In early March, Brave announced that it had acquired the open search engine Tailcat and that it would be used as the basis for launching Brave Search, a privacy-centric alternative to Google Search and Bing. Fast forward a few months and Brave Search is now available as a public beta for anyone to launch and use.
Brave positions its new search engine as an “independent” option that is built with its own search index, eliminating the need to use third parties. The company explains that its search engine can compare its results with results from third-party search engines and “mix” the content it will display on the results page. Users will see an “Independence of Results” score in these cases, with Brave noting that this does not compromise user privacy.
Privacy is the key aspect of Brave Search, which is designed so that users can choose between ad-supported searches and premium ad-free searches. The company promises a number of other features, including an open nature to power other search engines, transparency to avoid biased and censored results, and what the company says is seamless integration with its privacy browser. .
Brave Search does not track user data, including search queries, according to the company, which takes aim at competitor DuckDuckGo by pointing out that it relies on Microsoft’s Bing search index for results. Users are reminded that Brave Search is currently in beta and may not offer everything users initially expect.
Brave Search can be used now by heading to the search.brave.com website. Users can make the beta their default search engine on the Brave browser and most other browsers, and it is also possible to access and use it on mobile devices.
The new offering comes amid growing concerns about data tracking, as well as heightened public awareness of privacy issues surrounding “big tech”. Disabling data tracking is often a tedious process involving various web extensions and compromises. Some browsers like Opera and Firefox eliminate the need to manually install these extensions by offering extensive privacy protection features as built-in tools.
Protecting your privacy while searching the internet is more difficult, which is where a privacy-focused search engine like Brave Search comes in. Unlike Google Search, which tracks user data, including what they’re looking for, Brave says it doesn’t collect that. information, making it impossible for the company to sell or share information about its users.