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Why Brave browser is my favorite?

2020 July 18th

This post is long overdue. I have been using Brave as my primary browser for couple of months now. I switched to it, because I found Firefox to be slow and a little bit of a memory hog (don't remember which version).

I also want to note, that while I love Brave, there are some problems with it, that there is no solution for it yet, and so it's not a perfect browser. But it's still better than most out there.

I also want to note that controversies around Brave isn't bothering me, because they are miniscule.

I used everything before, except Google Chrome, for obvious reasons. I liked to use qutebrowser, but I had problems with media playback. I even donated for one of its Kickstarter, and I still support the browser, because it's minimalistic and very configurable through text.

What is Brave?

This is from Wikipedia:

Brave is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. based on the Chromium web browser. It blocks ads and website trackers, and provides a way for users to send cryptocurrency contributions in the form of Basic Attention Tokens to websites and content creators. As of 2019, Brave has been released for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. The current version features five search engines by default, including their partner, DuckDuckGo.

Note: I don't use the Basic Attention Tokens system. I simple turned it off. While I don't mind it, and it's certainly something that the web can use. I just simple don't need it.

My experience with Brave browser

The Good

Fast: Brave is fast! No matter how many tabs are open, this browser is very responsive.

Ad and script blocker: that's probably because it has a built-in ad blocker. It's turned on by default, which leads to sane browsing. Additionally you can enable a script blocker, which reminds me of NoScript that I used on Firefox. These are 2 basic tools that are available without having to install anything.

Profiles: I like the profile system. You can use many profiles at once. Every browsing profile has its own settings, so you can configure it however you want. Plus you can have a Guest profile, if you want to give your computer to someone else for a moment.

Tor window: This is a feature lately that I really like. Brave browser has built-in Tor capabilities! You can access it from the menu or press Alt+Shift+N, and you have a browser window with Tor, which significantly enhanched secure browsing.

Brave is the most private browser: According to a research in February 2020 by Douglas Leith of Trinity College Dublin, Brave is the most secure browser from the most used ones.

Webtorrent: it has a simple, but usefule bittorrent client.

Settings: I like the settings options, especially that it's searchable. Speaking of search, default is DuckDuckGo, but you can change that. You can also setup keywords which let's you search on different websites (if they have a search function).

The Bad

Tab shrinking: I am a person who loves tabs. I have minimum 30 tabs open a lots of times. The problem is that Brave shrinks tabs, the more as you open, so if you have dozens of tabs open, you can only see the the favicon of them.

There is no scrolling in tab bar either.

My solution is that I open additional windows. I have my main window, with websites and services I use daily, and if I want to research something I open a window and do that there. Once I am finished I bookmark tabs that I found useful and close the Window (Ctrl+Shift+W). Still not a complete solution, since the research window can be also populated with dozens of tabs.

The real solution would be vertical tabs, since it takes up less space with widescreen monitors. Right now only Vivaldi and Qutebrowser has default support for vertical tabs. In Firefox you can use extension, but on Chromium based browsers you have one extension, and you can't hide the top tabbar, which makes it laughable and ugly.

The Ugly

Web browsers are less and less configurable, and Brave is no different. You can change the colors, based on themes from the Chrome webstore or you can use your native GTK+ theme and that's it.

And don't even dream about sidebars and other useful stuff. For that try Vivaldi (which is unfortunately not FLOSS).

TL;DR

I like Brave because it is fast, uses sensible amount of memory and it has very good built in additions, that make sure you don't have to use gazillion of extensions just to make it useful, without having too much bloat.


This was day 42 of #100DaysToOffload, where we write about different things on our personal blogs. Join the project or just read the blogs (we have RSS and coookiez!).