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Switch To Brave Privacy Browser

Google Chrome has been my preferred browser until now due to the obvious reasons. There hasn't been any other browser which provided performance, developer tools and extensions like Google Chrome. The only major drawback being lack of privacy and exposing all my browsing habits to Google. Being privacy oriented, I tried switching over to Firefox but couldn't stick with it over long term. For my browsing habits, it was slower and less responsive.

I came across a news article about a new browser taking on Google Chrome. On browsing the Brave website it was instantly clear that this was a browser I was always waiting for. Since Brave is also based on Chromium it provides all the features of Google Chrome with added privacy features in-built. It has now been more then a month since I moved to Brave and I thought it would be good to share my experiences.

Brave Features

Privacy

Since Brave is a privacy oriented browser it comes with many privacy features by default, avoiding installation of third party extensions. Brave provides a feature called Brave Shield which provides following privacy options.The best part of this features is that it is completely customizable and the options can be set at a global level (applicable to all urls) and can be set for each website individually. Hence it provides the ability to set different options for the websites we trust.

Shields (Global Defaults are set in the Settings)

Brave Shield Global Settings
  • AD Control:Blocks ads and 3rd-party trackers.
  • Cookie Control: Provides the ability to block all cookies or block 3rd-party cookies.
  • Fingerprinting protection: Prevents browser fingerprinting by blocking trackers and evice recognition.
  • HTTPS Everywhere: Defaults the connection to HTTPS wherever possible.
  • Script Blocking: Prevents running of scripts on the webpage. ( Note:This might prevent many websites to load correctly)

Set Shield setting at site level

Brave Shield site settings

Setting the shield setting here will override the Global Default settings set in the settings menu

Social media blocking

Brave Social Media Blocking
  • Allow Google login buttons on third party sites: Disables Google login buttons on 3rd-party sites.
  • Allow Facebook logins and embedded posts: Disables Facebook logins and embedded posts.
  • All Twitter embedded tweets: Disables Twitter embedded tweets.
  • Allow Linkedln embedded posts: Disables Linkdln embedded posts

Browsing Data Stored Locally

All browsing data is stored locally and not shared with third parties.

Private browsing with Tor

Brave Private Browsing with Tor

Using Private windows only changes what Brave does on your device — it doesn't change anyone else's behavior. Tor hides your IP address from the sites you visit, and hides the sites you visit from your ISP or your employer. When you are inside a Private Window with Tor, Brave doesn’t connect directly to a website like normal. Instead, you connect to a chain of three different computers in the volunteer-run Tor network, one after another, and only then to the website you’re visiting. Between those three Tor computers, only one knows where your connection is really coming from and only one knows where it’s really going. And those two don’t even talk to each other because there’s another computer in the middle! Note:Please note since Tor network goes through lot of relays, you'll experience a more sluggish internet then usual. Click Private Browsing with Tor for more information.

Speed

It is always difficult to compare browsers in terms of performance. I have used browserbench.org and found the performance difference between Brave and Chrome is negligable but the difference is more evident on websites with many ads or news websites. Since Brave blocks ads and trackers, the websites load noticeably faster than on Chrome. Brave provides statistics on a new tab with a total count of trackers/ads blocked, HTTPS upgrades and estimated time saved.

Brave Statistics

More than a browser...

Brave project is much more than a browser. Their mission is to change the way of thinking about how the web works. The current web advertisement have become more intrusive and lack privacy, Brave team has come up with privacy based ads which do not collect any user information. Please visit Brave Rewards for more information.

Pros

  • Privacy and Security: When it comes to Pro's, Privacy and Security should defenitely be the first. Along with AD blocking it has excellent tools for anti-tracking and fingerprinting.
  • Speed: Since all the ads and trackers are blocked, the browser is faster then others.
  • Interface: The interface is responsive and light weight. I have a habit of keeping multiple tabs open for days together without a restart, while Chrome and Firefox start consuming huge amount of memory over time, I have not come across the same issue on Brave.
  • Extension Support: Since Brave is based on Chromium, most of the Chrome extensions are supported in Brave.

Cons

  • Lighthouse not working: For developers who use Lighthouse in Chrome DevTools, you might have to wait to switch completely to Brave. The lighthouse in Brave hangs and does not provide any results. This is a known issue and can be tracked in GitHub.
  • Brave Rewards: Brave Rewards program might be a little confusing for basic users.

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