The brave folks at Mac360 are on record as saying Firefox is the fastest browser you can use on a Mac. It is. But all the good browsers are fast these day. Well, except maybe for Google’s lethargic Chrome.
Beyond expecting all websites to look good in a browser tab, what we want in a browser are these basics. Speed. Privacy. Security. Features. You may have to jiggle the features and add extensions to get there, but it’s possible to cobble together the whole shebang. Or, you can just change your Mac’s default browser to something braver. Brave.
Here’s the deal in a nutshell. As you browse the interwebs you are being
tracked stalked by websites. Not Mac360. Not any of the Villagers’ websites. But by most websites. Google, Facebook, Amazon, or anywhere else– it doesn’t matter where you go, the tracking is on. Turning it off requires you to be brave and use Brave.
The Brave browser runs on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and has features to surprise and delight your browsing experience.
That looks familiar enough, right? Tabs. Home button. URL search bar. Brave also blocks ads and trackers and then estimates the amount of time you save by not downloading all that website cruft that can be 10-times the size of what you want to read. A typical Mac360 page is about 150k. A typical website page is well beyond 1.5-megabytes.
Brave saves you from all that cruft by blocking what you don’t need to follow you.
Controls are simple, elegant, and self explanatory. You get choices you may never have seen before, including an option to force a secure connection to websites (already got it here on Mac360).
Brave comes with built-in extensions. Most are extensions like 1Password, LastPass, BitWarden, Pocket, and a few others. For the Mac, Brave can import Safari bookmarks and sync them between other Macs running Brave (not for iOS– yet).
Side by side, I think Firefox loads webpages faster than Brave, but not by much. That’s because Firefox also has no-tracking tools to eliminate advertising, trackers, and cookies. What you get is a faster, cleaner browsing experience that saves time and bandwidth.
With Brave, security features are not an add-on, not an extension, and unlike Safari and Chrome, not an afterthought. They’re built-in and easy to control.
Apple’s Touch ID and Face ID marry convenience to security. It’s a shame we don’t see the same attitude with Safari, which still carries Google as the default search engine, and no entity on planet earth cares more about tracking your online travels than Google.
Brave starts with privacy and security and that’s the focus. You get bookmarks, tabs, and less clutter. For free. A good way to try Brave is to make it your Mac’s default browser for a week. Open System Preferences, select the first tab, General. A little more than halfway down is the selection for Default Web Browser. Select Brave. You can change it back later if you wish.
Brave also has an unheard of feature for publishers and browser users. It’s called Brave Payments— a way to help publishers who do not inundate your visit with trackers and ads. It’s still experimental but worth a look.
One More Thing
Brave is moving beyond the basics with a new version. Still free. Stephen Shankland explains:
Today’s Brave uses an interface called Muon, but a new developer-oriented version of Brave… is built more directly on the open-source Chromium foundation of Chrome. The change means that Chrome’s extensive library of extensions will work on Brave
Simply put, Brave starts with privacy and security first, but will add useful features and functions to put it on par with browsers that prefer to track your whereabouts first. Google, I’m looking at you.