Chrome-based browser maker Brave has launched a beta of its Brave search engine in an effort to create a privacy-focused alternative to Google.
The new search engine places Brave in the category of companies that have both a browser and a search engine: Google, Microsoft, Yandex and Baidu are also among those companies that have both.
Courageous acquired the Tailcat search engine in March and promised to take on Google by approaching online search with a greater focus on privacy. Brave said its search is based on a completely independent index and does not track users, their searches or their clicks. “Brave has its own search index to answer common queries privately without relying on other providers,” he said. In contrast, Duck Duck Go uses Microsoft’s Bing to fuel its results, he notes.
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Brave promotes the idea of privacy-protecting ads that can pay publishers and users with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) when users pay attention to advertisements. He also opposes Google’s emerging new system to track users online without cookies, called FLoC, or Federated Learning of Cohorts.
Brave’s recently launched search engine can be used from any desktop or mobile browser at search.brave.com.
The company says it now has 32 million monthly active users of the Brave browser, up from 25 million in February. He also claims that more than 100,000 people have signed up for early access to the new search engine.
The Brave search UI is more like Google’s simple white homepage than Microsoft’s busy Bing page with nature scenes behind the search box and news tiles at the bottom of the page. Brave’s search box includes one more detail than Google’s, however, telling users that they can “Search the web privately.”
There are settings options in the hamburger menu at the top right of the user interface, but users cannot yet sign in with a Brave account, which would limit the search across all devices. The Brave browser, however, does allow syncing, and it has been updated to include the beta version of Brave Search as an option to choose from.
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Brave offers bright and dark search modes, as well as settings to choose whether users want to see units of measurement in American form (pounds, feet, and Fahrenheit) or metric (kilograms, meters, Celsius). There are also options for anonymous local search results.
“Anonymous local search results will use the IP address served by your device but not share that IP address and store it,” notes Brave. It also explains what metrics it measures and provides the option to turn off the collection of anonymous usage metrics data. However, metrics data collection is enabled by default. Preferred language options will be available soon.
“Brave Search is the industry’s most private search engine, as well as the only independent search engine, giving users the control and confidence they seek in alternatives to big technology.” said Brendan Eich, CEO and co-founder of Brave.
“Unlike older search engines which track and profile users, and newer search engines which are mostly a skin on older engines and do not have their own indexes, Brave Search offers a new way to search. ” deliver relevant results with a community-powered index, while ensuring privacy. Brave Search fills a clear void in the market today as millions of people have lost faith in the surveillance economy and actively search solutions to control their data.