Both Brave and Firefox are two internet browsers that offer an alternative option to Google Chrome and Safari, the two most commonly used options. Though Firefox is more well known than Brave, and is well known with the vast majority of internet users.
Brave is a privacy focused browser that has become known for its blocking trackers and ad-free experience. But can it match up to a more experience browser like Firefox?
Brave vs Firefox – Overview
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.
Firefox was originally created in 2002 by the Mozilla community members who were trying to make a stand-alone browser rather than an application suite bundle. As it goes Mozilla Firefox is time tested in the world of web browsers.
However, the question of which one is better between the two kicks up a nerd debate like no other. They definitely have similar features – as with most browsers, they both offer a private browsing mode, a search bar and a clean user interface. Here’s the key differences between the two.
Brave and Firefox – Compared
Firstly, I have been using Chrome for what feels like a million years. I’ve 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.
This makes it really easy to transition to because there aren’t many differences between Chrome and Brave. Brave browser is essentially Chrome but with more privacy and less third party tracking cookies.
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 with a password manager, open tabs and use bookmarks. 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 it offers 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 Token (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.
It’s worth remembering Brave is a Chromium Web browser, and it’s very similar to using Google Chrome. Firefox is different, but it still makes up a decent part of the browser market.
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|
Common Questions about Brave and Firefox
Is Brave safe?
Yes, it comes with security and privacy features that you don’t always get with a browser. Brave blocks ads pretty comprehensively too, and the private search engine is reliable.
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. Firefox is a secure browser that has privacy options, though not at many as Brave.
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.
After researching these two browsers I now realize fully the importance of keeping up to date with them. I’ve tested Brave and Firefox pretty intensively to see the difference between the two.
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? It’s user friendly and offers all of the features that the average user needs.
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.