Wizened old code-monkey Robert helps make sure the various pieces of the various puzzles fit together.

Brave

Jul 15th, 2016

There’s a new web browser on the scene and first impressions are extremely positive.

Brave is a new web browser for both mobile and desktop. I became aware of it a couple of weeks ago after becoming increasingly frustrated with the ad-crippled browsing experience on my mobile phone. We’ve all been there; visit a site to read a potentially interesting article, only to be confronted with screen-covering pop-up adverts. Any ham-fisted attempts to tap the tiny ‘X’ in the top corner usually result in unintentional redirects to sites of zero interest, further raising the frustration levels. Not much fun, precious time wasted and you still haven’t read that article!

What can be done about this? A quick bit of research prompted me to download Brave and give it a spin. So far, I’m very impressed. Not only does this new upstart dramatically reduce the amount of intrusive advertising, but it also seems to load pages far quicker, making for an altogether more pleasant time on the web. I say this as someone who routinely switches between Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera, choosing the one I feel is most appropriate for each site I visit. Whilst Brave has added yet another browser to this list, I find I’m already swapping browsers less frequently and expect it to be my main browser of choice going forward.

The development team behind Brave are led by Brendan Eich (better know as the co-founder of Mozilla and creator of Javascript) and as soon as you launch the browser it’s apparent that this development team know their stuff. The nippy page loading is partly a result of the way the browser blocks outside advertising and tracking. While it doesn’t remove advertising completely, the ads that are presented are not directed at persistent user IDs or re-identifiable cookies, but instead aimed at anonymous users. The technical details of how this is achieved are beyond the scope of this article, but there is a wealth of information on the Brave website and, if you’re really interested in the nuts and bolts, the project source code is available for download from GitHub.

The Brave website says ‘browsing the Web should be fast AND safe’ and who could disagree with that? Suffice to say that this beta release appears to have made browsing both faster and safer.

If you are at all concerned about online privacy, or simply want to speed up web page loading times, I recommend you try it for yourself.

You can download it here.

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