Brave wants to be your default iOS browser. That’s a simple goal but not an easy one. With so many options out there, it can be hard for a new browser to really leave an impact.
However, Brave is more than just a new browser. It’s a browser that has some bold thoughts about what your browser can be. Brave doesn’t just want to improve your browsing experience; it wants to preserve and progress the nature of the internet by helping your favorite websites thrive.
Here’s our review of Brave:
What is It?
Brave Browser is an internet browser available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. It was developed by a group of engineers and specialists that include the co-founder of the Mozilla Project, Brendan Eich.
Brave Browser’s code is based on the Chromium and the Chromium Blink engine. That means that users familiar with Google Chrome will find many basic design similarities in Brave.
What Separates Brave From Other Online Browsers?
Ah, right to it.
Brave prides itself on security, speed, and putting the experience of the user above all else. Its highlight feature is the inclusion of a built-in ad blocker. By blocking ads, Brave Browser is able to increase browsing speed and better protect you against certain online incursions.
Is Brave Just Another Ad Blocker?
Not at all.
First off, Brave isn’t trying to block every ad other there. Instead, it focuses on the most malicious and intrusive online advertisements. Anything that takes up too much of your screen, forces you to tap on it, or could potentially steal your personal information is blocked by default.
The maker’s of Brave recognize that ads help keep websites in business. They’re not interested in stopping that. Instead, they want to make sure that websites utilize better kinds of ads. That’s why they introduced a revenue sharing system.
How Does Brave’s Ad Revenue Sharing Work?
By default, Brave will only show you ads that it deems safe. Everything else is removed from a webpage as you encounter it. Here’s an example of how that might affect your browsing experience:
Brave offers an alternative solution to ads, though. You see those spots taken up by malicious and intrusive ads? Well, Brave offers you the option to replace those ads with clean and safe ones. Perhaps not quite as many ads, but more than you would see if you choose to browse without any ads. Like this:
Why would you ever want to do that? Well, because it can place ad revenue in your hands.
See, if you opt to replace ads with one from Brave, you become something of a partner. Revenue generated from the ads Brave uses is divided into thirds. 70% goes to publishers and supported ad creators. 15% goes to Brave, and the remaining 15% goes to you.
You can then choose to re-invest that money into the websites you visit. In exchange, Brave will block all ads across those websites. Alternatively, you can just choose to donate directly to those websites for the same benefit. You can also just keep the ad share.
Do I Have to Opt-in to Ad Revenue Sharing?
Brave is all about user choice. If you just want a browser that’s going to block malicious and intrusive ads, Brave can be that. If you’re looking to take a more active role in how your favorite sites earn money, then Brave can help you there as well.
It’s that versatility which helps separate Brave from other options.
Let’s Say I Don’t Want Any Ads. Is Brave an Effective Ad Blocker?
Yes…to an extent.
Again, Brave Browser is not designed to block every single ad. Just the malicious ones. In practice, this actually ends up blocking most online ads. The few that do survive are not exactly intrusive.
However, and this is a factor to consider, Brave isn’t perfect. Nothing is, but by selectively blocking ads, Brave opens itself up to more theoretical imperfections. An intrusive ad could theoretically get through its systems. That’s not very likely given the browser’s excellent security, but it’s worth considering.
That’s something that more intense ad blockers can avoid simply because they block absolutely everything. If you are particularly set on blocking all kinds of ads wherever they may be, then Brave isn’t going to do that alone. The same goes for choosing to block things like all videos.
What Kind of Ad Blocking Controls Does Brave Offer?
Quite a few. Actually, one of Brave’s best features is the lion’s head logo included in the top right of its browser.
By tapping that icon, you are treated to a variety of stats and controls. The chief stat is the number of ads and trackers you’ve blocked, but that’s not the only thing the browser keeps up with. For instance, you can also track the number of malicious site scripts blocked as well as the effectiveness of the fingerprint protection function.
That last one is particularly helpful. See, some sites are able to read your fingerprints and movements to read and monitor your online habits. It’s a nasty little trick that is only going to become more popular. Brave is capable of blocking it before it ever becomes an issue.
What’s especially helpful is the ability to control these settings by site. Have a site you trust and don’t mind allowing ads? Just use the icon’s setting to disable blockers while you’re on it.
Again, Brave isn’t quite as deep as fully-fledged ad blockers in regards to its settings, but its combination of options and accessibility is hard to beat.
Why Use Brave Instead of an Ad Blocker On Top of My Favorite Browser?
The biggest reason is that Brave allows you to do more than just enable ads to support a website. Whitelisting a site is easy, but it can still open you to malware.
Brave’s revenue sharing model is a better option…in theory. It does require a little more effort, but it allows sites to benefit from ads without you running as much of a risk of being exposed to anything harmful.
What Does Brave Offer Besides Ad Blocking Options?
Yes, we know. You’ve heard about a lot of other browsers that will supposedly make your internet browsing experience faster. Most of the time, it’s hard to tell the difference.
That’s not the case with Brave. The browser’s built-in blockers target a lot of the things that slow down your browsing experience in the first place. The same is true of other ad blockers, but those blockers aren’t browsers. They can sometimes increase the workload (especially on mobile).
Brave doesn’t have that problem. It’s Chrome-like architecture is solid and its ad/script blocking functionality greatly reduces online clutter.
The result is an elegant all-in-one service. Stats aside, you can truly feel the difference when you use Brave. Large pages load instantly without fail. Your battery life really is saved by the lighter workload. On top of it all, scrolling through pages is easier without all those ads taking up real estate.
What are Brave’s Speed Benchmarks?
Brave stacks up well against major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. According to Speed-Battle, it outperforms Firefox by almost 100 points in overall score and Chrome by almost 50 on average.
Again, though, it’s less about the benchmarks with Brave. Instead, it’s more about how the browser practically performs on sites loaded with ads. To get an idea of how Brave performs in that scenario, take a look at this comparison video:
On Top of Speed and Ad Blocking, What Other Features Does Brave Offer?
Here are a few:
- Built-In password managers for added security and convenience
- Easy to import bookmarks from other browsers
- Advanced autofill options
- Fantastic general security
- Low resource demands
What’s It Like To Use Brave As Your Primary iPhone Browser?
This is the real question. After all, all the features and stats in the world don’t mean anything if Brave doesn’t pass this practical test.
Fortunately, it passes is quite easily. You know how more efficient browsers like Opera leave you feeling like you’re using something cheap? That’s not the case with Brave. If you didn’t know better, you could swear you’re using Google Chrome when you use it.
The reason that’s significant is that Chrome is a pretty great browser. It’s easy to navigate, loaded with features, and is a real powerhouse. Brave retains all of those qualities but removes Chrome’s biggest weakness; its inefficiency.
Brave is incredibly efficient. Major websites are loaded faster than you can clock them and intensive websites – such as YouTube – work as well as ever. All the while, Brave is using considerably fewer resources and protecting you while improving your basic browsing experience.
Best of all, transitioning from another browser to Brave feels effortless. Alongside features that help you import information, Brave’s designers went out of their way to ensure its interface feels like the interface of the biggest browsers out there.
What you have in Brave, then, is the best of all worlds. It’s as efficient as smaller browsers and as well-designed as the largest browsers. On top of it all, it offers unique ad blocking features.
Brave feels like the template for the future of mobile browsers. The difference is that you can use it right now.
What Are the Downsides to Using Brave?
There are relatively few.
The biggest is familiarity. It can be hard to swap browsers once you are used to using one. The transition is much easier if your browser was Chrome, but that can be a hurdle.
Aside from that, there are a few oddities in Brave’s design. Videos, for instance, can sometimes succumb to bugs. It seems this may be related to the ad-block function as disabling it often resolves potential issues. The script blocker can also occasionally cause websites to not load properly.
Brave can also suffer under the weight of too many tabs. Again, this is not uncommon, but it feels like Brave’s extra features might not operate quite as efficiently as they do when looking at single pages. If you happen to use desktop versions of sites, this issue can be amplified.
Finally, there is the matter of extensions. At present, there is no easy way to import and add extensions from Chrome. It is technically possible to do so, but it’s clear that the browser could be much more user-friendly in this respect.
Elsewhere, the occasional odd bug may appear. However, Brave doesn’t suffer from that common issue in any notable way.
How Do I Know if Brave is the Right Browser For Me?
Honestly, Brave is easy to recommend to just about anyone. Its speed is noticeable on most major pages. Its ad blocker functionality is useful even if you don’t use its advanced functions. It can be mastered in a day.
Given that it’s free, Brave should be tried by anyone looking for a new browser. However, it’s perhaps best suited for casual Chrome/Firefox/Safari users looking for a speed boost and enhanced security options.
Brave’s current extension issues and occasional multi-tab struggles may not make it a favorite among hardcore users. However, as a day-to-day browsing option for iPhone, it’s one of the best.
Brave’s ad blocker, speed, and security are as functional as they are exciting. You really can tell the difference Brave’s features make when you use it. That immediate gratification cannot be understated.
On top of that, you have Brave’s exciting advertisement policies. The idea of rewarding your favorite websites without compromising your security or user experience
Brave’s vision for the future is fascinating, but it’s the browser’s functionality in the present that makes it so easy to love and recommend.
- Incredibly Fast
- Protects Your Browsing
- Offers a practical solution to online ads
- Built on Chrome architecture
- Not the best for extensions
- Can sometimes suffer when running too many operations
Have you tried Brave? What do you think of it? Are there other browsers out there that you just can’t live without? Let us know in the comments below.
Rob Kishi says
Brave also has several privacy features that protect the user and their data.