As a digital marketer and advertising, I’m both excited and hesitant about the new era the grassroots Brave browser is ushering in quietly. The news has been too busy covering the investigations into tech giants Facebook and Google. Apple’s keynote introduced some pretty enticing new products and features (see: Apple Watch). Meanwhile, Brave browser has been growing in popularity, so I recently downloaded it to give it a try.
Setting up this browser could not have been any more simple. The step-by-step guide takes you through the process. The graphics are fresh, crisp, and colorful. It even walks you through setting your default search engine (I’ve recently switched to DuckDuckGo – a private search experience) and customizing your color theme (see: my rose theme) and importing all of my information from Chrome, including passwords and bookmarks. It was the easiest setup of a browser I have ever experienced.
Brave puts you back in control. You can choose to block advertisements, third-party trackers, upgrade connections to HTTPS and even block scripts. If you choose to enable Brave Rewards, you get paid for browsing with advertisements. If you want to go into super stealth mode, you have the option to open a private window which prompts you to search with DuckDuckGo (private search) or with a Tor.
Blocking all ads sounds great in theory, but I quickly ran into issues logging in on some of my frequented sites. Targeted advertising has become so commonplace that many of the large retailer websites I attempted to visit did not function without me turning the majority of the blocking off. However, I think that says more about the retailers than it does count as a strike against Brave.
I am very impressed by my experience in the past week with Brave browser. Even though I don’t use ad blocking all the time, I love the statistics and easy toggle menu to switch my shields on and off. I finally feel like I’m getting control back over my browsing experience.