You may have already heard of Brave given that some 8.7 million people use the browser every month but the application has been in beta for quite some time now.
This week however Brave has exited beta and is now available as a full release.
Unfortunately we’ve run into a number of issues installing the browser with the message “Connecting to the internet” being displayed for a long stretch of time. Ultimately the installation fails displaying a message to whitelist the installer in your firewall software.
Despite doing this the bug persisted. Thankfully you can download the browser via Brave’s Github repository. For Windows users you will want to download the brave-installer-x64.exe file.
We cannot comment on the installation process for macOS or Linux but the repository linked above has install files for all supported operating systems.
Okay so you’re probably wonder why you’d want to jump through all these hoops to install Brave in the first place.
For one, the developers are focused on preserving your privacy.
“Today’s Internet is broken, and users suffer the most. They are being tracked, tagged, and exploited; this not only violates privacy, but slows down page loads, drains batteries, and makes for a miserable experience. Meanwhile, publishers are losing revenue at a record pace due to a few gigantic super-companies and too many ad tech intermediaries. Advertisers are wasting time and money on an industry filled with fraud. Everyone with a legitimate stake in the open Web loses in this environment,” chief executive officer and co-founder of Brave Software, Brendan Eich, said in a blog post.
Brave’s unique selling point is that the advertising you see is to preserve privacy. The browser blocks trackers, invasive advertising and device fingerprint out of the box and it claims that this speeds up the browsing experience as well.
To inform you its working, the New Tab page of Brave displays (pictured above) how many trackers have been blocked, how many HTTPS upgrades it has performed and how much time was saved loading pages.
There’s also a rather tempting carrot for users – the ability to earn money.
Brave Rewards offer users the ability to support their favourite publishers or creators with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT). Using this system users can tip over 300 000 websites or creators as they browse or by setting up monthly payments.
Think of it as a subscription fee but you set the cost and terms.
In addition to parting ways with your money you can also earn BAT by simply browsing the web and viewing advertising.
“Brave Ads, the world’s first private ad network and part of Brave Rewards, allows users to opt-in to view relevant privacy-preserving ads in exchange for earning BAT. When users opt into Brave Rewards, Brave Ads is enabled by default. Ad matching happens directly on the user’s device, so their data is never sent to anyone, and they see rewarding ads without web-wide mass surveillance. To date, Brave Ads has delivered nearly 475 privacy-preserving ad campaigns, sparking 130 million ad confirmation events, from brands such as Intel, Pizza Hut, Home Chef, and more,” explains Brave.
BAT can be converted into other digital assets and fiat currencies, provided you have completed a rather simple identity verification process.
Brave is cross platform meaning you can use it on Windows, macOS and Linux. For mobile users there are both Apple iOS and Android apps available. As a point of reference for Brave stalwarts, the iOS app now supports Brave Rewards as well.
A nice touch we feel warrants mentioning is the use of images under Creative Commons for the splash pages on a new tab as you can see in the header image above. That particular photo was snapped by Unsplash user Braden Jarvis.