Also privacy-focussed Brave browser switches to Chromium

Posted 17 December 2018 23:44 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Free and open-source Brave browser, which markets itself as a privacy-focussed, secure and fast, has switched to the open-source Chromium project. The change should make the browser 22% faster. The announcement comes not long after Microsoft announced it would base its Edge browser on Chromium as well. Besides faster loading times, the switch to Chromium also allows Brave users to use Chrome extensions.

Chromium is a project initially started by Google and which is the foundation of the Google Chrome browser. Also other browsers are powered by Chromium, such as Opera. Previously Brave was powered by Muon, a self-developed framework that added a layer between Brave and Chromium. By removing that additional layer, the Brave browser is now faster. Although Brave is now really powered by Chromium, the browser does not send any data to any servers from Google. Also, all Google functionality such as Google account, Google Sync and telemetry have been disabled and the Google search engine is not used for search suggestions.

The fact that Brave has removed all Google functionality from Chromium is not strange, the developers of the browser especially emphasize its privacy features. These include the blocking of ads, fingerprinting, crypto-mining scripts, auto-play videos, and other threats, while providing optional controls for unblocking.

Brave also implements Basic Attention Tokens (BAT). These tokens are an idea of the creator of JavaScript and the co-founder of Mozilla and Firefox with the aim to revolutionize online advertising. The tokens are used in Brave Rewards in which users choose a monthly contribution amount which is divided among the publisher sites they visit most. Another feature for which BAT is used, is to tip website owners, similar to Patreon.

Brave also plans a feature where users see opt-in, private BAT ads and receive a 70% revenue share in tokens, which they can then use to spent on their favorite websites.

The Brave browser is available on many platforms such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.


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