Brave introduces new Sync functionality in Android and desktop browser

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 15, 2020
Brave, Internet

The makers of the Brave browser have released version 1.12 of the web browser recently. One of the main new features of the new browser version introduces better sync functionality on all supported platforms.

Syncing has not been Brave's strong suit up until now as it limited the data that could be synced and was not bug free either. Brave promises that Sync v2 changes that.

First, it is necessary to update Brave to version 1.12 on all devices. The new version is already on Google Play and desktop users should receive the update automatically as well. It is possible to check for the new update immediately by selecting Menu > About Brave, and also to download the new version from the official Brave website. The company promises that the new Sync functionality will arrive on iOS soon as well.

brave sync v2 desktop

Sync v2 supports the following data:

  • Bookmarks
  • Passwords
  • Autofill Data
  • History
  • Open Tabs
  • Extensions
  • Themes
  • Settings
  • Apps

Some of these are only available on desktop systems, e.g. extensions and themes, as the mobile version of Brave does not support extensions or themes (just like Google Chrome). The default setting synchronizes bookmarks only but users may select each type of data in the sync settings to synchronize the selected ones as well.

Users who have set up sync functionality before in Brave need to do so again because Sync v2 is an entirely new system that is not compatible with the first version.

Setting up sync is relatively easy. Select Menu > Sync to get started; if this is the first step of setup, select to create a new sync chain. Brave uses a sync chain code or QR code to pair devices. If you want to sync desktop Brave to Android, you may select QR code and scan the code using the Sync interface of Brave's app on Android. For desktop to desktop it is necessary to copy the sync code from one device to the other.

The sync preferences display all sync options. On desktop, Brave displays all devices that joined the sync chain including the last activity. Below that is the list of items that can be synced. It includes toggles to enable or disable items individually, and a handy sync everything option in case you want all data to be synced across devices.

Options to add more devices and to leave the sync chain on that device are provided as well.

Brave's Sync v2 functionality was "rebuilt to be more directly compatible with the Chromium sync system". Brave's sync server follows the Chromium sync protocol but it encrypts data records by default on the client side.

As far as encryption details are concerned, the following is noted in the FAQ:

We use the built-in custom passphrase feature from Chromium sync and encrypt everything client-side. Instead of letting the user pick a passphrase, which may be weak, we force the passphrase to be the BIP39 encoding of the sync seed. The rest of the encryption is handled by Chromium as follows:

BIP39 phrase is key-stretched using scrypt(N = 2^13, r = 8, p = 11). New clients need the scrypt salt in order to derive the key.
Then the stretched key is used directly as a AES128-CTR-HMAC encryption key.

Closing Words

The introduction of Sync v2 addresses a major issue of the Brave browser. It moves away from the rather unreliable first version of Sync to a stable version that should work better for the majority of users. The inclusion of new sync options is a welcome addition as well.

Now You: Do you use your browser's Sync feature?

Brave introduces new Sync functionality in Android and desktop browser
Article Name
Brave introduces new Sync functionality in Android and desktop browser
The makers of the Brave browser have released version 1.12 of the web browser recently. One of the main new features of the new browser version introduces better sync functionality on all supported platforms.
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  1. thiago said on September 27, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Does anybody knows how to unsync the android brave browser? I made it wrong and I want to sync in the right account. Everytime I try to unsync its says “Sync setup is in progress, try to reset it later” and never really unsync at all.

  2. a normal person said on August 18, 2020 at 1:03 am

    I tried Brave but I didn’t care to join that Brave Rewards system and/or whatever, thus it kept nagging me to join in that bar. So being that I don’t like to be nagged with ads in my browser GUI, I removed Brave.

    Funny how some Brave fans can’t understand my choice, as if I must be part of some sinister cabal, and/or I’m an idiot talking nonsense.. LOL.

    Furthermore, trying to get me to use Brave with superfluous double talk and insults, only turns me off to it even more.

    1. Iron Heart said on August 18, 2020 at 8:16 am

      @a normal person

      brave://settings/appearance –> Hide Brave Rewards Button (hint: this removes the Brave Rewards button from the address bar)

      brave://settings/newTab –> Turn off Brave Rewards, Binance, Sponsored New Tab Images.

      Gone, it won’t bother you again. Thank me later.

      1. Rick A. said on August 20, 2020 at 6:25 am

        @Iron Heart – Don’t forget to disable it’s notifications so it won’t be able to nag you about making Brave the default browser and rating Brave in the play store…

        THEN, it won’t bother you again. Thank me later.

      2. Iron Heart said on August 20, 2020 at 7:58 am

        @Rick A.

        I was talking about Brave on the desktop, but yes, if you are on Android, you need to do this as well. Thank you for the hint.

  3. Stan said on August 15, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    “Do yourself a favor and use a safe setup”

    Which would not include a MozCo/Google product….

  4. Niko said on August 15, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    The Brave for android don’t work, it starts slowly and browses slowly so I don’t want it on my phone! For the same reason, syncing is totally redundant…

    1. Anonymous said on August 15, 2020 at 6:50 pm

      Brave on mobile phone is blocking few ads while visiting pages with heavy ads but in desktop mode it does good.

      1. Anonymous said on August 16, 2020 at 5:03 pm

        Mobile that’s because Brave on mobile still only blocks 3rd party ads, so maybe that’s the reason, but Roadmap says they will improve filter lists and adblock even more this quarter. So I hope Brave mobile can get some of that stuff like the aggressive mode so we don’t have to see 1st or 3rd ads.

    2. Stan said on August 15, 2020 at 6:32 pm

      Doesn’t work eh!
      It’s worked fine here for the last 18 months. Lightning fast.
      …unlike the Baker Browser, too little too usual.

  5. Anonymous said on August 15, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    what is the defaut List of brave? Edge browser with ristricted mode get 69 same as brave no list aded. For Vivaldi it was ez eng and ez Privacy and peter svlist.

    1. Iron Heart said on August 15, 2020 at 4:44 pm


      EasyList, EasyPrivacy, the regional list for your language (if you are not a native English speaker) is the default for Brave.

      1. ShintoPlasm said on August 16, 2020 at 12:24 am

        @Iron Heart

        From my interactions on Guthub recently, it appears that they also include Peter Lowe’s list as standard.

      2. Iron Heart said on August 16, 2020 at 12:33 am


        Ah yes, forgot about that one. Yes, it’s a default as well of course. :)

  6. Anonymous said on August 15, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    This is one of the most progressive adblockers on the market,
    Better than ublock sure the last time I tested scored 69 from 100 vivaldi managed 75 and ad guard 90 Limited adblocker after4years vivaldi Just aded adblock in ver 3 and a have full control and scores better.I’m not vivaldi user just wanted to tell u how much limited brave adblocker is.

    1. Iron Heart said on August 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm


      OK, but this is not really fair, right? For one, in order to compare them (whether or not they really “miss” something) you’d have to have the very same lists enabled on all of them. Did you enable all lists under brave://adblock/ … and were they identical to the lists enabled in Vivaldi / AdGuard. Also, one needs to set Brave’s adblocking to “Aggressive” under brave://settings/shields since otherwise it will deliberately not block 1st party trackers, while with the “Aggressive” setting, it does.

      Brave’s adblocker is the most progressive regarding its technical foundation – it is completely written in Rust and has a higher performance / speed than other adblockers on the market.

  7. Tobi said on August 15, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    A few days ago I read about the Brave and the ad reward system, but I don’t really understand it, maybe someone can explain me.

    I can get reward points or something like that for watching ads inside the Brave browser, the website says 5$ a month, but I think its for the US, I’m sure it will be less in Germany here… what can I do with the points? I read something about changing points to gift cards, but not available? Can I change the points to $ or € and get it?

    1. JB said on August 16, 2020 at 6:23 am

      @Tobi I have been using Brave rewards for some time and the figure of $5 a month is accurate, it can get higher, and you don´t have to be in the US, I am not there, besides Germany advert rates are one of the highest too but people in Africa o Asia get paid too.

      You get paid in real money, to achieve this they give you cryptocurrency that you must then exchange in Uphold, a US based digital cryptocurrency exchange regulated by US financial authorities, they can send the money to your bank account in Europe or you can convert it to bitcoin and spend it online.

      But if you want to learn more go to Brave community forums, don´t listen to people like Emil, I can only assume he has never used it or he is a troll, if what he said was true Brave forums would be full of complaints.

      1. Tobi said on August 17, 2020 at 10:56 am

        Thank you Iron Heart and JB for the Information!

    2. Iron Heart said on August 15, 2020 at 6:58 pm


      You need to enable Brave Rewards, set it to up to 5 ads per hour for highest earning. You can choose to donate this money to your favorite websites (gHacks is a verified Brave creator, for example) or choose to withdraw it to your bank account. In order to do the latter, you need to verify your Brave wallet with Uphold. That being said, you’ll not get rich with Brave Rewards, based on that alone do not expect to make more than $5 per month, it’s not worth it IMHO. Brave is an otherwise good browser, too, though. This is how I’ve set up mine:

      [Editor: removed, no personal attacks]

      1. Iron Heart said on August 16, 2020 at 7:57 am


        The removed part of my comment was not directed at you, but at a comment of someone else which no longer exists. Just wanted to let you know.

  8. Mystique said on August 15, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    What I don’t understand or appreciate about brave is the need to force updates down your throat. Unless I am missing something here but Brave tends to run a process that sits in the background constantly looking for updates. Yes there are ways around this but the fact that they seem to make it difficult to stop bothers me. I don’t need to be told when a new update is available and don’t need to be forced into an update either.

    I’m sure Brave is a reasonable browser but its these kinds of things that bother me.

    1. Anonymous said on August 15, 2020 at 8:18 pm

      “Difficult to stop” So it is difficult to go to task schedule and stop the 2 brave entries added (like any other chromium browser) and then go to Services and stop disable the startup type of the only two brave services?

      More like “difficult” is about lazy people not wanting to really do it but love complaining about automatic updates. Normal users, who don’t mind automatic updates and are like 99% of people shouldn’t by any circumstance disable the automatic update anyway, imagine people complaining about Brave and they are 2 or 3 point releases behind or just wanting to browse the web and somehow they disable the update and never get new features and are at risk with vulnerabilities and such.

      For someone who talks like a tech savvy and wants manual updates and all, it shouldn’t be difficult to understand it and then disable the automatic update if necessary. Even a 3 seconds powershell command can do it Set-Service -StartupType Disabled and Disable-ScheduledTask -TaskName.
      And while Brave team hasn’t provided the official group policies for brave, I am sure just like Chrome and Edge updater, Brave update has a way to even disable the check of the update and what version you can install and if you want only manual updates or disabled or automatic and all through policies. Of course, this doesn’t stop the service from running, but it will not automatically update it. since policies are just registry stuff, then it is not difficult to add it as well.

      One of the reason for the services and task scheduler is to make sure that 1. updater gets removed if you uninstall the browser but also make sure that the updater will run with admin rights (if it is installed in program files and not user’s appdata) without user getting an UAC notification just to update the browser.

      I always wonder why people who complain so much about Automatic updates have a difficult time to 1. understand why automatic updates in a browser should never be disabled by a normal user and 2. how is possible they can’t even research enough and manually disable themselves since they anyway want manual updates in the end so they shouldn’t mind doing “manual” 3 seconds work to do it.

      1. Iron Heart said on August 16, 2020 at 8:28 am


        So, I agree that it can be done like @Anonymous describes above, by disabling the related tasks. It was somewhat unnecessarily rough from him to scold you for not knowing how to disable Brave updates, because after all, no visible option for this exists in the actual Brave settings, so it is not uncommon for users NOT to know how to do it.

        Just wanted to add to this that it is also possible to stop Brave updates by adding the following domains to the blacklist in your router, in case it supports domain name filtering / blacklisting:

        But yeah, I agree with @Anonymous that disabling updates is a bad idea in general, I never felt compelled to do so for Brave yet, either, because none of the updates were in any way, shape, or form “malicious” in nature.

      2. Anonymous said on August 18, 2020 at 2:32 am

        @Iron Heart
        So I wrote a big post about how updates can be disabled easily. if it gets approved, I mentioned about Group Policy, but I found out that Brave update policies don’t work since Brave team hasn’t released official support for it and nothing displays about updater on brave://policy. But it is probably like Google updater where it says it only applies to “Windows instances that are joined to a Microsoft Active Directory domain”. We will have to wait for Brave team to officially talk about group policies but I don’t hold my breath it being different than others, and it will just work like Google.

        But even if Group policies can’t be used for Chromium updaters and only the browser, I still stand that it is easy to disable updates, I do it on Edge by disabling task scheduler and services (I have chromium edge installed so windows update won’t download it through windows update anyway, since it can’t be uninstalled). But people can also rename the updater executable or folder and that way stop updater from working but if someone decides to update Brave manually downloading installer through GitHub it will get replaced and then the renamed/deleted will be useless.
        But all these task scheduler, services and deleting/renaming updater, can easily be done through CMD or Powershell, so again, no excuses if someone complains about Automatic updates and about how Brave team says on a github issue they don’t plan to change automatic updates stance, but don’t find a way to manually stop automatic updates.

        Just wanted to add this since I finally made some tests with the updaters and group policy and found about the Google updater and Microsoft Active Directory which probably applies to other chromium browsers, so it wouldn’t work on a normal users PC.

      3. Anonymous said on August 17, 2020 at 10:41 pm

        @Iron Heart
        I am sorry but all the “automatic updates is bad so it’s one reason why not to use Brave” talk is just dumb. If someone is going to complain about it because they read it somewhere else and now they are parroting about how Brave is not recommended since no manual updates… well, at least I would hope those people who try to sound all computer tech savvy to try to understand a simple thing like Brave update and how to disable it.

        Task scheduler and Services wouldn’t be hard to trace, especially if someone is using Regcool (free) or Registry Workshop (waste of money since RegCool does almost everything for free) it is easy to find where BraveUpdate.exe would get triggered. So no excuses, unless they are just reading and repeating what some dumb website says but don’t even try to fix it themselves since dumb websites will say the same lie how “hard is to disable automatic updates”.
        Just think about the issue with Brave binance links couple months ago, most website were dishonest enough to say how brave was HIJACKING all urls and getting rich off people’s browsing. And that was a total lie, there was a problem, a bug, it had to be fixed but there wasn’t any hijacking or anything by Brave and people could have avoided to even visit referrer links if they wanted to, and it was only on websites that I don’t think many visit anyway, but if people were honest, their agenda against Brave would fall and not work at all. Just look how they mention “Don’t use Brendan Eich browser, he homophobic” to make this crusade against Brave more evident.

        And don’t get me wrong I don’t even care if people use Brave or not, there are many things I wish Brave team would do better, so it’s not about Brave, it is about people pretending to be all tech savvy and be total ignorant my problem, I learned by being curious and trying to find the answer to everything even small and meaningless and it wouldn’t change anyone’s life, I still do it, if I can do it, why not other people? why do people have to repeat what other websites say and write a whole comment about “automatic updates bad, orange browser bad” but they never say “ok, let’s see how I can disable the updates myself because automatic updates are good for 99% of people, but I want more control”

        Group Policies are a good way to start as well, like I say, Chrome and Edge have them, if you search Brave Group Policies you will see they use Chrome’s one and even Brave’s have 1 special policy to disable Tor.
        So the updater must have a policy since Chrome has it and Edge has it and they are all the same updater structure. But like I said, people are lazy, if they don’t find something on a website they won’t do it.
        And if you tell me group policies are just advanced stuff, just go to tenforums, most of what they recommend like enable or disable something through registry is a group policy, like disabling Defender’s realtime protection or the whole Windows Defender. so not hard at all, and nobody needs to have Windows Pro to apply group policies because they are just registry entries.

        And Just to give you the hint, I am not really going to test it. But even if Brave team hasn’t provided them, following Chrome’s updater group policy. you can create 2 keys to make it: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\BraveSoftware\Update
        Then I would think Brave’s update should behave like chrome and edge updater with DWORD InstallDefault = 0 so no brave build will be installed by updater. UpdateDefault = 0 for disabling updated and 2 for manual updates. AutoUpdateCheckPeriodMinutes to 0 if you dont want updater to check updates or you can set the minutes to a maximun of 43200 minutes to check updates.
        And then you can do it by build so you can add DWORD Install{AFE6A462-C574-4B8A-AF43-4CC60DF4563B} = 0 or 1 to override the other install, so it only stops or allow Stable build from installing and Update{AFE6A462-C574-4B8A-AF43-4CC60DF4563B} to 0 or 2 for manual or disabled.

        You wonder where updater gets {AFE6A462-C574-4B8A-AF43-4CC60DF4563B} from? well, being curious enough there is a Download folder inside the updater, chrome, edge or brave, and that is the name of the folder containing the download for Brave so that’s how it knows which build to install or not. Someone could also use regcool to go to a key like HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\BraveSoftware\Update\Clients

        So I am sorry but if I can do it, anyone can. And if someone is going to complain about something, they could at least try to fix it themselves instead of reading some blog that has some crusade against Brave because of lame rewards system (I don’t even use it) and are really dishonest because they give false information like anyone else and rarely they give logic and solutions to the problem like automatic updates. They complain about it but I never saw a solution other than “you have to hack it to fix it” “difficult to stop” and I just proved to you it is not, especially if you use group policies which we can easily guess by following what Chrome’s updater does, but disabling task scheduler and services would make sure not even updater runs and it will be 100% manual, updater only triggers and opens when user wants to.

        So I am sorry but I am still not sorry about the way I explained how easy is to disable automatic updates. And I won’t be, like i said, if I can do it, why others can’t? Brave’s automatic updates should be the last of problems and it is the easiest thing to “fix” if someone wants manual updates anyway.

  9. LOL said on August 15, 2020 at 11:58 am

    interesting how ghacks barely mentions brave but people who have something against brave never miss the opportunity to post something special. it makes it better when you think about We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic and then you read some comments.
    when firefox dies i already know who is going to be the next victim 🤡

    But it is good news brave finally got sync, now reddit and twitter can stop spamming about it.

  10. Clark Newton said on August 15, 2020 at 11:54 am

    it took a while to be released but i finally got it on my phone and it works okay for me
    some people reported problems but some people seem to have bad luck with technology

  11. Anonymous said on August 15, 2020 at 8:56 am

    This browser is limited in every aspect sync weak adblock and…

    1. Anonymous said on August 15, 2020 at 10:30 am

      How is Brave limited? limited compared to what? How are other browsers less limited or better? like in what way is Brave adblocker limited? and the sync was just released officially 2 days ago and it works fine. what else do you want? What are you even talking about.

      Have you even used Sync or Brave at all? Something tells me you are one of those internet Brave haters and you haven’t really used Brave but you decided it sucks.

      But I am glad you got the other amazing Chinese Opera or the Woke Firefox or Don’t be evil Google Chrome or customization over performance Vivaldi that are so much better than limited Brave so you can sleep happy at night.

    2. Iron Heart said on August 15, 2020 at 9:15 am


      > sync

      Just got fixed, read the article.

      > weak adblock


      This is one of the most progressive adblockers on the market, it is something like 70x more efficient than uBlock Origin, since it is fully written in Rust. It used to not block 1st party ads and trackers, but it now does since the 1.11 update of Brave, if you set it to “Aggressive”. The only weakness, so to speak, and the only reason why I keep Nano Adblocker installed, is that custom filter lists can’t be added yet, but I am sure that this will be coming to it as well, at which point I shall drop Nano Adblocker.

      It will also be the first adblocker in Chromium that can do CNAME uncloaking, if the roadmap is to be believed:

      1. Jay Tripper said on August 15, 2020 at 5:46 pm

        @Iron Heart

        “It will also be the first adblocker in Chromium that can do CNAME uncloaking, if the roadmap is to be believed:

        Incorrect UBo has this already..

      2. Iron Heart said on August 16, 2020 at 7:52 am

        @Jay Tripper

        I repeat:

        > in Chromium

        uBlock Origin only has this capability in Firefox (which is not Chromium-based), since Chromium is lacking a DNS API that would be required for this, while Firefox does have such an API. Now, Brave Shields is not an extension, so it is not under the restrictions of extension APIs, which is why Brave (despite being Chromium-based) can do something about it. It will likely be the only Chromium-based browser that can defend itself against it.

      3. White said on August 15, 2020 at 1:29 pm

        @ Iron Heart

        After reading the articles, I often read your comments. They are so good, so technical. I love the details. You must be having iron heart. 😋

      4. Anonymous said on August 15, 2020 at 5:29 pm


        I agree that opinion about Iron Heart. Some of the Ghacks commenters have knowledge and they can also explain things.

      5. Iron Heart said on August 15, 2020 at 4:02 pm


        Thank you so much, you flatter me. All I am trying to do here is to provide helpful info to others and voice my opinion, glad to hear that my posts are of interest to you!

      6. Sebas said on August 17, 2020 at 7:02 am

        @Iron heart Well you have become my primary info source all things Brave. I did not even know that you can change the behavior of Brave shields in the latest version..


        I hope that there will be some more coverage of Brave at ghacks net.

      7. Iron Heart said on August 17, 2020 at 7:45 am


        Well, they are publishing an informative series of articles where they let users know about their progress regarding Brave’s privacy protections, it’s called “What’s Brave Done For My Privacy Lately?”, this is the most recent episode:

        I recommend those articles if you want to know more about the nitty gritty.

        > I hope that there will be some more coverage of Brave at ghacks net.

        While I think it is not really fair to largely ignore Brave (although this has gotten better lately), while reporting about any tiny weeny new feature or update other browsers roll out, I also see the downsides here; Brave is eating heavily into the market share of a certain other browser, so I expect the comment section under Brave-related articles to be full of disputes. This was not the case under this specific article here, but I’d expect this to be the norm, still.

        Ultimately, it is upon Martin Brinkmann to decide which topics he wants to report about.

      8. Sebas said on August 17, 2020 at 1:17 pm

        @Iron Heart Thanks for the link. I should use my Brave account more often. Before Brave got the new engine it was a troublesome browser, crashing too often, and my and other comments were for the most part politely ignored on Brave forums.

        I would say the new options in blocking adverts/ trackers is interesting enough enough to write about it here.

        About the disputes: I don’t mind as long as it is civic behaviour. Everything Firefox related on ghacks net gets some dose of flake, so it would make sense Brave gets it’s part too. Why not.

        And you know from my history that I have a big problem with Firefox becoming politicised.

        Martin writes: “A pessimist might see the announcement in the following way: use the Firefox money as long as it is there to push other tech products and certain ideals”.

        Nothing wrong with that, Mozilla itself evokes these reactions. Brave cannot be critised about openly pushing politic ideals, so that is a big plus, and it wouldn’t harm ghacks net either, as long as it is in a decent way.

        And that is sometimes a problem here, quite a problem. I am guilty too in a few posts. Es tut mir leid Martin, alles Gute aus Die Niederlande:)

      9. Iron Heart said on August 17, 2020 at 3:24 pm


        The Brave forums still aren’t that great, their subreddit and GitHub are a better place to get help and to get in touch with the actual developers (some mods at the Brave forums are not developers).

        > Everything Firefox related on ghacks net gets some dose of flake, so it would make sense Brave gets it’s part too. Why not.

        Oh, do not mistake my comment for myself shying away from any kind of debate about Brave. I am perfectly willing to discuss opinions thrown at Brave, both the logical and concise ones as well as the illogical and nonsensical ones. However, I don’t think Martin is too fond of people getting all worked up in the comment section, disagreeing with each other and not moving away even one ounce from their preconceived opinion. Brave articles are bound to have massive disputes under them.

        You may have noticed by now that there is a very distinct Brave – Firefox animosity going on, this has several reasons, I’ll outline some of them (sorry for it being that long):
        Much hatred directed at Brave is actually directed at Brendan Eich, in my opinion. People don’t like his stance towards gay marriage and bash Brave as a convenient substitute. That this dislike primarily comes from Firefox fans might have something to do with Firefox attracting users that are generally anti-corporate, i.e. left-leaning in economic matters, which most of the time also means left-leaning in social matters. That they are not deterred by the massive political pandering at the Mozilla website (which is hard to miss) before downloading Firefox, and continue to use it on mobile even after it pushed one-sided political content on them, also speaks for itself, more or less.
        However, sometimes people also attack Brendan Eich directly, calling him “homophobe”, which he is clearly not. The private donation he once made indicates that he opposes gay marriage, nothing more, nothing less. People easily jump on non-sequiturs, despite there being not any indication of Eich having treated any gay or lesbian or whatever employee badly, he also employs openly LGBT persons at Brave Software. This is testament of him being a professional, something the Mozilla managers are not (more on that below). He seems to not push his private ideas at Brave Software, much less into the browser itself, whereas at Mozilla, it seems like you are being forced out or bullied if you do not share a certain world view. Current Mozilla is (sadly) a highly toxic place in that regard. This is why people bashing Eich, who most likely hasn’t wronged any LGBT person at the workplace, notably him being bashed by people who generously overlook the very hostile attitude reigning at the company they are so eager to defend, leaves a VERY sour taste in my mouth.
        It doesn’t help that Eich worked at Mozilla in a leading position before and was crucial to their success as a company, it went extremely downhill after he left. Rumor has it that he wanted to include some changes Brave is popular for today (getting paid while browsing, Tor windows, built-in adblocker) in Firefox, but got shunned. He had the right idea, though, you can only beat Google with a very unique concept that gives people an actual incentive to use your browser over Chrome, moralizing alone won’t do.
        You are also right that Brave is not involved with political activism, and they keep their browser away from politics. Whereas at Mozilla, the leadership can’t seem to differentiate what is appropriate to do within the browser itself, and their own personally held political stances. So logically they push the latter into the former, alienating users in the process. This indicates a lack of professionalism, and even more than that, ideology overruling common sense. With a market share as low as theirs, you’d think they would do everything to keep all the users they have, which would basically force them to behave like professionals, but nope, apparently not.
        Brave is also catering to the pro-privacy niche, the same niche Firefox attempts to claim, which only adds more vitriol. The issue here is, Brave funds itself mainly via its privacy-respecting ad ecosystem, they are not reliant on an anti-privacy company like Google funding them. Mozilla, on the other hand, fully relies on the Google search deal. This is speculation on my part, but one condition of receiving Google money seems to be that you have to disrespect user privacy by default, or more precisely, facilitate Google’s user tracking. This is why, in my eyes, Firefox’s default configuration is pretty bad (almost Chrome-level bad), while Brave’s default privacy is actually pretty good. They don’t have to please an anti-privacy sponsor, after all. This has implications for the adoption of Firefox as well; “You can have privacy, you just need to implement 300+ about:config options before!” (which less than 1% of FF users do anyway) isn’t a great argument for adoption and those who are aware of Firefox’s defaults (like I am), telling others about it, hamper its adoption and image as well. But then again, this is on Mozilla and how they chose to fund themselves, not on those who merely report and comment on their failure to protect user privacy. The point is: Brave shows the Mozillians what their browser could and should be doing to protect user privacy, but doesn’t, which causes sadness turned anger at Brave.
        Furthermore, Firefox’s selling point today is mainly not being Chromium-based, “We are preventing an engine monopoly!” or similar is an argument you will hear often in Firefox-related discussions. The problem is, it doesn’t hold much water. A rendering engine being open source and it being a monopoly is inherently contradictory. Yes, maybe all browsers will be using Chromium (Blink) as their base in the future, but this doesn’t mean that Chromium-based browsers aside from Chrome can’t add their own spin to it, or shape it to their liking. For example, Brave is pretty successful in developing a private browser, Vivaldi is pretty successful in developing a customizable browser. Google Chrome is neither private nor customizable, yet all those browsers are based on Chromium. See a problem? I don’t.
        Back in the Internet Explorer days it was “Take it or leave it!”, this is not the case at all with open source Chromium, which is why demand for Firefox, including non-Mozilla browser companies using it as their base, is so low. You won’t get any replies that make sense to the question: “Why does Firefox need to survive when anyone can pick up the Chromium codebase and do what they want with it anyway?” Sometimes you’ll hear “Google shaping web standards…”, but let’s be real here, if Google used some web technology others don’t like on, say, YouTube, how high is the chance of others not adopting this (thereby excluding themselves from YouTube in this example)? Whether or not their engine is separate doesn’t matter in this case, they will adopt it, period.
        So both arguments in favor of Firefox are deeply flawed, and deep inside the FF fans who have an ounce of logic left know it. Firefox would have to be great in some other aspect for users to still adopt it, but then again, they snuffed at Eich when he tried to introduce something like that.
        Last but not least, envy plays a big role. Brave is growing at a healthy rate, while Firefox’s efforts to grow or at least to keep the current user base are failing. This, again, has something to do with there being little argument to use Firefox other than moralizing (they killed some great pro-Firefox arguments themselves, e.g. powerful extensions and interface customization). That Brendan Eich is at the helm of this healthy growth adds insult to injury, as far as they are concerned. They’d need competent management desperately, and again, those who have an ounce of logic left know it.

        So yeah, you know the entire story now (from my point of view), do you really think it’s a good idea to have more Brave articles here (considering that the gHacks audience has a substantial number of FF users)? Again, I am happy to discuss it, but there WILL be conflict. Also, a gHacks reader commenting his opinion under articles will still be more fondly looked at that Martin shifting some of the focus to Brave, since Martin (contrary to his readers) actually runs this blog, and is not just one voice among the many.

        @Martin Brinkmann

        I realize that this is a long comment, but I wanted to express my thoughts on the greater ramifications of the Brave vs. Firefox debate here, so hopefully you let it through, since @Sebas seems to interested in the matter.

      10. Sebas said on August 18, 2020 at 12:33 pm

        @Iron Heart Nothing This is indeed the dynamics underneath a lot of things Firefox and Brave.

        About the ramifications, it will be a daunting task for Martin as I myself briefly pointed out.

        Imo it is good to make an in depth analyis for once or twice as you have done here. ( Don’t forget the whites between :-)

        I can only speak for myself, would like some more attention to Brave’s development, Martin chooses as he sees fit.

      11. Allwynd said on August 15, 2020 at 10:40 am

        I must say that the Ad-Block is insufficient. If someone still wants to block everything, they need Nano Adblock + Nano Defender or uBlock Origin with all filters enabled.

        On PC that’s OK, but on Android extensions can’t be installed at this point, so the Ad-Blocking is insufficient. I’ve had many occasions where I had to deal with advertisements, social buttons or rogue pop-ups.

        Also around 2018, Brave’s Ad-Block even caused Wikipedia articles to break and I had to report it so they can fix it.

        The irony is that their Ad-Blocker doesn’t block everything, but instead it manages to break a few websites here and there for good measure.

        It’s a good browser for someone who isn’t tech-savvy and will be satisfied to get some basic blocking out of the box, but other than that it’s far from enough.

        I also wonder, do Brave pay you anything to defend and advertise their browser on multiple websites? Because if not, you should probably ask them, because you’ve did more PR work for them than they’ve done for themselves since its inception.

      12. finoderi said on August 15, 2020 at 12:45 pm

        You clearly haven’t even tried it recently.

        >Also around 2018, Brave’s Ad-Block even caused Wikipedia articles to break…

        Last time I checked the current year was 2020.

      13. Iron Heart said on August 15, 2020 at 12:02 pm


        The “Anonymous” comments were not written by me. I never write here under any other nickname than the one you know and love me for. You probably thought: “Wait a second, this guy is not totally shitting on Brave, must be Iron Heart in disguise!” and somewhat fucked up. Anonymous’ comment above countered your character assassination (which I presume was directed at me) pretty well, I have nothing to add to this.

        As for the points you raised: Brave’s adblocker has improved, but I agree that an adblocking extension is still required, if not for any other reason, then for adding additional filter lists. I also agree that the lack of extensions on Android is not fantastic, but they are fixing this in Q3 2020, according to the roadmap.

        And no, I am not “advertising Brave”, I never described it as some uber-browser or in unrealistic terms. When actual shortcomings of Brave were mentioned, like the current lack of Android extensions or the sorry state of Sync until the most recent update, I did affirm those points and agreed with them. “My problem” here and the sole reason I have to post so much here is that my point of view runs counter to the accepted narrative, which portrays Firefox as generally the most trustworthy browser and the only alternative to Chrome. I disagree with both points, so naturally I am getting some flak, or much more seldomly I am confronted with people who have an actual interest to discuss those points matter-of-factly. Without the fanboy-like attempts to discredit my argument (mostly with non-arguments), I would probably post 80% less here. It is not my nature to let BS stand, before you ask, this is not a viable option. I don’t tend to be a quitter. I am thinking of Brave as a privacy-respecting browser that is superior to other choices on the market, that is often being attacked by people who never used it anyway and who are just interested in wreaking havoc, in my opinion.

        And as for the “tech-savvy”, which browser do you actually suggest? Vivaldi is the only one that doesn’t have a barebones interface. Firefox was also simplified beyond recognition, it still retains about:config, but judging by Mozilla’s most recent Android efforts, I presume it is not long for this world on the desktop, either.

      14. Peterc said on August 15, 2020 at 10:21 pm

        @Iron Heart:

        “I never write here under any other nickname than the one you know and love me for. ”

        And that’s why we call you “the Iron Heart in the Velvet Pericardium.” ;-)

        All in good fun. I’ve appreciated your input on Brave and plan on installing it on my computers and on my phone. Barring unforeseen developments, I don’t think it will replace Pale Moon as my primary browser on the computers, but there’s a good chance it will replace Firefox on the phone — especially if extension support is added.

        It would be cool to have browser settings/data synced between computer and phone, but I only browse the Web on my phone under duress, so for me, syncing is a less compelling reason to use the same browser on both platforms than it is for members of Generation Smartphone. (I’m from Generation Rotary Dial, and typing on a tiny touchscreen is a bridge too far.)

      15. Iron Heart said on August 16, 2020 at 8:17 am


        Yeah, so the reason that I use Brave over other Chromium-based browsers, is that Brave has an internal adblocker which is not an extension and will thus continue to work even after Manifest V3 hits (even if Brave can revert the disabling of the webRequest API, I doubt that uBlock Origin would continue to be developed for it). It also has better website-facing protections like improved fingerprinting, Brave also disables some other stuff like hyperlink auditing and some irrelevant APIs (like WebBluetooth, ever heard of this?) that only make fingerprinting easier. Ungoogled Chromium has only minimal website-facing protections, their aim is to keep Chromium largely as is, only removing unsolicited requests to Google (which Brave also does). Still, Ungoogled Chromium would be my second choice based on it being, well, ungoogled, but it has nothing appealing over Brave to me.

        Here is my own Brave setup and a small update to it, in case you are interested:

        Who is Brave not for? It’s not for anyone seeking for interface customization, Vivaldi is the go-to in this case, as far as Chromium-based browsers are concerned. Brave’s focus is privacy improvements and the optional Brave Rewards system.

      16. Iron Heart said on August 16, 2020 at 8:19 am

        *improved fingerprinting protection, of course, haha

  12. Allwynd said on August 15, 2020 at 7:55 am

    When I tried to use Brave, the Sync didn’t work so I decided to use it without it, I wonder if now it’s better. I think they should do it like Vivaldi and the others – with an e-mail account.

    1. Anonymous said on August 15, 2020 at 8:48 am

      The point of this is NOT to make an account. why do you want to make an account and then risk your information being stolen if the server gets hacked, why do you want to give a company the power of your information? Brave has proven you don’t need to make an account to actually make sync work. Just like Jitsi proved you don’t need an account to make a decent video conferences (probably the reason why Brave is doing the Together experiment with it).
      I don’t know if you knew this but you can even self host the Brave sync server can you do that if you use the lovely email and account you suggest?

      Imagine actually trusting Vivaldi an others with your information, you have to even trust that only you can access the information even if it is there sitting in their servers.

      And yes, Brave sync works fine. It wasn’t good before and it was only bookmarks, but now it is fine and it does the job, and I am glad it doesn’t require an account and my email and my phone number (because for Vivaldi account you need a phone number now, unlike couple years ago) and other personal information I shouldn’t have to give in order to sync between devices.

      1. Anonymous said on August 15, 2020 at 7:56 pm

        “why do you want to make an account and then risk your information being stolen”

        It doesn’t need to be email, you can use a file host or run your own private server.

      2. Allwynd said on August 15, 2020 at 10:36 am


        You sound really stuck up, buddy.

        Like your whole existence revolves around arguing (or as you might call it – getting your point across) about some meaningless nerdy shit on the internet…

        I suggest you get a life, find out what a friend is and learn to live your life before you find yourself in a retirement home with nothing behind your back other than arguing on the internet about meaningless bullshit.

      3. asdf said on February 22, 2021 at 3:00 pm


      4. Anonymous said on August 15, 2020 at 11:07 am

        Imagine talking crap and then suggesting someone to a life because someone decided not to support the lame “why not like someone else duh duh duh”

        I wonder, why did you get so butthurt? was it the “NOT” or simply you are so low intelligent hypocrite person who doesn’t understand what a respond is? and why it sound dumb to have a system where you don’t need an account and suggest to change it need and account where you have to give your information?

        Why do someone needs to get a life or be paid for responding the obvious pros of a feature? and why giving your information like email and phone number to get sync working and be like others is a dumb idea?
        Oh and maybe it is so much for you, but the point of the self host is clear, you can self host your sync server, you wouldn’t need to trust Brave to do it. get it or do I need to repeat it and do it slower?

        I suggest you get education and a brain because you are clearly lacking both. It’s funny how you suggest someone to get a life but you are “wasting” your life responding and arguing on the internet, so much hypocrisy and stupidity in one single post. But nice try trying to sound like the super mature person when in reality you are just insecure, with no logic, intelligence or any real respond to backup your claim and argue the response and you are actually just running straight to insults because apparently you can’t even understand the information provided in a comment.

        Have a good day and good luck in your fairytale land with your super amazing life!

      5. Allwynd said on August 16, 2020 at 5:31 am


        Don’t get an aneurysm, pops. xD

      6. CanadaCarl said on August 15, 2020 at 8:54 pm

        A better question is why is this site hosting SO much more really rude, obnoxious comments and replies?
        It’s seriously getting harder and harder to bother with it all together because there is no purpose in allowing this kind of stuff on a site like this.

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