Those of us that remember the age of the dinosaur remember Microsoft Internet Explorer. The first time I saw it, in the public web’s infancy, it couldn’t display images. Just text. It slowly added features until a slick, new, and faster browser hit the market… Netscape. Not only was the user interface better in general terms and aesthetics, but it also rendered images and limited graphics.
Again, this was the early days, the dial-up days when video wasn’t even on the minds of the average net surfer. Remember that term? Early on we were all surfer dudes and dudettes. We didn’t cruise the web… we surfed it generally on the back of a Netscape browser until Internet Explorer caught up, muscled in like a bad B gangster movie, and squashed Netscape.
That wasn’t so bad, just that a lot of people thought the best browser lost. It did simplify things. As a webmaster back then, you had to build two sites. One for Internet Explorer and one for Netscape, with an entry gateway, because the two just couldn’t coexist in the frontier times of the world wide web.
So, Internet Explorer lollygagged along, throwing a bone to users occasionally, but basically, it seemed to the average user it was just sitting there like Jabba the Hutt devouring computing resources, smaller companies, and on the verge of being a monopoly while doing little to really improve the product.
Like Jabba, it was bloated, slow, and unable to keep abreast of the ever-changing internet with its demand for graphics once the dial-up phase was over. While a decent browser, boasting a champion’s share of the market, it just kept getting slower and more unreliable.
We all know that Chrome came along and ate its lunch with faster speed, tabs, and a simple interface almost anyone could use.
Until it too morphed into Jabba… consuming resources to the point of awkwardness and slowing down just as Internet Explorer once did. Microsoft didn’t pay adequate attention to the market needs when Google swooped in with Chrome. Now Google may be guilty of the same oversight.
I tried many alternatives, Firefox, Opera, and so forth. None were appealing to my style of usage, so I looked at Brave, which is Chromium-based, to see if what it was all about.
It didn’t take long to find out: PRIVACY. It shouts privacy from its homepage if you open a Private session with info on browsing and searching in private.
Cruising the web without leaving a digital footprint for advertisers to throw ads at you is a good thing when that is what you want. Don’t get me wrong. There are times I embrace being tracked for ads so I can shop a little easier but that doesn’t mean I necessarily want to be tracked continually.
Plus, as mentioned Chrome is slowing down and eating resources from the host machine. In fairness, you have to consider how many extensions you may be using with Chrome. Some extensions may be notorious resource hogs.
With Brave, I generally surf with no extensions or just a homepage extension like a website speed dial home page. I do have several extensions on chrome, but most are privacy-related and doing the job that Brave was set up to do in the first place.
Ironic to say the least. Chrome is slowed by extensions that make it more private while Brave does all that already without hogging resources.
Brave stresses security and privacy. It is easy to use and has a very pleasant homepage design. It does not leave your footprint as you shop, read, or cruise websites. It also allows for the elimination of data produced during your web session.
Some features from Brave website:
- Load Pages 3X to 6X faster.
- Import bookmarks and settings from old browser.
- Shields such as Ad blocking, Cookie Control, Block Scripts
- Private Browser Window
- Private Browser Window with TOR
Some Security features:
- Clear Browsing Data
- Password Manager
- Form Autofill
- Control Site Access to Playback Media
- Send “Do Not Track” requests
- Option to use DuckDuckGo as a search engine.
As far general usage goes, I found it to be the closest thing to Chrome. I’ll explain that. I have tried several other browsers, the big-name alternatives, and found something lacking, even off-putting about just using them. Chrome has me brainwashed… and I want a browser to act like Chrome in some respects but go back to being a lean, mean, internet cruising machine.
Based on Chromium it does share a lot of those mundane, behind-the-scenes features and feels like what I’m used to. I’ve been tacitly trained to use those features since Chrome became the champion browser all those years ago. Before it morphed into Jabba with an eye on any resource not already nailed down.
Brave is worth trying or just having around for anonymous browsing if that is your thing. Unlike the other more well-known browsers, Brave has found a place on my desktop and is worming its way into more usage on a daily basis.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.