Brave has both a browser and a search engine, and you can use them together or independently of each other. When using the browser, you have the option to search with Brave or use your favorite search engine. If you want to keep the browser you are used to, you can use Courageous research of dedicated search page.
What is most important to know about Brave Search is that it is still in beta. You may choose to use it because you like its safe browsing promises, but be aware that the results it returns may not be as comprehensive or polished as you find elsewhere. If you want to help Brave build an independent and secure browser for the future, you can use it to research and then provide feedback to help it improve.
The main Brave Search page is as basic as it gets – there’s only the Brave logo, a search bar, and a link to a settings menu.
If you click on this Settings menu at the top right of the search page (the three horizontal lines), you will bring up the settings sidebar. You can make a few changes here, like switching to a dark theme and choosing to open the links in a new tab.
Clicking on “View all settings” at the top left of this sidebar will open the full settings page. Here you can set your preferred units of measure and choose to get anonymous local results and share anonymous usage metrics. If you would like to know more about how this information is kept anonymous, Brave has explanations here.
The results page has everything you would expect:
- All results or segmented images, news and video results
- Location specific results
- Safe search options (Strict, Moderate or Off)
- Date range options
- “People also ask” box
Otherwise, there is not much to do. While the Brave browser has a few niceties like the Brave Awards, which grants you tokens for viewing ads, and a built-in playlist for iOS users, Brave Search is still rudimentary. According to their FAQ section, it also remains to be seen how (and if) they will handle the ads.
Brave Search does not track what you search for or click, whether you are on a desktop or mobile device. And because Brave doesn’t collect your data, that means it doesn’t share or sell it either.
Here are the Brave Search privacy features:
- 100% anonymous research
- Private browser integration for desktop and mobile
- Transparency regarding the ranking of search results
- Independent search index
As for this independent research index, here’s a recap of how Brave explains it. Most search engines rely on third-party indexes instead of creating and using their own. Brave builds its own search index… but sometimes it anonymously checks search results against third-party results, then shuffles those results into its results page. “This blending is a way to achieve 100% independence,” said Brave. By clicking on the “Info” link near the top of the results page, you can see how many results are from third parties.
Note that if you want the most privacy Brave can offer, you need to pair its search functionality with the Brave browser.
Brave Search works like any other search engine. When you use the search page, you enter your query in the search box, and the suggested searches will automatically populate. If you are using the Brave browser, you can search directly from the address bar.
Above, you can see what a results page looks like, and it will look the same whether you use the search page or the Brave browser.
The biggest downside to Brave Search is that it’s still in beta, which means it doesn’t have very polished results for certain languages, queries, or regions. There’s a back link on every results page, so you can tell Brave Search if they’re right or wrong, which can help get it out of beta.
Brave Search can be used via the dedicated website search.brave.com, or it can be used with the Brave browser. If you choose to use the Brave browser, you don’t have to use Brave Search – there are six other search engines that you can choose to set as default.
Brave Search’s biggest competitor is, of course, Google. Unlike Google, Brave Search doesn’t track what you do or sell your information to trackers.
Although DuckDuckGo, another top competitor to Brave Search, also offers anonymous search, it does not use an independent search index like Brave does.
How Brave manages to return relevant results without algorithms or data tracking is a bit hazy, but the way they explain it is: “We rely on anonymous contributions from the community to refine results and ranking models. alternatives created by the community to ensure diversity “.
Brave strives to do what other browsers can’t (or can’t): create an independent search engine with reliable results, while keeping your data safe. It’s going to take a while, but if Brave is able to do it, it could end up being a competitor in both the browser and search engine rings.
For now, however, Brave Search is at its simplest. If you like where he’s going, using it can help him get there. But we’re not suggesting completely replacing your preferred search engine just yet, especially if you like having as many options as possible when it comes to query results.