There are dozens of web browsers out there, some more popular than others, but only a select few can actually be considered both safe and private.
Brave and the Tor Browser are certainly among them, and though they are similar in some respects, they are two very different pieces of software.
So, how exactly do they compare when it comes to security and privacy? Let’s find out below.
Brave: Security and Privacy Features
Brave hit the market in late 2019 and quickly became the go-to browser for millions of people around the world, from casual users to tech enthusiasts.
In Brave, everything revolves around Brave Shields, a uBlock Origin-like engine that blocks advertisements, malicious scripts, trackers, and fingerprinting. Think of Shields as an ad blocker on steroids—or better yet, a combination of privacy and security extensions used in mainstream browsers.
The Shields feature does plenty by default, but users can enable aggressive blocking of malicious ads and other junk very easily, just like they can configure the general privacy and security settings in the browser however they want.
Brave also has a social media blocking feature, which removes social media log-in buttons and embedded posts from most sites without any issues.
In addition, the browser has built-in connectivity to the Tor network, automatically updates all connections to HTTPS, and de-AMPs all links.
Brave’s security and privacy features are exactly why it’s miles ahead of most mainstream browsers. It is also much faster and performs better than popular options like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.
There are, of course, some downsides. For a start, with Shields enabled, you will inevitably come across websites that simply refuse to load properly.
Brave is free, so it makes most of its revenue through advertising and its Basic Attention Token (BAT) cryptocurrency scheme. Though it is possible to tweak the browser so that you never encounter an ad or participate in the crypto program, it’s easy to see why a person who cares about security and privacy would find this problematic.
If you pay any attention to cybersecurity (and everyone should), you have probably heard of the Tor Browser, which is the official browser of the Tor Project. So, what is Tor exactly?
Tor, short for The Onion Router, is an open-source software program that anonymizes internet communication by directing all traffic through a series of layered nodes.
Tracking someone who accessed the internet via Tor is very difficult, which has made the Tor Browser popular among journalists, whistleblowers, activists, law enforcement, and people whose personal safety depends on staying anonymous online.
Although the Tor Browser uses complex security tools, the interface is pretty simple and intuitive, while the program itself is straightforward to install and set up.
Tor looks just like any other browser, but it employs sophisticated encryption, blocks invasive plug-ins and scripts, comes with several integrated privacy tools, and allows users to access the dark web safely and anonymously.
Simply put, Tor is undoubtedly the most secure and private browser available today.
What’s the catch? Because it routes traffic through a network of relays, Tor is very slow, much slower than your average browser. The startup is also slow, and you won’t be able to download or upload large files using the Tor Browser.
Tor vs. Brave: Which One Should You Use?
So, which browser should you use to protect your privacy and stay safe, Brave or Tor?
The answer is simple: both. Use Brave for everyday browsing and Tor in situations where maximum privacy and security are necessary.
Brave is fast and reliable. It is also much safer and more anonymous than the vast majority of browsers, but it is not nearly as secure and private as Tor.
For an additional layer of security, familiarize yourself with the basics of browser isolation.
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