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Brave: Brilliant Browser and the Future of Online Ads

  |   5 min read

I use Brave as my primary web browser on all my devices and I absolutely love it. I want to share my favourite features of Brave and explain how its re-imagination of online advertising is beneficial for everyone and could be the future for the web that we've all been hoping for.

Chromium-Based Browser

Chromium is the foundation for a lot of web browsers these days, including Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. It's a solid option for any browser to build upon and has all the developer tools I know and love using right out of the box.

It also means that you are able to install anything available in the Chrome Web Store, so you can add all your favourite browser extensions.

Brave Shields

Brave does a lot to make sure you can browse the web as securely and privately as possible. It's enabled by default but you can turn Shields off on a site-by-site basis if you like. Here's what Brave Shields does for you:

Ad Blocking

I would imagine most, if not all of us would agree that online advertisements are horrible, distracting and invasive annoyances on a large number of the sites we visit. They detract from the content we're trying to consume and ad platforms use trackers follow us around the web wherever we go. Brave does an excellent job of removing these ads to give you a faster, safer, more private and enjoyable browsing experience.

Brave deletes cookies from the sites you don't actually visit. It makes a lot of sense to only keep the data you need for as long as you need it. If it's not useful anymore, brave will get rid of it!

Tracking Protection

Brave says it protects you by making your browser harder to recognize and follow without cookies. The truth is that I'm not sure how it does this, but any effort to achieve privacy and anonymity whilst browsing the web is a win in my book!

Secure Connections

Upgrading you to secure (HTTPS) connections where possible. Websites these days should do this for you anyway, but in case they don't it's good to know that Brave has got you covered.

Malware Protection

Effective blocking of malicious sites and code is important. It's difficult to know which sites you can trust, so Brave will let you know if it thinks you should be wary.

Having said that, it's always good to keep an eye out for anything that looks or feels suspicious and not solely rely on blockers to protect you. My advice is always "If in doubt, get out".

Brave Rewards

This is what makes Brave really special.

As well as being a top-notch browser, Brave introduces a radical new concept for controlled, less invasive advertising on the web.

Opt-In to Ads

As I've talked about before, Brave blocks all on-page advertisements by default. Instead, via Brave Rewards, you can opt-in to privacy-respecting ads which appear to you in the form of notifications. You can click on the notifications to view the ads, if it takes your fancy.

Why Would You Choose to See Ads?

Brave feels strongly that you should be rewarded for your precious time and attention viewing advertisements, so they have give you Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) for every ad you see.

BAT is a form of cryptocurrency; it has a real monetary value, so Brave are literally paying you to look at advertisements. This reward money is a portion of the income Brave, as an advertising platform, receives from advertisers.

So Everyone's a Winner?

Nearly...

So far we've seen that the advertisers get their ads seen, Brave makes money from the advertisers and you make money from the advertisers via Brave. But what about content creators? The people who's articles and videos you've come to see, how are they affected by all this?

Creators who use traditional advertising methods on their website will lose out on income because we're blocking the ads on their platforms. "That's hardly fair!" I hear you cry...and Brave agrees. It's part of Brave's mission to help content creators earn their money without the use of these intrusive ads.

Putting Your Rewards to Good Use

You can, of course, keep the BAT and save it up or cash it out, but the idea is that you use it to help give back to the people who fuel the content on the web.

Automatic Contributions

As you browse the web, Brave will keep track of the portion of your browsing time you're spending on each website. Each month you can tell Brave to distribute a portion of your BAT to all of the content creators of the sites you've visited that month. The creators will get a percentage of your allocated BAT based on the amount of time you've spent looking at their content. What an incredible way to effectively give back, for free!

Creators will need to sign up to be a Brave Verified Creator in order to receive the rewards. The process is free and easy, so there's no reason not to!

Tips

If particularly love someone's blog post, video, etc., you can give a one off tip! It's a lovely way to say "thank you" if you really appreciate what someone's worked hard to create. You can even tip people for things like Tweets, StackOverflow answers and GitHub comments!

Other Features

There are other awesome features of this browser like integration with third party crypto services, Tor browsing and a built-in VPN & Firewall (paid feature) but I won't go into detail on that here. You can check out the full list of Brave features for yourself.

Roundup

So there you have it: a first-rate browser on a mission to make the web a better place by re-inventing online advertising, rewarding ad consumers and enabling creators to be compensated for their contribution to the web. That sounds like a beautiful future to me!

Previous: New Year, New Job!

  |   2 min read

At the end of this month I'll be leaving my role at Amigo Loans and starting my new job as a Frontend Developer at Pulselive!

Next: I'm now a Brave Verified Creator

  |   2 min read

I've signed up as a Brave Creator so I benefit from Brave's amazing new approach to monetizing content on the web. If you're a content creator, you should sign up too!