Here's what we gathered from the Brave Search AMA on Reddit

Jul 7, 2021

Brave Search has been available in beta for a couple of weeks, and its developers held an AMA (ask Me Anything) session recently on reddit to answer queries from users. Here's what we could gather from it.

Here's what we gathered from the Brave Search AMA on Reddit

Independent Search Indexing

If you can recall, Brave acquired the Tailcat search engine, to integrate it with Brave Search. As to how the independent indexing works, a representative explained that Brave Search indexes the web based on real-life usage, i.e. good quality sites visited by people (without tracking their usage). Brave doesn't rely completely on machine learning, and user-contribute sites help filter and deliver the best results. The search index is around 9 Billion pages as of now, which only comprises a part of the web, though it is expected to grow as more users perform queries and visit the websites. The company's transparency page which shows the stats of the platform will soon be updated to reflect search-related data.

Brave Search index

Latency and Language issues

The developer team has confirmed that Brave Search has been slow, and that they have received complaints from European users. They clarified that this was due to how they handle the traffic, the search engine's data center is located in the US West Coast, and places further away have higher latencies. Brave is planning on adding more data centers in the future, to address the issue. Some users mentioned that the search engine is not delivering results in the language they chose, and instead displays them in English. This seems to be tied to the Country setting that you have selected.

Brave Ads in Brave Search

When users asked if BAT would be added to the service, the engineers replied saying that Brave Search and Brave Ads are not being integrated at the moment. The company is focusing on improving the quality of the core search before diving into other options. The representatives also said that privacy-protected search ads are on the to-do list.

User requested features

Time zone queries and sports scores were among the most requested features by users, and Brave's team are working on these to be displayed on the results page.

Brave Search time zones

The dictionary search feature which currently only shows definitions from Merriam-Webster, is also something that will be improved. While that seems good, the developers have mentioned that other functions such as reverse image search, shopping results are not a priority right now.

Brave Search dictionary meaning

Brave Search will be coming out of beta this year, though the team hasn't mentioned an ETA for it.  Brave's team says that over 100,000 people signed up for the early access waitlist, and that the numbers have gone up since. That's not surprising considering you can now use the service without signing up for access, just like other search engines.

The promise of no tracking is good, but it remains to be seen how the search engine is in terms of privacy in real-life. A security and privacy expert, or an audit might provide an impartial point of view on that.

I've been using Brave Search for about a month, primarily in Firefox, since I wanted to see how the search performs outside the company's product, aka the Brave browser. I wouldn't say it is as good as Google or even Microsoft Bing. But the results from Brave Search were better than the ones I usually get on DuckDuckGo. The autocorrect for misspelled searches, snippets related to content, the currency converter, and the over quality of the results are good. There's room for improvement, but so far it has been impressive.

However, the one issue which I faced with Brave Search was that most results seemed to be US based, i.e. it didn't focus on local results even when I searched for products that were only available in my Country.

References: Brave, Reddit AMA

Here's what we gathered from the Brave Search AMA on Reddit
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Here's what we gathered from the Brave Search AMA on Reddit
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  1. owl said on July 9, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Two articles about “Brave Search” have been published by gHacks Tech News in the past.
    1st. Brave acquires Tailcat search engine; will offer search results without profiling users
    by Ashwin on March 04, 2021 in brave, Internet, Search – 148 comments
    2nd. Brave Search Beta is now available publicly
    by Martin Brinkmann on June 22, 2021 in brave – 93 comments

    This “Here’s what we gathered from the Brave Search AMA on Reddit
    by Ashwin on July 07, 2021” is the third case.

    Brave has also made an official announcement.
    About “Brave Search”
    To quote part of it:
    Brave Search will become the default search in the Brave browser later this year. It is also available from any other browser at
    Brave Search is not displaying ads during this early part of the beta phase, but we will offer options for both ad-free paid search and ad-supported free search later. When we are ready, we will explore bringing private ads with BAT revenue share to search, as we’ve done for Brave user ads.

    If you’re a regular commentator on “gHacks Tech News”, please take these into account when commenting!

    First, look at the “Help page” !

    I have “Brave Search” set to default in all the browsers (Firefox ESR, Firefox Developer Edition, Firefox Nightly, Tor Browser, SeaMonkey, Waterfox G3, Pale Moon, Basilisk, Brave-Browser, Iridium) I use and have been using it since June 22, 2021.

    In my use case (Anonymous local results: Japan), the search results are good. Clearly, it outperforms Bing Search (also such as DuckDuckGo, Qwant and Ecosia using Bing API). Moreover, it is useful to add their search indexes by pressing the optional “search Find elsewhere: Google, Bing, Mojeek” button. Because I have a countermeasure browser and system level (AdGuard for Windows, simplewall, NordVPN), I still find Brave Search to be more user-friendly than other means, although it requires a reCAPTCHA when selected Google Search.

    As I keep saying, if you’re a regular commenter on gHacks, please make sure you have a good overview of the app, check out the FAQ, and try it out before posting a review (rating).

    1. owl said on July 9, 2021 at 3:37 pm

      Add “Brave Search” to other browsers
      > For Firefox “89”+,
      You can add “Brave Search” as a search engine to Firefox by right-clicking in the address bar (URL bar), and set it as the default search engine.
      An example of this (Firefox Nightly 91.x)
      > Basilisk
      This can be done by adding “Search Buttons Bar (By: tumpio)”.
      > Pale Moon
      This can be done by adding “Search Buttons Bar (By: tumpio)”,
      and furthermore add “As Search Engine (By: tarakbumba)”.

      1. Peterc said on July 10, 2021 at 4:01 pm


        Thanks for this list. In Pale Moon, I was still running a hacked legacy-Firefox version of Add to Search Bar. It worked fine, but after being tipped off by your comment I replaced it with the new Pale Moon fork, Add As Search Engine.

        (I might have noticed the fork eventually, here:

        Firefox Extension Request and Fork List

        but I sometimes forget to visit that page for long stretches of time.)

      2. owl said on July 12, 2021 at 11:20 pm

        I’m glad I could help you.

        I hadn’t planned to post this, but since many people seem to be saying that they don’t know how to add Brave Search to other browsers by default, I decided to add a comment with examples of all the browsers I use.
        By the way, you can also add a search engine to Thunderbird from ATN (, but it is limited to “xpi” files, so I could not add Brave Search at present.

  2. kreela said on July 8, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    We need to support competition instead of dismissing it. I have been tested Brave search and I like the omission of advertising. Most of the time the search gives similar results to others, when I check. I also use, eTools, Millionshort (aka. Bing, with options). from Mojeek shows whether the search site you uses have unique results or just pull from Bing, Google, or Yandex.

    What I am missing, since I use web searches for shopping, is a decent shopping comparison engine. I also miss thumbnails. And I have to have results applicable to this year. Old results are often no longer valid, unless I am researching an article.

    What I prefer: one or no ads. Seriously, it is not just about privacy, but about too many ads pushed into my face.

  3. pd said on July 8, 2021 at 5:35 am

    Will this search engine be exclusive to the Brave browser or will it be just like other search engines: default in Brave (presumably) but usable everywhere?

    1. ULBoom said on July 8, 2021 at 3:21 pm

      IDK, try this and see:


    2. Herman Cost said on July 8, 2021 at 1:53 pm

      Brave has already stated that their search engine will be usable anywhere.

    3. Iron Heart said on July 8, 2021 at 7:42 am


      You can add it to any browser, not just Brave.

  4. Tim Brunst said on July 8, 2021 at 2:10 am

    I’ve really never been impressed by Brave, and their search seems to offer nothing new or better. I give it a hard pass.

  5. ChromeFan said on July 7, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Another ‘private’ search engine. This is going to be like the other ‘private’ search engines, have a niche following.

    1. Anonymous said on July 7, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      Yes so far people don’t seem to care about their privacy enough to switch from Five Eyes surveillance services.

    2. Trey said on July 7, 2021 at 8:22 pm

      “Stop resisting us and get back to Chrome and Google you drones.” -ChromeFan

  6. Herman Cost said on July 7, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    I have been using it as my default search for several weeks and I don’t see any reason to switch back to Google. In any case, if you don’t like the results you get on any given search, Brave allows you to supplement those results with a single click search at the bottom of the results page using Google, Bing or Mojeek that does not allow those search engines to track you.

    Also, I am in the U.S. and have not had any issues with speed.

  7. Anonymous said on July 7, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    The engineers replied saying that Brave Search and Brave Ads are not being integrated at the moment. So Brave Software Incorporated will ads and spy eventually… when they grow up.

    1. Iron Heart said on July 8, 2021 at 7:48 am


      That is not what it means at all. Look at how e.g. DuckDuckGo does ads, they show you ads that are relevant for your current search term, but don’t follow you around and save former searches of yours to show your relevant ads based on your prior history. Inform yourself before you start speculating.

      1. Tom Hawack said on July 8, 2021 at 5:33 pm

        DDG has the option to disable ads (‘Advertisements’ unchecked in ‘All Settings’). Would be fortunate that Brave Search include such an option should their search engine ever include their ‘Brave Ads’ (even if I pain to conceive ads that would be brave!).

      2. Yash said on July 9, 2021 at 7:24 am

        If I’m not wrong Brave search would have two tiers – Free with ads and Premium.

  8. Dumbledalf said on July 7, 2021 at 9:57 am

    For me it feels like copy of DuckDuckGo at the moment – both in layout and search results. For the time being I will remain with DDG, but if Brave offers more relevant results or more features like Bing or Google, I might like it even more.

    1. FanboyNZ said on July 8, 2021 at 9:00 am

      DDG is just a frontend for Bing btw.

    2. Tom Hawack said on July 7, 2021 at 12:54 pm

      @Dumbledalf, feels only, then. Brave Search delivers only one page of results, no idea on what criteria they choose those happy few among millions of pages, sometimes. Delivering only one page should at least avoid nested pages for a given site : search for jivago for instance : laughable. In my experience, the worst search engine i’ve ever tested. I never integrated it and moreover i’ve even removed its bookmark. Not to mention its abundant use of the user’s localStorage, the fact that unchecking ‘Anonymous usage metrics’ is set in that localStorage and not in a cookie, meaning you have to keep the cookie to keep on disabling ‘Anonymous usage metrics’ … or block cookies for Brave Search (no localStorage fed with ‘Anonymous usage metrics’ but no user preferences kept in the cookie : aberration).

      Frankly, there are several Web search engines I’d recommend to avoid and Brave Search is among them.

      1. Will Yam said on July 7, 2021 at 10:19 pm

        In a word, “ditto”.

        So far Brave search is absolute rubbish. The use of ‘so far’ in the previous sentence is optimistic hope that it will improve. Maybe in a few years…

      2. Iron Heart said on July 8, 2021 at 7:45 am

        @Tom Hawack, Will Yam

        Do you know what “beta stage” means? You are using a product of which it is explicitly said that is is unfinished, and then complain about it being unfinished… Feedback is valuable, but you should manage your expectations better.

        And @Tom Hawack, there is no material difference between using a cookie and using localStorage. Both are local data on your PC, both can be cleared. Not sure what you are on about.

      3. Tom Hawack said on July 8, 2021 at 4:49 pm

        @Iron Heart, beta indeed but that shouldn’t count in the very way the search engine is conceived.

        Cookies and localStorage aren’t quite the same thing, but I understand what you mean. Articles on their differences are abundant

        The point is that the user can be specific when it comes to the cookie policy, far less with the localStorage, which has none.

        If the user allows cookies for a given site (globally or site-specific) the cookie is kept after restarting the browser, but localStorage is always kept (by browser’s default), no granular setting. During the session an extension such as ‘Cookie AutoDelete’ can of course keep or not cookies, localStorage and more, but at the end, when exiting the browser, if the user has included ‘Offline Website Data’ (Firefox) in the browser’s options, then the localStorage is wiped on exit, even data related to an allowed cookie.

        So why wipe out ‘Offline Website Data’ when exiting the browser? Because many sites lay data there unless cookies are globally or site-specific denied.
        Of course with an extension such as above mentioned ‘Cookie AutoDelete’ the user can uncheck ‘Offline Website Data’ in the browser’s options and the extension will have handled all just fine within session, on exit and restart. But this requires an extension, it is not a built-in browser feature.

        This is why I criticize Brave Search, not that ‘Anonymous usage metrics’ exists, not that it uses localStorage, but that the given option in the search engine to disable it is set in the very localStorage : unless ‘Cookie AutoDelete’ or similar, the user will have to uncheck the browser’s ‘Offline Website Data’ in the browser’s options to keep that setting. OK for ‘Anonymous usage metrics’ given there’s the option to disable it, but NOT OK that this very setting be not be set in a cookie but in the localStorage, which is the aberration I was referring to.

      4. Yash said on July 7, 2021 at 9:39 pm

        Yeah agree on all points, but then one can say its in beta. Would never be the default for me too but hopefully there will be room for massive improvement. Have to say it got released a bit early like Mozilla products lol.

  9. Yash said on July 7, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Early signs of Brave search are quite promising. It will take some time to fully mature but then which service doesn’t need it!
    Search speed is quite good, same goes for quality of search results.

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