Brave web browserYou may have heard about the new-ish web browser in town: Brave.

The trouble is that it’s a bit hard to wrap one’s head around exactly how Brave is different – and supposedly better.

Brave was created by Brave Software, a company that was founded by Brendan Eich. In case you didn’t know, Eich is the creator of JavaScript. JS is basically the web programming language that powers literally everything on the internet these days.

So, when a dude like that says, “Hey, I have an idea for a better browser!” it’s probably a good idea to at least take a good look at it…

A new way of Internetting

The problem is that we’re so used to how the internet works these days, it’s a bit difficult to grasp exactly what Brave offers.

So, I’m gonna try to boil it down to some simple bullet points:

  • Brave blocks EVERYTHING, especially all online ads and web trackers. Naturally, this breaks the current model of making money with web sites. It also stops dead all the user tracking that goes on, “for advertising and usability purposes” (read: Big Brother stuff).
  • Because Brave blocks all ads and trackers, pages load much more quickly – like 2 to 8 times more quickly, according to the developers.
  • Brave tracks your browsing habits, but stores and processes that data locally on your puter (or so they say). This allows them to show you their own Brave ads that are tailored to you, but without sending any data off to any central servers.
  • You get to decide how many Brave Ads you want to see: 1 per hour? 5 per hour? Up to you! Brave Ads will appear in a notification-like popup, and not in the content of the pages you you are browsing.Brave Settings 1
  • As a user, you can either purchase or earn BAT (Basic Attention Tokens). BAT is a blockchain-type currency.
    • You can earn tokens simply from viewing ads
    • As a creator, you can earn tokens when people visit your web sites.
    • Readers can also config Brave so that it will contribute a certain amount of their BAT balance to whatever web site(s) they happen to visit the most that month… hence the name Basic Attention Token.
    • Readers can also “subscribe” to a site – exactly like they would with Patreon. IOW, you can say: Give 1 BAT per month.
  • At the moment, BAT requires an account with Uphold allows you to buy/sell BAT using ordinary fiat currencies as well as other digital currencies.
  • If you don’t want to do the BAT thing, you can just turn it off and/or not link to an Uphold account. You’ll still benefit from the ad blocking/privacy protection.
  • Brave is based on the Chromium browser, which is the open source version of Chrome. So, all your favorite sites will Just Work.
  • Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS

Well, that’s different!

It sure is.

Of course, if you use Brave without ads/BAT, you get all the ad-blocking and privacy protection. But then that also means that your favorite web sites with ads make no money off of your ad views/clicks.

It’s actually quite a crazy/nifty idea: You still view ads, but with increased privacy and security. Then, you decide how to distribute the “money” you earn from viewing those ads to the creators you want to support.

The trouble is, will it catch on? It will need to be used widely (with BAT) in order to prevent web sites’ online revenue from dropping to 0.

On the other hand, Brave does seem like a browser whose time has come. With all the censorship, crazy politically-motivated shenanigans, and upset over Big Tech and all their privacy violations and data-vacuuming, Brave might be just the thing.

Brave in action

If you try Brave, come back and visit… is a “Brave Verified Publisher”!!

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