First Look at Brave Browser for Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 25, 2016
Updated • Sep 28, 2018
Brave, Internet

Brendan Eich's new web browser Brave has finally been released as a preview for the Windows desktop.

Initially released only for Apple's iOS platform, Brave is now also available for Windows, Linux, OS X and Android.

Download links for all (but the Linux) version are provided on the official Brave website, with both Windows and Mac downloads listed as developer version.

Brave promises faster, safer and better browsing thanks to integrated ad-blocking and other privacy-focused features.

Brave, under the hood, is a Chromium-based web browser which means that its performance and web compatibility is very similar to other browsers based on Chromium.

Brave Browser for Windows

brave for windows

A quick test revealed that it scores similar to other Chromium-based browsers in benchmarks and on HTML5 Test.

What sets Brave apart the most is its integration of privacy and ad-blocking features. Brave ships with a built-in adblocker that is turned on by default (unlike say Mozilla's Tracking Protection feature which is only available when Firefox users open a private browsing session and only after it has been enabled by the user).

Brave is highlighted as a fast browser thanks to these ad-blocking features, and the makers of the browser want to hammer the point home by displaying the page load time of the active website in the address bar.

When you load a site that displays ads, you will notice that those ads are not displayed. They are replaced on the page.

According to reports, Brave wants to replace some of the ads on the page with ads of its own in the future. These ads won't track users, and the revenue will be divided between Brave and the user with money paid out via Bitcoin.


brave adblocking

Brave users control the feature and related ones using the Bravery menu after clicking on the main menu icon in the top right corner.

There they find the following options:

  1. Replace ads (default) OR block ads OR allow ads and tracking.
  2. Block 3rd party cookies (enabled by default).
  3. Block Popups.
  4. HTTPS Everywhere

As far as other preferences are concerned, there are only a few available right now.

brave preferences

There does not seem to be an option available right now to clear the browsing history or cookies manually or automatically, let alone options to whitelist cookies, setting different search providers (other than Google or DuckDuckGo which ship with Brave), or make simple changes like changing the download directory.

Brave in action

Some things are different when you are using Brave. One that you will notice after opening more than six tabs in the browser is that it divides those tabs on pages.

You see that on the first screenshot of the article, the two bars underneath the address bar show that two tab pages are currently open in Brave.

You can modify this in the preferences but not disable it, and the maximum you can set it to is 20 tabs per page.

The idea was -- probably -- to avoid Google Chrome's tab squeezing issues. The browser does not scroll the tab bar but reduces the size of each tab open in it further and further until you cannot identify a single website anymore open in the browser.

chrome blank tabs

Brave's solution improves visibility of individual tabs as they always retain the same width in the browser UI, but reduces it by separating tabs on pages which no option currently to display all open tabs directly.

The tab preview feature is different as well. You can move the mouse over any tab open in the browser to display it with transparency without switching to it.

The feature is limited to individual tab pages but can be quite useful if you want to quickly check sport scores, for updates or things like that without actually leaving the page you are on.

Closing Words

Brave is a browser in progress, and it will take a while before the first stable version of the browser gets released.

I like some of the ideas of Brave from a user perspective, and dislike others as a webmaster and publisher.

Brave's idea is to replace advertisement on websites with their own, and pay out the revenue earned to publishers, users and the company itself. This takes away control from the owners of the site as well as revenue.

While one could argue that the model is better than ad-blocking without any compensation, I cannot see it succeed as it is designed.

Now You: What's your take on Brave?

First Look at Brave Browser for Windows
Article Name
First Look at Brave Browser for Windows
A first look at the Brave browser for Windows, a new web browser by Brendan Eich that incorporates privacy and ad-blocking features by default.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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