Have you started using Brave yet?
If not, do it now.
Not only is Brave one of the fastest browsers on the market, but it also offers unrivaled control over privacy, ads, and the content you see.
Ready to go?
Before we begin, double-check to make sure you have downloaded and installed Brave. If you’re running Windows 10, then the installer file is probably in your default Downloads path, which is usually located here:
(replace MYNAME with your own actual username).
If you’re having trouble finding the installer, go ahead and download Brave again. It’s ok. We’ll wait right here.
OK, without further delay, here are five tips to get you started with Brave.
1. Set Brave as your default browser (and get it on mobile)
This seems obvious, but unless you do this, you’re risking your data. Bad links are a hacker’s favorite weapon, and can send you to sites that steal your information, infect your computer, or worse.
By setting Brave as your default browser, you know that any external links you click – whether from an email client or a messaging app like Slack – are firewalled behind Brave’s powerful security shields, giving you total peace of mind.
How to set Brave as your default browser:
While using Brave
The easiest way to set Brave to your default browser is to click on the button that appears under the address bar when you launch the browser.
From there, the instructions vary a little bit, depending on your operating system. Note that you can follow each of these instructions below without opening the Brave browser first.
Settings > System > Default apps > Web browser tab > Select Brave Browser
System Preferences > General > Default web browser > Select Brave Browser
You can also do this in-browser through the Settings menu.
And on that note, get Brave on your mobile, too. No point in protecting your desktop internet access only to leave your mobile self completely exposed. One of Brave’s greatest features is its privacy and security, so close the loop by getting Brave on all of your devices. Brave makes it really easy to sync your browser preferences between devices.
2. Import your settings
Now, you might’ve found Brave while looking for an alternative to Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Or you might have seen it advertised on the web. Either way, chances are it’s not the first browser you’ve used.
I know it can be painful switching to something new, and it might be tempting to turn heels and return to the familiar. But there’s no need. Simply import your settings (bookmarks, saved passwords, browsing history, favorites, and so on) and you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips again.
Brave automatically asks if you want to import settings when you first install the browser, but if you’ve skipped that section, follow these steps:
Inside the Brave browser, click the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner
- Click Settings
- In the new window, click Import bookmarks and settings
- Select one of your previous browsers
- Click Import
3. Customise Brave
Brave lets you do things your own way while still providing a fast, safe experience online. You can stick with default settings, or you can set things up just how you like them.
Access all your settings by clicking the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner of Brave’s browser window.
- Choose your own search engine. DuckDuckGo is the default as it’s the most secure, but you can change it to Google if you really need to.
- Choose a light or dark color scheme – a dark scheme is usually easier on the eyes, with better contrast and less glare.
- Choose a Brave theme from the Brave Web Store. These vary from abstract art to gorgeous landscapes, making the browser aesthetic much more personal – perhaps even inspirational.
- Get your favourite extension tools for password management, translation, screenshots and more from the Brave Web Store. Brave’s latest release is based on the Chromium browser engine, so you may find the Store looks familiar.
4. Set your Brave shield settings
By default, Brave protects you from malware, phishing, fingerprinting, and plugins. It also upgrades all sites to HTTPS wherever possible (ensuring you have the most secure connection between you and the sites you visit).
But that doesn’t mean you lose control. If you trust a site, and default shields are interfering with that site’s content, you can turn them off for that site or for every site. So Brave gives you full site and browser level customization of its security and privacy shield, so you see the web how you want to see it.
To change shield settings on a website, simply click the Brave icon in the URL bar and toggle settings for ads, cookies, scripts, and more. From there (or the general settings page) you can also access global shield settings, but remember that changing these will affect every site you visit.
5. Enable Brave Payments and tip your favourite sites
Most sites use advertising to pay for the writers, designers, and coders they employ to produce their content. But isn’t there a better way to reward your favorite sites without having to watch annoying ads?
Yes, there is – it’s called Brave Payments.
Brave Payments lets you tip your favorite sites in BAT (Basic Attention Tokens) instead of watching ads.
When you enable Brave Payments, the browser creates a BAT wallet which you can top up with other digital assets like Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Ethereum.
Or, if you want to top up with fiat (GBP, USD, EUR, etc) you can buy BAT from cryptocurrency exchanges like Uphold.
Brave also gives away BAT for special promotions.
The BAT lets you tip the people making all that wonderful content you love, so it’s a great way to give recognition for a job well done.
To enable Brave Payments, click the triangle on the upper right of the Brave browser, and then choose how you want to top up your BAT balance.
Once you’ve got some BAT in your wallet, you choose whether to tip sites as you go or let Brave divide up your BAT according to how much attention you pay to each site you visit.
I hope these tips are useful, and I’m sure you’ll discover a few cool tricks yourself. If you’ve yet to start using Brave, download and install it now. As one of the fastest, most secure browsers available, we’re sure you won’t regret it.