely based on the mobile (ad) services and micro loans in Africa.
  • Opera is Chinese owned, which triggered the usual gov-is-watching-you privacy concerns
  • Opera has a build-in VPN (proxy)
I initially choose Opera because of the low speed loss of its VPN (usually 90% of my normal bandwidth). I dealt with the (Chinese) privacy concern by watching Asian porn exclusively. When an Chinese agent should watch what I am watching, he would be embarrassed by the absurde loud levels of Asian porn, so all of his co-workers would be thinking he is watching porn at work :) .

With the recent banking license acquisition of Opera and some critical reports on the high interest rates Opera is charging for its micro loans in Africa, I am re-considering my choice.

Before installing Brave again, I have two questions (e.g. @oldschool)
1. Are you opted in rewards? If so, have you noticed anything of Brave native ads?
2. Have you used TOR-feature? If so, can you give an (percentage) indication of the speed loss?
 
Last edited:

Arequire

Level 25
Verified
Content Creator
Just to clear up a few things:
Brave and Opera are the two privacy oriented with substantial development teams and are generally not (to) far behind chrome releases
Brave updates to the latest stable Chromium build a day after Chrome receives it. Opera is currently 4 Chromium releases behind.

Brave currently is ad-free in the Netherlands
Brave currently has 10 active ad campaigns in the Netherlands as seen here (scroll down):

Brave offers an opt-out to rewards systems
Brave Rewards are opt-in and off by default.

You mention "native ads" a lot and by this I assume you mean Brave Ads which appear as notifications?
There are plans for "publisher ads" in the future, where Brave will allow publishers to embed ads on their own websites, but there's no time frame as to when these will be implemented.
 

koloveli

Level 2
I didn't like the interface, but one thing catches my eye. adblocks are used by browsers and security suites from the most diverse companies
 

Lenny_Fox

Level 10
Just to clear up a few things:

1. Brave updates to the latest stable Chromium build a day after Chrome receives it. Opera is currently 4 Chromium releases behind.

2. Brave currently has 10 active ad campaigns in the Netherlands as seen here (scroll down):

3. You mention "native ads" a lot and by this I assume you mean Brave Ads which appear as notifications?
There are plans for "publisher ads" in the future, where Brave will allow publishers to embed ads on their own websites, but there's no time frame as to when these will be implemented.
1 Thanks changed the text, having one question. I (thought) had read somewhere that although Opera lags in Chrome version, they do patch critical vulnerabilities when they are relevant in code base of the Chromium version they are using. I have put the (thought) between (marks) because I googled but can't find the link anymore, so unsure at the moment whether I am mixing up things. Am I disillusioned on Opera's patches or can't I just find the source on the internet anymore? Please provide feedback, thanks

3. I have read something about Brave in a marketing magazine in the past about their plans. The CEO who gave the interview mentioned that Brave would block advertisements in websites and seamlessly replace them with Brave ads. When ads are published in the look and feel of the websites selling (display) space to ad-networks, these advertisements are called 'native ads' in digital marketing, that is why I used that term. I did not know Brave refers to them as publisher ads.

2. Thanks changed the text, used current time, while I should have used past tome, because I tried them both in 2019. In my above post, I quoted the text of the Brave CEO (about roll-out of Brave ads) which I remembered from the interview. So I stand corrected, because the interview dated even further back than when I tried Brave in 2019.
 
Last edited:

Arequire

Level 25
Verified
Content Creator
1 Thanks changed the text, having one question. I (thought) had read somewhere that although Opera lags in Chrome version, they do patch critical vulnerabilities when they are relevant in code base of the Chromium version they are using. I have put the (thought) between (marks) because I googled but can't find the link anymore, so unsure at the moment whether I am mixing up things. Am I disillusioned on Opera's patches or can't I just find the source on the internet anymore? Please provide feedback, thanks
I can't find any official statement anywhere but I did find a couple of old articles stating they've fixed critical vulnerabilities in the past. I see no reason why they'd abandon this policy so I'm inclined to believe they do. Regardless I still think they're irresponsible for not keeping up with the latest Chromium version, especially since they serve such a large userbase and have a large team that should be perfectly capable of doing so.

Something I didn't mention before was I was specifically referring to the desktop versions of Brave and Opera when talking about Chromium release timing. As @HarborFront said Brave's mobile browser doesn't use the same update timing as their desktop offering and is currently 2 Chromium releases behind. Opera's mobile browser is currently 7 - 9 releases behind (they don't list the exact release number, only "78").
 

oldschool

Level 50
Verified
I've edited my OP to reflect mistakes or features I didn't mention previously.

Edge Chromium does have that option.
View attachment 233781
Indeed, I had meant to write that it has the "Run or save" option when you download a file.

@Lenny_Linux - no, I don't opt-in to Brave Rewards. I think @Arequire answered your question about native ads better than I could.

All of your posts aided me in editing the OP. Thank you! :cool:(y)(y)
 

Lenny_Fox

Level 10
@Arequire Thanks

I noticed that Opera is pushing minor updates after Google publishes new releases. Opera also got the new site-permission feature "file editing". This new feature was when, memory serves me correctly, introduced in Chrome 79. So it seems that Opera is selective patching and updating their own version.
 

Sampei Nihira

Level 6
Verified
You can see some of Brave fingerprint protection listed here
Sorry if I intrude, I write it for everyone.
This article is out of date.
Forget the Panopticlick test.
Even the Chrome that is installed on my daughter's pc has these privacy protections and more.

But I think it is better to carry out tests, I recommend:

 
Last edited:

oldschool

Level 50
Verified
Sorry if I intrude, I write it for everyone.
This article is out of date.
Forget the Panopticlick test.
Even the Chrome that is installed on my daughter's pc has these privacy protections and more.

But I think it is better to carry out tests, I recommend:

Even better still might be this:

GitHub - Valve/fingerprintjs2: Modern & flexible browser fingerprinting library
 

oldschool

Level 50
Verified
Brave user tip! Here are two ways to block unwanted elements if you are using Brave's built-in adblocker.

#1 - The easier way:
Hover over , e.g. a cookie notice or an empty placeholder which breaks the page >
Right-click on Brave icon >
Choose "Block element via selector." >
If Brave selector is now populated, choose "OK" >
Element removed >
Voila! You are done.


#2 - If #1 results in "We were unable to automatically populate a correct CSS selector for you. Please manually enter a CSS selector to block:" message, this means you must manually choose selector. To do so, proceed as follows:

Hover over element as above (in #1) >
Right-click on "Inspect" (which will open developer tools) >
Hover over element (again, as in #1) >
You will now see the same element highlighted in developer tools window >
Hover over highlighted area (code) in developer tools window > right-click & Choose "copy selector" >
Right-click on Brave and choose "Block element via selector" >
Paste into empty Brave selector window >
Element removed >
Voila! You are done.

My opinion: Method #2 looks complicated but is pretty easy once you are familiar with the method. Of course, µBO manual element blocking is simpler and easier, but the Brave feature is still pretty nice. And it means one less extension in Brave. Enjoy! (y):D
 
Top