Brave Browser 1.62: strict fingerprinting protection and HTTPS Everywhere changes
Brave Software released a new stable version of Brave Browser earlier today. Brave Browser 1.62 is a feature and security update for the Chromium-based web browser.
The update is available already and should be installed on most systems automatically. Brave Browser users on desktop may select Menu > Help > About Brave to check the current version and install the update immediately.
Brave should display the version 1.62.153 after the update on desktop devices.
Brave Browser 1.62
Brave Browser includes several changes that the company announced previously.
Earlier this week, we reported that Brave Software made the decision to remove the strict fingerprinting protection from the browser. The company said the opt-in feature caused web incompatibilities regularly and that it would bind development resources because of that.
Brave Browser continues to protect against fingerprinting, albeit not as aggressively as before.
The official changelog confirms the removal of "aggressive fingerprinting". Brave 1.62 on my test system still had the strict option, however. It is possible that Brave added the removal of the feature prematurely to the changelog and that it will be removed from stable versions of the browser in the near future.
Brave Browser 1.62 ditches HTTPS Everywhere as well. More precisely, it stops using the HTTPS Everywhere list. This list provided information about HTTP to HTTPS upgrades.
The EFF stopped supporting HTTPS Everywhere in early 2023. Brave switched to using a "not-compatible" list in the browser in early 2023. The removal should not have consequences for users of the browser.
About 10% of Brave users receive access to a new version of the News feed. The updated version displays a "News" header at the bottom of the new tab page and a preview of a single news article.
A click on News scrolls down to the news section. Brave lists several changes on GitHub. These include that articles are opened in new tabs by default, that users are taken back to the scroll position in the news feed after opening articles, and publisher and channel management improvements.
Brave users who want this right away may load chrome://flags/#brave-news-feed-update and set the experimental flag to Enabled to get the new News feed and layout right away.
Brave's implementation of Tor has a few improvements. First, a new setting to only resolve .onion addresses in Tor windows. This is enabled by default.
Automatic redirects for .onion URLs are also only done in Tor windows now in Brave Browser.
The bulk of the changes in Brave Browser 1.62 are Web3 and AI changes. Brave Leo, the integrated AI that Brave introduced in version 1.60, received several updates.
Notable, the ability to react to page content changes during conversations, the formatting of code responses, and new context indicators. Claude AI, which is also available in Brave, supports Claude Instant now.
Claude Instant is a free but rate-limited version of Claude. Anthropic, creators of Claude, described it as a "lighter, less expensive, and much faster option". Similarly, Mixtral 8x7B is also available as a new free but rate limited option.
Brave Browser 1.62 was updated to the latest Chromium build. This ensures that all recently reported security issues are also fixed in the new browser version.
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