Brave 1.0 launched, bringing privacy-first browsing out of beta

Brave 1.0 is now officially launched. It’s an open-source, free browser. Although the beta version was already used by 8 million people monthly, now the stable release for Windows, macOS Linux, Android and iOS is available.

Brave claims to prioritise security by automatically blocking trackers and third-party ads. To ensure more privacy you do not need to change your settings.

Although many browsers are taking steps to prevent trackers and ads from being tracked, in some cases they may not be sufficient or necessary. Firefox began blocking trackers automatically earlier in the year. Safari takes it one step further and blocks nearly all third-party trackers on sites that you do not visit often. It allows trackers from websites you regularly check , but limits their duration to 24 hour.

Microsoft Edge continues to test a feature which blocks trackers but only some by default. This will arrive January 15th. Google stated in May it would launch tracker-blocking software, however has not yet launched those tools and doesn’t intend to. Instead, it has indicated that the company expects to release a method to block specific “classifications”, or cookies, in Chrome in February 2020 .

Brave Ads is what sets Brave apart among other browsers

It is a bit more difficult to locate built-in ad blockers. Usually, an extension is required. Chrome blocks all ads that violate the standards established by Coalition for Better Ads. Microsoft Edge mobile has an integrated ad-blocker. However, you must turn it on.

These ad-blockers are a huge hit for publishers and creators that rely on ads views to generate revenue. Google was also concerned in August about the possibility of advertisers using more intrusive tracking methods. Brave is different than other browsers because Brave Ads offers an alternative solution . This form of ads pays you to see them and doesn’t have access to your data. It appears in push notifications instead of webpage banners. Brave claims that the ads it displays will be specific to users, however no user information is ever shared with the browser. The number of advertisements displayed each hour can be adjusted by you.

Brave Rewards offers users the opportunity to earn blockchain tokens by opting in for Brave Ads. You can gift tokens to creators and sites if you enjoy an article or read it. You can also cash the tokens yourself through Brave’s partner uphold, or exchange them for gift vouchers and restaurant coupons.

This is a bold plan, but it’s not the only one. HTC collaborated with browser Opera last year to enable micropayments via blockchain to websites through its Exodus smartphone. It remains to be seen if enough publishers and consumers will buy into the new system for it to function. Similar schemes are not as popular and micropayments have not been proven to be viable. Blendle, a Dutch app that allows you to buy individual articles on various news websites for a small amount of money. However, it isn’t experienced steady success. Although the Civil Foundation had hoped to develop free, ad-free media platforms built on blockchain it failed to sell its token.

Brave offers privacy options that go far beyond the blocking of trackers and ads. There are two modes available: Private Windows and Privacy Window with Tor. This mode is similar to any other browser. Your data does not remain on your computer, however, it can still be viewed by your ISP, network administrator or website you visited. Brave offers a private mode with Tor. Also known as The Onion Router, this browser hides your data by encryption and passing it through three relays. This adds an extra layer of security to your browsing. Brave suggests that you switch to Tor’s browser, if anonymity and security are essential.

Brave offers privacy options that go well beyond blocking advertisements

It’s simple to switch to Brave if you are a Chrome addict — and that’s the majority of Chrome users. ( We have a guide for how to make that. Vlad Savov , former editor at Verge made the change to Brave because he thought Brave was a better alternative to Google Chrome. Brave and Chrome are similar, since they both use Chromium. Brave also allows you to use Chrome themes and extensions. Brave doesn’t belong to Google. Brave will limit the data Google holds about you, though other browsers may be able to claim this as well. Vlad found Brave to be faster than Chrome in March.

Brave is now out of beta. It will be fascinating to see how Brave does. Brendan Eich co-founded it with the Firefox browser’s rival. Eich had to quit as CEO of Mozilla after being promoted less than 2 weeks after he was hired because of a controversy around his $1,000 donation for a ballot proposal to ban homosexual marriages in California.

November 13, 2014, 4:10 PM ET:This article has been updated with information regarding Chrome’s new cookie filtering capabilities.