The Firefox browser and the Brave browser are open-source free web browsers that emphasize protecting users’ privacy whilst surfing the web. Open source is code that is made freely available for further development so it can be modified and redistributed. Brave is a comparatively new browser that has been introduced developed by Brave software debuting in 2016.
Brave vs Firefox – Comparison
Firstly, I have been using Chrome for what feels like a million years. I never really liked Firefox, I know right? Sacrilege. But I just didn’t, it was a faff and I never really needed anything super intricate just to watch TV on so that’s probably why I never got the full benefit of something like Firefox. That said, I downloaded both Firefox and Brave for Mac to do this overview.
The first thing I definitely noticed was the familiarity of Brave, it is built on Chromium so based on the same interface that Chrome uses, making it really easy to transition to because there aren’t many differences between Chrome and Brave. Firefox, is the same as I remember it, and I actually do use Firefox on my laptop so I’m used to it at this point, it isn’t my first choice for browser on a daily basis for normal things though.
So, looking at security, Firefox comes with standard protection that is enabled by default, this blocks things like social media trackers and crypto mining. They also have a ‘strict’ mode available for users, that doesn’t seem to offer any other features, but has some advanced protection for the things protected by default in the privacy settings.
Brave by default also has the standard protections we see in Firefox, as well as a form of aggressive security that can be enabled on Brave for more robust protection if you require it this stops phishing attacks and malware. Regarding something like passwords, Firefox passwords are saved in your Firefox account, you need a master password to see all of your saved passwords.
Brave also syncs and saves passwords but the browser does not come with the same master password set up. You still have to use your computer just like you would with Chrome.
Both Firefox and Brave allow you to synchronize your passwords, open tabs, bookmarks, etc. With Firefox you sign in with your Firefox account to enable this sync to begin. On Brave you don’t create an account so the only choice you have is a one-click Sync process that basically gives you the option to import from all your other browsers, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome included.
But to be fair, it did it in seconds which blew my mind. Gone are the days you have to reset all your stuff, so there is no excuse to now avoid swapping browsers because it is made so insanely easy for you.
The other great thing I noticed about Brave was that it gives you details on EVERYTHING and really easy access to this information because it is displayed for you on the Home Page.
- Trackers and ads that you have blocked while using the browser
- The amount of bandwidth you have saved whilst using the browser
- The time save whilst using the browser
- As well as the tool bad on the right-hand side of the webpage with a breakdown of your Brave Rewards which is a handy thing to keep an eye on.
Pros and Cons
One massive pro for Brave I noticed was when opening Netflix on Brave, how quickly it loaded in comparison to both Chrome and Firefox. I thought my computer was the problem for a long time, it was loading at what felt like a dial-up pace. Turns out it was the browser itself.
I loaded up multiple web pages in Brave to test this theory, I did the exact same pages with both Firefox and Chrome just to see because all great scientists have to test their theory three times, that’s the rules. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, the speed time for loading webpages in Brave was so much faster than for both Chrome and Firefox. This is because Brave has an in-built ad-blocker that keeps your browser running faster in comparison to something like Firefox.
There is one pro that I think blows other browsers out of the water. Brave’s ultimate pro is Brave Rewards, it rewards you with a cryptocurrency called Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) to get you to support content creators online by allowing permission for their ads. It does this whilst professing to keep your private data safe. Brave private ads appear as push notifications you can control how often you see these ads in your Brave settings.
You earn tokens from private ads throughout the month and they arrive in your account on the 5th of the next month. Creators gain token contributions automatically based on your ‘Attention’ and you can tip content creators that use brave. You can use the tokens you earn to buy digital content and other goods where Brave allows you to.
One pro of Firefox is that it is probably the most customizable browser that supports extensions, plugins, and themes that essentially modify the function and appearance of the browser to best suit your needs as a user.
Firefox uses more memory than any other browser, this means it runs pretty slow especially in comparison to Brave. A lot of websites do not render how you would expect them to, it’s kind of like Firefox is an afterthought for web developers.
The biggest issue with Brave is because it is still pretty new in the world of web browsers some things are still in beta testing like ‘Tor’ privacy browsing but that’s just what happens when you make something brand new. Because of this though it doesn’t always work the best with every single site like Firefox tends to. But this can happen with any browser.
Below is a comparison chart of the features of Firefox and Brave;
|Speed||3-6x faster than any other browser||Definitely the slower of the two|
|Private Browsing||Tor level privacy||Just hides your history|
|Extensions and Add-ons||Has all the Chrome add-ons and extensions||Has many to choose from (not Chrome though)|
|Wallet||Has a wallet for crypto from Brave rewards||No wallet|
|Safe Browsing||It has 99.9% safe browsing||Not as secure as Brave|
|Open Source Code||Yes||Yes|
|Unique Features||Support to publisher||No unique features|
Is Brave safe?
Yes, it comes with security and privacy measures that you don’t always get with a browser.
How does Brave make money?
Brave is funded by its “Brave Rewards” program. This rewards user who have opted into viewing ads with a cryptocurrency called BAT. When those users view the ads, Brave is paid for by advertisers. It then transfers 70 percent of the revenue to users and the remaining 30 percent makes up its revenue.
Is Firefox safe?
Firefox blocks known third-party trackers, social media trackers, crypto miners, and finger printers from collecting your data.
Is Firefox Chromium-based?
Firefox is not based on Chromium (the open-source browser project at the core of Google Chrome). It runs on Quantum, a browser engine.
In conclusion, when I saw that I had to write this review I couldn’t even contemplate getting started because I generally do not care about browsers, they are just here for me to type in ‘how to spell X’ when I am having a brain fart and to find cartoons from the ’90s. But after researching these two browsers I now realize fully the importance of keeping up to date with them.
Maybe it’s my brother’s fault because he is a game developer and I have heard endless hours of debate over how Firefox is just the be-all and end-all and I never really got the hype but now I know why he would get so serious about them. Honestly, I hate to say it because I never really wanted to get in on this debate but Brave is now my new default web browser because it is really impressive. It is faster, safer and you get crypto for enabling ads, who doesn’t want that?
Firefox is a really great time-tested browser but I think you should try Brave for yourself and see what you think before you just go on with your old browser because I think you might be converted too.