Boutique browsers try to scratch out a living by scratching out a niche underserved by the usual suspects. Brave is one of those browsers.
Brave has gotten more attention than most new browsers, partly because a co-founder was one of those who kick-started Mozilla’s Firefox, partly because of its very unusual – some say parasitical – business model.
That model, which relies on stripping every site of every ad, then substituting different ads, came under attack almost immediately from publishers that depended on online advertising for theirlivelihood. “Your plan to use our content to sell your advertising is indistinguishable from a plan to steal our content to publish on your own website
Computerworld took a deep dive into Brave to figure out what it is, what it does and how it does it. Here’s what you need to know to decide whether Brave’s for you. (If you do decide to try it out, download information is detailed below.)
What is the Brave browser?
Brave is a more-or-less standard browser that lets users navigate to websites, run web apps and display or play online content. Like other browsers, it is free to download and use, remembers site authentication information and can block online ads from appearing on sites.
What makes Brave different from other browsers?
What sets Brave apart is its aggressive anti-ad attitude. The browser was built to strip online ads from websites and its maker’s business model relies not only on ad blocking, but on replacing the scratched-out ads with advertisements from its own network. It’s as if a new TV network announced it would use technology to remove ads from other networks’ programs, then rebroadcast those programs with ads of its own devising, ads that it sold.
Brave also eliminates all ad trackers, the often-tiny page components advertisers and site publishers deploy to identify users so that they know what other sites those users visit or have visited. Trackers are used by ad networks to show products similar to ones purchased, or just considered, leading to the meme of persistently seeing the same ad no matter where one navigates.
Does Brave block ads within search results?
No. Brave doesn’t lay a finger on those, including the ubiquitous AdWords advertisements within Google’s results. (Google will soon rebrand AdWords as “Google Ads.”) That’s not a surprise: Ad blocking extensions don’t stymie search ads either.
What’s under Brave’s hood?
How is Brave funded?
Some browsers don’t have to worry about making money because they’re just a cog in a much larger machine. For example, Chrome, Microsoft’s Edge and Apple’s Safari don’t need to turn a profit to survive because their parent organizations value them for non-monetary reasons as well as their ability to produce revenue in some fashion.
Other browsers, notably Firefox, are just the opposite: They must find a way to generate revenue. Mozilla does that by striking deals with search firms for default placement in the browser; the current deal is with Google.
Brave Software’s entire financial foundation is unclear – although it raised $35 million a year ago in just seconds by selling the BAT cryptocurrency to investors – but clearly it’s expecting that its take, as much as 30% of the BATs earned by users, will be a revenue generator as it sells those BATs to advertisers.
How much that will be, or even whether it will be enough to keep the lights on, is anyone’s guess at this point.
Brave has other monetary means, as it kept a third of the 1.5 billion BATs – that billion and a half is a cap, the company said – for itself (200 million BATs) and as starter seed for browser users’ wallets (300 million BATs). At the current BAT value, Brave’s 200 million equaled just over $70 million. That money, Brave said last year in a white paper, would be used “to build out the Blockchain-based digital advertising system.”
Where can I download Brave?
Brave can be downloaded from this page of Brave Software’s site.
The page should automatically recognize the device’s operating system and offer the appropriate version. If it doesn’t, select from the choices at the bottom of the page: Windows x86 or Windows x64, Windows 7 or later; macOS 10.9 or later; or Linux x64 for Debian, Fedora, Ming, openSUSE and Ubuntu.
Recently Brave also launced a Video Calling App which is rival to Zoom, Facebook, Whatsapp and Google Meet. You can check the details by clicking here