Some people claim that the arrival of the Brave browser was one of the most outstanding achievements in terms of security and privacy for home users. And yes, Brave is a giant leap forward for those who care about their digital footprint and online safety. But how secure is the Brave browser really? Do you still need a VPN if you use the Brave browser?
Brave browser has high security standards and effectively protects your privacy if used correctly, but it is not a complete security solution. Combining the strengths of the Brave browser with the advantages of a reliable VPN will ensure that you have the best online protection possible.
Brave browser is still under active development, with frequent updates being released. Now it even includes Tor integration as well as its Brave VPN. So deciding if you need an additional VPN to use along with Brave browser requires a more detailed study about the features already included with Brave, including their strengths and areas where they might fall short.
Why You May Not Need A VPN If You Use Brave Browser
Brave browser comes packed with multiple privacy and security features installed and enabled by default, including features generally associated with VPNs or other security software rather than with a web browser. These security features include:
- Brave browser can block cookies altogether. Most other browsers still allow some cookies (files stored on your computer that contain data about your browsing history and habits), even when the browsers are configured to block them. This is not the case with Brave. You can stop cookies completely.
- Brave collects no personal data. None at all. Even when you want to sync bookmarks across devices, you never create an account that snoopers could use to track or log your personal data.
- Brave blocks scripts effectively. Even with strict security settings, browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge can still occasionally let a script slip through. On the other hand, Brave blocks potentially malicious or intrusive scripts like a champ.
- When you clear your browsing data, everything is removed, which is not something that other browsers usually do.
- Unsolicited ads and popups are effectively blocked. Note the word “unsolicited” – some banner ads will be allowed if Brave has approved them. You can also opt-in to receive non-targeted ads from Brave itself, for which you can be rewarded in Cryptocurrency.
If your reasons for considering a VPN have to do with any of these factors, you do not need to get a VPN if you’re using the Brave browser. If you require more stringent security and privacy, though, Brave offers another feature that you might consider before opting to pay money for a premium VPN subscription.
Brave Private Tabs With Tor – A Possible VPN Alternative
Included with the Brave browser for desktop systems (mobile versions also coming soon), you can now open a new Private tab that connects using Tor. The technology and network it uses are the same as the Tor Browser, which means that your connection is wrapped in multiple layers of encryption and routed through multiple servers, effectively masking your IP address and activity.
In many ways, Tor may be preferable over a VPN. For example, Tor gives the same level of protection (or even more) than a double VPN connection or “multi-hop.” Add to that the fact that Tor is free and included for free with Brave browser, and using this technology rather than paying for a VPN could make a lot of sense. But this option is not without its caveats.
The first is the potential for user error. What if you open a new tab but accidentally forget to open a Tor tab? Now your activity could be exposed and could have dire consequences depending on what that was. But more than that, Tor is slow. As slow as a limping snail. Almost “1990’s internet” slow. Loading any page in a Tor tab could take a while, but it will be well encrypted and private.
VPNs To Use With Brave Browser For Even Stronger Privacy Protection
As we’ve seen, Brave comes with excellent features for security and privacy. But these features have three significant flaws when compared to add-on VPN options:
- They all protect you only while you’re using the Brave browser. There’s no protection while you’re streaming, playing games, or downloading torrents.
- They are not a complete security solution for the most part. In many cases (except when using Tor), your ISP can still see what you’re doing online in fine detail.
- The most robust security feature included with Brave, namely Tor, is only available on Desktop at present and, as mentioned, it’s very, very slow.
Considering these three factors, you may still need a VPN even if you’re using the Brave browser. Luckily we have many to choose from, but the most recommended VPNs to use with Brave are:
Brave VPN + Firewall
Brave includes its own VPN feature with the browser, though only on iOS devices at the moment, with Android and Desktop systems coming soon. This feature is not free, but once activated, it protects you while you’re using the browser and through all other connections from your device. It’s rated as a high-speed VPN, a considerable advantage over Tor.
Powered by Guardian, the Brave VPN claims to deliver more features than other standard or free VPNs, without detailing what those features are. Online reviews indicate that the Brave VPN + Firewall subscription is good value for money, offering all the standard protection features you expect from a VPN. However, if that’s the case, there’s no reason not to get a third-party VPN.
Not mentioning Brave’s own VPN offering would be unfair, and all things considered, it is a good and reliable VPN from a big name in the cybersecurity space. If you are already using the Brave browser, only use it on iOS or iPadOS devices, like keeping things integrated, or you have strong brand loyalty, the Brave VPN + Firewall might be a good option.
Many factors set NordVPN apart from most other VPN providers. NordVPN’s speed is perhaps one of its most notable features. Combined with obfuscated servers, kill switch, servers dedicated to streaming, torrenting, and p2p, and its own Onion Over VPN (Tor) option, most people will never need to look for another VPN again.
NordVPN has privacy standards and values to match Brave’s own, like an absolute no-logging policy and complete IP and DNS masking. This makes NordVPN the most recommended VPN to use with the Brave browser. So much so that it’s recommended even more strongly than Brave’s own VPN offering.
Yes, there are other great options. ExpressVPN is also highly recommended by online reviews. But NordVPN’s complete offering has everything you will ever need with Brave.
Brave browser is one of the safest and most secure browsers globally. Using Brave goes a long way towards keeping you and your information safe, but it is not a cure-all when it comes to privacy and security. To be truly secure, you will need the added functionality of a dedicated VPN. And, of course, common sense not to share your details, whether on purpose or by accident.