OK, I’ll admit it, the Brave browser is not new, its nearly a year old. But it’s relatively new. Here’s the thing: surely only a crazy person would want to launch a brand new browser. The browser market is saturated with products (Chrome, Safari, MS Edge, Firefox and Opera), all of which have loyal customers and do pretty much anything you’d want a browser to do, don’t they?
But why on earth would he want to build a Brave new browser? Actually, a better question is, what’s wrong with the current crop of browsers?
It can certainly be argued that they are really not working well for us, the users of the web. They are working well for the advertisers. Here’s the skinny.
Up to about 60% of page load time for many popular websites (news sites, in particular) is caused by the ad technology that loads unwanted stuff into your browser each time you visit a new page. And about 20% of this time is spent loading software that is trying to learn more about you without so much as a “by your leave.” The Brave browser stops that and thus pages load faster.
You are probably sick of news site paywalls; I know I am. A whole clutch of them (I’m talking about you, Wall St Journal, New York Times, Washington Post) try to inveigle you into subscribing every now and then. Listen all of you, I do not read your news stories so often that I actually want to subscribe, but I’d happily pay a small fee per page view.
And that’s what Brave enables. You can upload, say $5 per month, which is (invisible to you) translated into Bitcoin and used to pay the sites you actually visit. Also you can opt in to Brave’s advertising channel. Brave does a generous revenue share with sites it has an arrangement with.
I’ve been using the Brave browser for about a month now. Am I happier for it? Yes. Will I continue to use it? For the moment, yes. I’d like it to succeed. I like it’s relative privacy. I like the fact that I don’t have adverts chasing me around the web for days just because I visited a website.