Over the last two years Brave has been steadily gaining a foothold to the tune of millions in the browser marketplace, which is no easy feat with such established competition.
I’ve been using Brave for coming up to the last year now.
I was initially intrigued by the Content Creator Program & built in cryptocurrency, both of which are particularly interesting USPs, but Brave have also improved the more common browser features such privacy, security & speed.
Here’s a snippet from Brave:
“Get unmatched speed, security and privacy… Earn rewards by opting into privacy-respecting ads and help give publishers back their fair share of Internet revenue.”
Let’s break that sentence apart:
The Brave website (12th Sept 2020) shows a video comparing page load times of three websites:
These sites have one thing in common: they’re ad-heavy.
I decided to run my own speed test on these three sites, plus five other fairly popular ones (from a UK perspective):
My method was to visit all 8 websites using the equivalent ‘Incognito Mode’ of Firefox, Chrome & Brave, observing the built-in speed metrics given by each one and accumulating them for an overall total speed. Using incognito meant each page load shouldn’t use any historic cache or cookies that would distort the metrics based on my previous personal browsing history.
I did try and test Safari, but the built-in metrics didn’t consistently present themselves until the 2nd page load of each site which invalidated the non-cached element of the test I was trying to keep consistent, so I removed the numbers. This is a separate bone of contention raised during my testing, but I won’t go further into that here.
“The load event is fired when the whole page has loaded, including all dependent resources such as stylesheets and images. This is in contrast to DOMContentLoaded, which is fired as soon as the page DOM has been loaded, without waiting for resources to finish loading.”
1.11.97 Chromium: 84.0.4147.89 (Official Build) (64-bit)
Version 84.0.4147.89 (Official Build) (64-bit)
Breakdown (in seconds)
- Firefox had a bit of a stinker in these tests. It felt especially clunky on all websites and based on these numbers isn’t in the same league.
The DOMContentLoaded measurements for Chrome & Brave are pretty even:
- Chrome is just over 1% slower on the accumulated load time.
- That equates to about half a minute every hour.
The Load measurements are where we start to see a real difference
Brave is over 8% quicker here. That’s a saving of almost 5 minutes for every hour browsed.
According to Brave’s built-in comparison metrics, I’ve saved over 7.8 hours using Brave.
And it’s not only those metrics that make a difference to the feel of Brave in terms of performance, because Brave also prevents a heap of data from being downloaded in the background.
Security & Privacy
“Brave fights malware and prevents tracking, keeping your information safe and secure. It’s our top priority.”
Not only does cookie and ad tracking blocking help speed, it means data isn’t being fed about you directly to companies you don’t know about or haven’t given explicit consent to.
“Our servers neither see nor store your browsing data – it stays private, on your devices, until you delete it. Which means we won’t ever sell your data to third parties.”
Brave also conveniently upgrades any insecure connections (http) to https using the HTTP Everywhere list, when an ordinary browser would use an insecure connection.
You can earn money using Brave via two ways:
- An opt-in ad-network
- A rewards program for content creators
The opt-in ad-network is simple:
- You opt-in, you get ads, you get paid for viewing / engaging.
- You don’t opt-in, you don’t get ads, you don’t get paid.
Payments are given in the form of the BAT (Basic Attention Token). This is a cryptocurrency that’s baked into the browser and is convertable to FIAT currency (GBP, USD, EUR etc) if you desire, via the Uphold wallet.
The great thing about the BAT is that it feeds directly into Brave’s Content Creator Network, which is the second means by which you can earn money: content creation.
Content Creators can sign-up to the Brave rewards scheme and will automatically get paid for the amount of attention (visits / views) their content generates, though that does rely on the fact the user who visits is opted in to contribute some of their BATs back to the creator community.
If you do happen to acquire BAT, you can choose to sell it for ‘real money’ on a Crypto exchange.
Welcome to Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies still haven’t fully hit the mainstream, even if most people have heard about them. They are still developing and finding new use cases all the time. But in reality Bitcoin has been around for over 11 years and many others have been around for over half a decade; if you’re still a little confused by cryptocurrency, Brave is a great way to begin to simplify and de-mystify some of it for you.
The BAT mentioned above is a cryptocurrency. It’s a means of value exchange that is not controlled by a central bank, which is in the form of a computer coded token that can be passed around between Brave users and advertisers. You needn’t create a bank account to get it. You just start using Brave and earn BAT as you go.
Like any currency, it has value if people perceive it has value - and BAT is being purchased by advertisers to reward users for their attention: advertisers value attention, and thus the BAT has value. The more people use Brave, the higher the demand for BAT, and (in all likelihood) the more valuable BAT will become.
BAT is an openly traded cryptocurrency, meaning it’s value to FIAT also fluctuates based on the perception of how Brave is doing as a business, and with such a clear use case and established user base, it’s got a really strong foundation to gain future value.
This last part is a real introduction to Crypto trading markets, with Brave even advertising a very popular trading platform on their landing page, which you get paid BATs for.
Brave offers improvements to the general browsing experience and beyond: not only is it quick, lightweight and more secure, you can earn money, participate in the creator community, and come to have an appreciation for cryptocurrency. It’s far beyond a traditional browser, and definitely worth giving an ounce of your time to check out.
And if I’ve done enough to convince you, why not let Brave know you came from me.
If the cryptocurrency talk piqued your interest in the financial side of things, check out Binance & Coinbase.