Internet, Networking, & Security Browsers What Is the Brave Web Browser? It's noted for privacy and cryptocurrency features by Brad Stephenson Freelance Contributor Brad Stephenson is a freelance tech and geek culture writer with 12+ years' experience. He writes about Windows 10, Xbox One, and cryptocurrency. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Brad Stephenson Updated on September 27, 2020 Browsers Chrome Safari Firefox Microsoft Tweet Share Email There are dozens of browsers available to use beyond Chrome and Edge. This article explains what Brave is and why you might want to try it. What is the Brave Browser? Brave is a free web browser that launched in 2016 with the intention of protecting users' privacy, blocking online advertisements, and rewarding website owners with cryptocurrency payments. In early 2017, Brave launched its own cryptocurrency token, Basic Attention Token, (BAT), which is used to make payments. Later that same year, Brave began to expand beyond supporting websites to share BAT payments with YouTube and Twitch video creators. In late 2018, Brave announced plans to enable BAT tipping to post creators on Twitter and Reddit. The Brave browser is truly cross-platform, available on all major computer and smartphone operating systems. What We Like Stops websites from tracking your activity. Ad-blocking feature is effective. Pages load quickly. Easy way for newbies to learn about cryptocurrency. What We Don't Like Since it blocks all website ads, it may dramatically reduce the site's profitability, resulting in less content. It's unclear if receiving BATs would make up for the site's loss of profitability. How Is Brave Different From Other Internet Browsers? Brave is much the same as other web browsers in that it allows you to browse the internet and access websites. There are two main aspects that set the Brave web browser apart from its rivals, however. It has a strong focus on privacy and ad blocking.Brave users can voluntarily donate cryptocurrency tokens to website owners as they browse the web. Is the Brave Browser Safe to Use? The Brave browser is based on the same open-source Chromium browser used by Google Chrome, Microsoft Chromium Edge, and Opera. There have been no security breaches reported to date but the browser was accused of a trust breach when it was caught adding affiliate links to some sites that users could not opt out of. Brave has since claimed to remove the auto-affiliate linking to its partners but some additional affiliate breaches have been noted since then. While overall privacy and security appears to be solid, this particular issue has upset a lot of Brave users. Is Brave a Private Web Browser? Brave is very focused on privacy. By default, Brave blocks ad units, cookies, phishing, and malware and also provides options for blocking browser fingerprinting and enabling HTTPS Everywhere. Browser fingerprinting is an additional way for browsers and websites to identify a user, while HTTPS Everywhere forces a website to connect via HTTPS, which is more secure than HTTP. Privacy settings can be turned on or off individually or customized by using Brave's settings. Access Brave's settings by selecting the three horizontal lines icon in the top-right corner of the screen, then selecting Settings > Shields. How Do Brave's BAT Crypto Tokens Work? Brave's Basic Attention Tokens are digital tokens that the browser uses to monetarily reward website owners when Brave users visit their site. Essentially, the more Brave users that visit the website, the more money the owner will earn. This payment system is dependent on two important factors, however: Brave Users Must Buy BAT Tokens Brave has been known to gift a small amount of BAT tokens to users, but this has been during promotional periods to encourage people to use the system. In general, Brave browser users will need to buy their own BAT tokens if they wish to donate to website owners. The user must then set an amount to be donated per month, such as $5 worth of BAT, which is then distributed to owners of the sites visited based on time spent on their web pages. Websites Must Be Claimed BAT tokens aren't sent to website owners automatically. Instead, Brave will email the website owner when $100 worth of BAT tokens have been donated to their website and then ask the owner to confirm site ownership. Only after this registration is complete can owners withdraw BAT tokens as cash to their bank account. Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency completely separate from BAT. Brave exclusively uses BAT to pay website owners. However, users can buy BAT with Bitcoin (and Ethereum and Litecoin) if they wish. Where Can I Buy Brave's BAT Tokens? You'll need to add funds to your Brave Wallet via an Uphold digital money account to distribute BAT tokens. Here's how: Select the three horizontal lines in the top-right corner of the browser window. Select Settings. Select Brave Rewards from the top menu. Select Add Funds. If prompted, select Verify Wallet. Create your Uphold account if you're a first-time user, or log in to your account. Creating your account involves a one-time verification of your identity, including scanning a government-issued ID and taking a selfie. Select Fund My Account. Choose a funding source. Choices are U.S. Bank Account, Credit/Debit Card, Cryptocurrency or Utility Token, Uphold Card, Bank Account (SEPA), or Interledger Payment Pointer. Follow the instructions for your funding source to add funds to your account. Once you have funds, set up Auto-Contribute Contributions, Monthly Contributions, or Tips to send tokens to content creators. You can also earn tokens by viewing Brave ads. Where to Download the Brave Web Browser The Brave web browser is available for computers running Windows, macOS, or Linux. Brave can also be used on iOS and Android tablets. You can get the official iOS Brave app from the App Store, while the Android version is available both in the Google Play Store and on Amazon.