I just got finished reading this blog post about Brave Browser. It’s uncomplimentary, to put it mildly. I’m not smart enough to know whether the author is blowing smoke or perhaps has an ulterior motive. Or maybe it’s just clickbait. Warning: there is some adult language.
The quick summary of the whole article is:
- Google is (expletive deleted).
- Brave uses Google’s browser engine.
- Therefore Brave is (expletive deleted).
- You should switch to Firefox.
It’s important to bring focus to the fact that Brave isn’t more than Chromium with another skin and a built-in adblocker with reduced functionality .
Well…um…yeah. That’s about how it was pitched to me. “This is like Chrome, with somewhat better privacy and ad blocking.” That’s why I use it.
Interesting though that they claim:
The only browser that does not use Google’s web engine (blink) is Firefox .
That’s obviously false due to the existence of Webkit.
If you’d like a fun intellectual exercise, read through the 90s-style footer graphics on that site and imagine what your computing life would be like if you followed all his recommendations.
I have been using Brave for quite a while now. Great for website compatibility, much, much, much, better on system resources than Chrome. Did I already say much better on system resources than Chrome? It literally silenced the fans and increased battery life on my MBP.
I think this indicates the built-in adblocker is quite effective in eliminating not only ads but also the whole tracking apparatus. You will have to tweak the settings though and do a detailed walkthrough to get it right. After that activate sync and all your devices incl iOS are good.
That said, I still use firewalla over and on top to secure my network and it has pi-hole kind of adblocking and built-in vpn as well.
When I use Safari and Brave side by side and open the same set of bookmarks, I still see some ads in Safari, whilst Brave is clean.
Brave also works extremely well for Unite web apps. I keep f.i. LinkedIn and Google Maps and Google Search sandboxed that way.
Use Firefox as a third browser, mostly to prevent finger printing
An anonymous post on an unsecure website with “darknet access”.
Google Chrome and the various Chromium based browsers, Brave, Microsoft Edge, etc., current account for 67% of all browsers according to www.statista.com.
Edge is getting there but my current favorite is Brave. I recently read a different review with which I agree.
Sorry, I didn’t realize the site was unsecured. Beware, people!
I’d like to also share the related HN post from which I first read this article.
Just reading the parent comments give me more critical pros-cons about Brave, and some rant that also give further info about Brave’s current flaw.
No need to apologize, I was expressing my opinion of the writer, not your post. Let me apologize for not considering how my comment might be misunderstood.
It been my habit for years to evaluate the writer as well as the content of a story. Who wrote the the article? Why did they write it (personal gain, bias, etc) ? Is the information current? What sources are cited? Who benefits from it being written?
I didn’t have to do that when I was growing up. But in those days most people trusted the news.
Thanks @ybbond, that link gives a lot of good background (and foreground).
I appreciate that, but I should have been more careful.
I am using Brave + VPN + DuckDuckGo and I think it does give some data to Google/FB since when I look at some products, I suddenly get ads on similar products on FB shortly after. Might be a coincidence
In addition to having no author named, the article immediately lost credibility:
- With this unsubstantiated accusation: “Brave has taken the false privacy approach similar to other companies (yes Apple, I’m looking at you), they use “privacy“ for marketing but in reality they provide a hypocritical service that “blocks tracking” but instead tracks you and profits from you.”
I recognize I’m biased but I believe while Apple is far from perfect, the company is sincere about privacy being a human right and their practices are consistent with stated principles. Sure they market privacy and I’m sure they would not market it so heavily if it was detrimental to their business (they have a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders to maximize profit) but I don’t believe they are hypocritical.
- I grew up in the military and I’m no prude. I grew up with language that would make a sailor blush but the gratuitous use of expletives reflects disrespect for the reader and poor writing skills.
I don’t have the expertise to know if his/her fundamental argument is accurate or not but the article would not convince me to stop using Brave.
And a requirement to follow the law in whatever country they want to operate in. I think that, all other things being equal, Apple would do all the stuff they do in the US/EU in countries like China - but there’s a question of whether or not it makes more sense to cave to government demands or exit the market.
I’ve heard some podcast hosts talk about how Apple should get out of the Chinese market and refuse to “play ball” - but that Chinese market also provides a sizable portion of their annual revenue. And Apple playing hardball wouldn’t likely make China give up their stance on privacy - it would just mean that nobody in China could use Apple.
In countries where there’s a more functional legal system and laws can be challenged more vigorously, Apple does challenge government demands that they think are out of line. The demand from the FBI that Apple build in a backdoor, for example.
The article reminds me of the sort of thing that tends to happen on a lot of FOSS-type forums. Lots of talk about super-nitpicky points, and hard painting of black-and-white lines - as if all software decisions don’t generally involve tradeoffs and a value calculus. When you start with “Google is bad”, and all of your other arguments don’t have to really exist as a coherent whole as long as they individually get to that point, argumentation gets easier.
In this article, for example, Firefox gets a completely free pass on process isolation. To the “nitpicky” example, not something I was even aware of…but something that would definitely factor heavily into my decision for a single, primary browser if I were super-focused on privacy and security.
I just had a look at the blog post and there’s this update:
“Before reading my post, I must warn you. I’ve received a ton of responses on Reddit (I didn’t post it, but it got quite viral). And I’ve been proved wrong on some statements. So I have to check their facts and correct the post. Until I finnish that task, keep in mind that there are various mistakes. I’d also like to say that I wrote this to share it with my few friends on the Fediverse and somehow this went viral”
Translation: “Oh sh*t, I didn’t think anyone would read this so I didn’t bother to find out whether I knew what I was talking about”