Switching to Brave

Brave is an alternative browser that is faster, more privacy, and security-focused. In this one, we will be setting up the Brave browser for daily usage.

Switching to Brave

In the previous post in this series (Google Chrome is killing our computers) I talked about why I prefer Brave as an alternative browser that is more privacy and security-focused. Today, we will be setting up the Brave browser for daily usage.

Why should I use Brave?

Brave was started by Brendan Eich himself. Widely recognized for creating JavaScript in 1995 in just 10 days, then joining Netscape and co-founding and serving as the CEO of Mozilla until 2014, Eich departed due to some free speech concerns to focus on more privacy-oriented tools for the modern web – launching the Brave browser in 2016.

So this guy knows a thing or two about the web – having created JavaScript and working at Mozilla for most of his career – which shows in this new browser they decided to make. Brave loads large websites about 3 times faster than other browsers, because it blocks all that intrusive content like popups, ads, and trackers by default. This means less memory usage, consuming less battery, and more privacy by default.

If you haven't yet, download Brave browser from their official website. Or if you like living on the edge, try Brave beta for early access to new features.

When we launch Brave, we get the initial setup screen. From here we can import settings from other browsers.

Next up, click on the menu icon at the top right, and go to Settings.

In the Getting Started section, we can set Brave as the default browser.

Click the Shields option and let's customize what Brave blocks and allows.

  • Trackers & ads blocking should be set to Aggressive.
  • Upgrade connections to HTTPS should be set to on.
  • Cookie blocking should be set to Only cross-site, so we allow some cookies for login but only from the website where you log in to. All other cookies are blocked. Blocking all cookies is not recommended, as you might not be able to log in to some websites but if you want to do that, you can too.
  • Fingerprinting blocking to Strict, may break sites. Let them break!
  • Optionally block social media embedded posts. I hate Facebook, so I don't want to see anything related to Facebook on my screen.

Next, you can set your search engine to something other than Google if you'd like more privacy. I have been using DuckDuckGo.

From the Extensions section, you may want to turn on some nice tools that Brave offers:

  • Private window with Tor.
  • WebTorrent for downloading torrents directly from Brave.

Look for the Additional settings section and click Privacy and security. Then click on Security and scroll down to Advanced. Turn on Use Secure DNS and set the DNS provider to With Cloudflare ( As of 2021, Cloudflare is the fastest DNS resolver out there so I like using that instead of my ISP.

Brave Rewards

Brave has implemented an ads program that pays you when you see advertising content. You receive payments in BAT tokens. This is completely optional and you can opt-in by clicking on Brave Rewards at the top (next to Settings) and turning on Ads. You can also set the number of ads displayed per hour.

I think this is a better alternative to seeing ads without receiving any compensation, but I'd still prefer to see no ads at all, so I've opted out, but that's up to you.


We can also augment Brave's capabilities by installing extensions like a more robust ad blocker, a password manager, and some tab management. I usually have these installed everywhere:

And there you have it! Those are just some of my favorites, do you have some other extensions that you'd like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!

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