Brave Beta is Now Available


Brave has announced the first formal beta release of its flagship alternative web browser, a major milestone before its 1.0 release.

“This beta is a work in progress for developers and users who would like to see our latest advances,” the Brave announcement notes. “We’d like to encourage users to test this beta and share their impressions as we gear up for the general availability of this new browser.”

Before getting to what’s new in the beta, perhaps a quick overview of this browser is in order: Founded by Mozilla co-founder and JavaScript inventor Brendan Eich, Brave is creating an open-source browser built on the same Chromium base that Google uses for Chrome. But Brave is different: It automatically blocks ads and trackers and includes a controversial contribution system so that users can optionally pay participating content creators.

For the beta, Brave is adding private browsing with support for the Tor virtual tunneling technology and a new user interface that visually differentiates the browser from Chromium. These features build on top of features Brave added earlier in development, including extensions, a dark theme, and browser data importing capabilities.

But really, the big things here are privacy, security, and performance.

“Brave [includes] tracking protection, HTTPS Everywhere, cookie blocking, fingerprinting protection support, referrer blocking, Flash disabled by default, distinct privacy-protecting search engine selection for a private new tab page, ‘block this element’ support by right-clicking on anything in any page, proxied safe browsing to be more private, and permission-based autoplay support,” the company notes.

Though Brave is available on both desktop and mobile platforms, cross-device sync is missing in action. But Brave says it will be available soon, and in time for the 1.0 release.

Anyway, if you’re looking for an alternative to Chrome given Google’s recent tone-deaf and privacy-averse actions, Brave is emerging as an excellent choice. You can download Brave for Windows (x64), macOS, and Linux from the Brave website. And it’s available for Amazon Fire, Android, and iOS from the respective mobile stores.

 

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