You’re not alone if you’re tired not only of web ads in general, but especially the kind of ads that sites like Facebook serve up, which they cleverly call things like “Suggested Posts”. Which, of course, are just another form of native advertising. Perhaps you already use a tool like Ad Block Plus. We recently touched on this topic; Facebook in particular has been one of the more egregious perpetrators of ads that actually get in right in your way, falling just short of popups in their irritation quotient. Well, there may be good news: a new browser called Brave is available that was developed specifically to tackle this growing user frustration.
Braving the Heat
This is a war that’s been brewing since the first time an animated GIF tried to sell you airline tickets over a decade ago, but things are about to heat up quite a bit. Ads are pretty much the only source of revenue for all the content sites you visit, and if you block their ads, you’re also choking their income. Lately, ad blockers are becoming more popular amongst the less-tech-savvy, so content providers are starting to take note. Already, more than a dozen major publishers have sent Brave cease and desist letters. But the Brave crew seems undaunted so far – CEO Brendan Eich has felt the heat before; he was briefly CEO of Mozilla (which develops Firefox) but stepped down as a result of intense backlash surrounding a donation he made a decade ago supporting Proposition 8 in California. But we’re not here to talk about politics, so…
So What Does Brave Have To Offer?
Speed, security, built-in bitcoin, and ad-blocking, for starters. More below, but here’s an infographic of Brave’s proposed solution to the ad-blocking quagmire, which demonstrates why some publishers aren’t too pleased. It changes where the money goes!
The desktop version of the browser promises a 40 to 60 percent speed increase, and the mobile version a 2x to 4x increase. Thanks to its ad-blocking and script-blocking features, mobile users may also see less battery consumption and data usage. Brave also offers a variety of security and safety features, including support for encrypted data traffic via HTTPS Everywhere, fingerprinting shields, phishing protection, malware filtering and the above-mentioned script blocking. Brave is building support for bitcoin micropayments right into the browser too.
We’ll be giving Brave a spin for a week or so, and follow up with an actual review. Have you tried it yourself? We’d love to know what you think.