Brave is a web browser based on the Chromium web-engine influenced by Google
The Brave browser is Free/Libre licensed under the same Mozilla Public license as Firefox
Before you @ me, this is not like the many, many one sided posts about Brave with a mountain load of FUD. If you’ve been living under a rock - Brave Software (the company behind the browser) take vanilla Chromium, add their many patches, privacy-protections and a coat of their branding. Read their GitHub wiki they are very transparent about it.
It’s the perfect drop-in replacement for Google Chrome
Literally everything works, their team does all the heavy lifting, patchwork and testing, catching up with the latest chromium release, auto-updates,blocking ads + 3rd party cookies by default, unlike Firefox. It’s the perfect browser for someone who’s using Chrome all the time and doesn’t have time to bother about configuring things manually with every new update.
But beware, Brave is not a browser company
Brave is an ‘advertising company’
The browser is used as a gateway drug to push their BAT crypto token. Brave Rewards is a way to earn their own BAT crypto by watching ads pushed to you via the browser. By default they take a 30% cut of the money earned by the ads you watch. They whitelist their own ads - in their default adblocker.
Ever since the first launch, the browser nudges you to sign up for their ‘Rewards Program’
Just look at the number of affiliates, tooltips for BAT and other annoying features on the homepage. The average user probably doesn’t turn off all these features, so if you ever have to install Brave for someone like your grandma, checkout my video on how to disable all this bloat.
Why do rewards suck?
The user does not have any way of choosing how much to give the Brave team. I can not choose 10% or 0% it is locked to 30%, they take a cut for every single ad I see. This is opt-in, but obviously you can deduct they ‘want you to say yes’ and keep nagging you.
But Brave fights against Goolag
eh, kinda but is that really ‘being brave’ & standing up for users?
Brave, unlike Firefox blocks Google’s, Facebook’s and other major advertising networks, this is a big brain move & allows them to promote their own BAT ads without worrying about other competing ad networks. I don’t know if this is ethical or not, but it’s better than Firefox which just serves as a puppet for Google.
Again, when you have a paying customer (the advertiser) - making a privacy-first browser isn’t your main goal, it’s a side effect of what they truly want to achieve. i.e. push BAT to more users.
These slides are from their website and just look at the contrast between the homepage for normal users and the ad-investors page 👀
An advertising company like Brave, showcases 2 different themes for their target audiences
brr.. better privacy, faster, no ads.. install now
The irony lol
more screen, more money - stonks! 🤑
Native level ad-integration
So.. use Firefox?
Nope, same thing. Firefox isn’t standing up for their users. Instead, Mozilla is to leverage every bit of screen real estate to push sponsored content on the homepage. Promoting Mozilla VPN, Pocket, sponsored pinned search sites (Amazon), etc. They even tried to copy Brave’s business model by asking users to subscribe to a service which would pay website depending upon how much time you spent on it. Sounds like Brave Rewards but without crypto.
Firefox isn’t brave enough (multiple-layers of bad puns today) sorry 😂
Mozilla’s model is worse than Brave. By default Firefox does not block all ads or have an agenda to build ‘real, competing products against Google’. If you’d look closely they endorse and use Google’s proprietary G-Suite tools to build a ‘free/open’ web browser. Plus the $500mil search engine deal that keeps them going.
There are ways of hardening Firefox using
about:config or using a fork like LibreWolf which does the job for you with each update - but that’s only for geeky users like us. Not for your grandma. I’d rather install Brave and harden it with a few tweaks.
Mozilla is digging their own grave. Brave at least blocks Google’s ads and uses Chromium against Google. I really thought Mozilla could have a comeback but they had other plans, Rust in Peace Servo (another cheeky pun)😏
All 3 Browser ecosystems suck
However you twist it, we don’t have an indie, web-browser than can perform well in the modern web. Run by a dedicated team of hackers behind it, not a company using it to pump up their crypto token.
All 3 browsers are ‘owned’ (influenced) by Google. The rendering engine (Chromium/Blink) & Funding (Mozilla/Firefox)
If I could I would build one, it’d bundle uBlock Origin by default, have hardware acceleration, no DRM, no anti-features, and keep it simple and stupid. (KISS). This is on my bucketlist, I currently don’t have the resources yet but want to build one in my lifetime. If you know of any similar projects please ping me.
> To wrap it up
Brave is FOSS, patched Chrome, with convenience and better privacy protections turned on by default. All kinds of privacy/fingerprinting protections are a side-effect of what Brave truly serves as - a gateway to getting users hooked on BAT.
But as a project that doesn’t dare to improve the web (building an indie web-engine) Brave is not what it seems like. We have a long, long way before we fix the internet.
So what browser do I use? Tor Browser for ‘real privacy’, and I have other FOSS browser like Brave/LibreWolf/Chromium for normal use. Follow the principle of compartmentalization for each browser to better suit your needs when Tor doesn’t work.