Brave Beta is Now Available

Posted on September 28, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud with 14 Comments

Brave has announced the first formal beta release of its flagship alternative web browser, a major milestone before its 1.0 release.

“This beta is a work in progress for developers and users who would like to see our latest advances,” the Brave announcement notes. “We’d like to encourage users to test this beta and share their impressions as we gear up for the general availability of this new browser.”

Before getting to what’s new in the beta, perhaps a quick overview of this browser is in order: Founded by Mozilla co-founder and JavaScript inventor Brendan Eich, Brave is creating an open-source browser built on the same Chromium base that Google uses for Chrome. But Brave is different: It automatically blocks ads and trackers and includes a controversial contribution system so that users can optionally pay participating content creators.

For the beta, Brave is adding private browsing with support for the Tor virtual tunneling technology and a new user interface that visually differentiates the browser from Chromium. These features build on top of features Brave added earlier in development, including extensions, a dark theme, and browser data importing capabilities.

But really, the big things here are privacy, security, and performance.

“Brave [includes] tracking protection, HTTPS Everywhere, cookie blocking, fingerprinting protection support, referrer blocking, Flash disabled by default, distinct privacy-protecting search engine selection for a private new tab page, ‘block this element’ support by right-clicking on anything in any page, proxied safe browsing to be more private, and permission-based autoplay support,” the company notes.

Though Brave is available on both desktop and mobile platforms, cross-device sync is missing in action. But Brave says it will be available soon, and in time for the 1.0 release.

Anyway, if you’re looking for an alternative to Chrome given Google’s recent tone-deaf and privacy-averse actions, Brave is emerging as an excellent choice. You can download Brave for Windows (x64), macOS, and Linux from the Brave website. And it’s available for Amazon Fire, Android, and iOS from the respective mobile stores.

 

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Brave Beta is Now Available”

  1. Avatar

    jbinaz

    I didn't realize it hadn't reached beta stage yet. I installed and used it about a year ago, but finally gave up because there was some weird sort of bug that caused it to take an inordinate amount of time to actually open after launching. Besides that, it seemed fine.

  2. Avatar

    markbyrn

    I think I'll give Brave a whirl but as for alternative browsers go, I've been impressed with Vivaldi.

  3. Avatar

    chrisrut

    Humph... well.... That actually sounds like a collection of great ideas.

  4. Avatar

    dcdevito

    I use it on my Android phone, it's great. But in my experience the desktop version is buggy and slow. But I'm willing to try it again

  5. Avatar

    Stooks

    Brave is pretty good. By default it will get around many sites "drop your blocker" stuff, including this one :)


    Three things I want to make it my default browser.


    Syncing like you said, because I think the iOS version is nice but I need my bookmarks/passwords to sync.


    The ability to accept self signed certificates like FireFox does, where it wont prompt you every time. At work I log into lots of stuff that is LAN only with self signed certs and I do not like clicking through all of those warnings. With FireFox you can add an exception once. With Chrome you can go through this lame process of exporting the cert via the developer mode (F12) and then importing the cert into the OS and it wont prompt you again.


    Lastly the ability, like Safari to completely block both audio and video from automatically playing and then easily allowing it. No one does this better than Safari on the Mac. I have tried lots of extensions that never work 100%, and Chrome has a lame way to block audio but the video starts going and getting the audio to come back on is not convenient.

  6. Avatar

    RM

    Actually I don't think Google is tone-deaf to privacy, it is just clueless that anyone even wanting privacy! I till give Brave a try when it releases. Right now it is still Edge for me.

  7. Avatar

    PeterC

    Excellent - I'm firmly of the opinion users data privacy will come to define much of the tech industry offerings over the next 7 years. There will be great new start-ups, watch out for eelo OS https://e.foundation/ and some notable failures too.


  8. Avatar

    Daekar

    This is the browser I will encourage my non-techie family to use when it goes to 1.0. If for some reason I have to switch away from Firefox, it's what I will personally use.


    I ran it about a year ago, and was impressed in the experience given the state of finish it was in.

  9. Avatar

    nwwoman

    Brave's future depends not on users but on the very sites it is putting out of business with its centralized, authoritarian approach. When publishing info that educates, entertains or informs is no longer possible due to its scaling, the result will be a web of government sites financed by tax dollars, product sites financed by the obvious and a few subscription sites. I can hardly wait.

    • Avatar

      PeterC

      In reply to nwwoman:

      Hmm not really. Companies like Brave will hopefully establish their niche market and audience and will co-exist alongside Google’s. I remember the good times when the internet really offered some awesome potential. Now it’s just a big mess of shopping, advertising and pretty disappointing social media adventures all controlled by a very small number of companies. So no., let’s introduce some change and choice.

  10. Avatar

    mrinneard

    Nice and promising product. I did notice that if you try to invoke LastPass using TFA the authentication page will freeze up and, for example, if you've been sent an SMS code from LastPass it can't be input. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this issue.

  11. Avatar

    Rycott

    Until it has sync it's a non starter for me. Being able to set it up once and never have to manually install extensions or import bookmarks is a big deal for me personally.


    No mobile sync hurts it some as well.


    Once it gets those I'll definitely give it a spin. What's another browser installed these days anyway.

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