Matt Forney
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Take Back Your Online Privacy with Brave

Ever since the 2016 presidential election, I’ve become a major advocate for alt-tech platforms due to their superior free speech and privacy protections over mainstream platforms. Sites such as Gab and Minds not only allow right-wingers to speak freely, they don’t continuously harvest information from their users with the purpose of selling it to corporations (or worse, giving it to the government). Even if your online life is relatively uncontroversial, you owe it to yourself to transition to alt-tech in order to protect yourself.

The Brave browser is one of the most important planks of alt-tech, providing an easy way for users to access the Internet while blocking invasive scripts and avoiding data mining by firms like Google.

If you haven’t heard of Brave, it’s a browser created by Brendan Eich, the former Mozilla CEO who was forced to resign back in 2014 after it became public that he had donated in support of Proposition 8, the California ballot proposal to ban gay marriage, all the way back in 2008. Effectively, Eich was punished for having the same opinion on gay marriage that Barack Obama did.

In response, Eich created Brave to address two of the biggest problems with the modern Internet: the lack of privacy brought on by data mining algorithms and similar tools, as well as the ubiquity and unpopularity of online ads.

Brave deals with both of these problems through its Brave Shields technology, which blocks web ads, tracking scripts, and other intrusive means of spying on users. While other browsers like Google Chrome have add-ons that replicate this functionality, Brave is the first major browser to not only include them out of the box, but to orient its design around users’ privacy. Unlike Chrome and similar browsers, Brave does not log your information via cloud computing: all of it stays local, on your computer. While you still need to exercise common sense online, Brave’s privacy features go a long way towards keeping your identity and data safe.

Furthermore, Brave is designed to take advantage of the fact that online advertising is a dying industry. Adblockers are extremely popular among younger Internet users due to the fact that modern ads are intrusive, annoying, and waste precious bandwidth and time when you’re forced to load them. At the same time, platforms such as YouTube have made it increasingly difficult for users to monetize their videos with ads, forcing many content creators to appeal directly to their fans with PayPal and Patreon donations, who in turn have begun banning right-wingers from using their platforms.

Brave includes a feature called Brave Payments that allows fans to directly patronize their favorite websites and YouTube hosts by donating Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency. It’s easy to convert regular currency into BAT, and Brave Payments’ in-built system automatically assesses how much time per month a user spends visiting websites and watching YouTube channels, making monthly donations based on this information (though it can be manually overridden).

Not only that, Brave Payments is censorship-free and will not deplatform users for their political views. I myself have been using Brave Payments on my websites and YouTube channel for several months now. Basic Attention Tokens have been steadily increasing in value since they were introduced some time ago; you can track their price here. Additionally, if you have a website, YouTube channel, or Twitch channel, you can sign up for Brave Payments and begin receiving BAT donations here.

Using Brave has been a bit of a rough road due to the fact that it’s technically still in beta. I began using it in 2016, and since then, the software has improved immeasurably. While it was already faster than Chrome, Pale Moon, and other browsers at the time I started using it, Brave has become even faster now and more user-friendly. While it still has some problems—it has compatibility issues with some websites, and it also becomes progressively slower unless you clear your cookies on a regular basis (though you should really be doing that anyway)—it’s still one of the best browsers I’ve ever used. There are also apps available for iOS and Android.

In short, Brave is easily the best Internet browser on the market today. No one else can come close to its privacy protections and performance, and with its Brave Payments system, Brave is looking towards the future of the Internet and content creation. If you haven’t tried Brave already, now is a perfect time to start.

Click here to download Brave.

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