Brave is a blockchain-based browser that claims to be faster than others. They block all ads by default and have an option to block scripts too. Their promise to rewards users with a percentage of the advertising revenue for viewing ads is something unheard of.
Vivaldi is another Chromium based browser that wants to offer more features and customization options to the users. More control over not just how the browser looks but also how it functions.
Let’s see how these two browsers compare and which is more suitable for whom.
1. Interface and Layout
Brave browser has a simple layout with a new beautiful wallpaper loaded with every new tab. You will also see time on the right and some valuable statistics on ads and trackers blocked, time saved, and HTTPS requests on the left. For the most part, Brave browser follows the tried and tested formula with open tabs at the top and address and bookmarks bar below it. There are some handy shortcuts to settings and bookmarks at the bottom.
Vivaldi has a more vibrant UI which is much more flexible. In fact, the dev team has really reimagined the way tabs and other elements work inside the browser. For instance, there is a sidebar where you can create some quick shortcuts to different sites, take notes, view history, and so on. There are some handy shortcuts at the bottom like screenshots that we will discuss in more detail later.
Vivaldi browser has a better UI which is more flexible and offers more shortcuts than Brave browser. Plus, the ability to take notes and screenshots right inside the browser makes it very useful.
Brave browser allows you to customize how a web page or a site will load and what will happen it does. You can block specific elements and codes from loading like ads, social media buttons and so on. But there is little to no customizations available when it comes to the UI itself.
Vivaldi browser takes things to the next level. You can re-position the tabs so they appear on either side of the browser or even at the bottom of the screen to easily keep track of all open webpages. Same goes for the address bar. The panel we saw earlier with shortcuts and notes can be placed on the right. Pretty much anything can be moved around inside Vivaldi which is pretty amazing and cool, I think.
There is a reader mode for reading articles where you can also control the font type, color, and size. Found under the same heading, Webpages in Settings, you can also choose where to save the screenshots which is again awesome.
3. Blocking Ads
Vivaldi doesn’t block ads natively. You will need an extension like any other browser. Yes, it’s compatible with most Chrome extensions include Adblocks and uBlock Origin.
What Brave browser lacks in customizations, it more than makes up for it in blocking ads and delivering speed. Brave browser is fast, I mean really fast. I have used them all and so far, none loads pages like Brave does. Maybe that’s why they like to show off numbers with every new tab. If you got it, flaunt it!s
You can choose to allow ads universally or per website using the Brave icon in the address bar. Block cookies and force websites to use HTTPS (secured) everywhere. It will also prevent fingerprinting where possible. Fingerprinting is a technique that’s used to detect OS, network, version, apps, and other details about the user which is then used to deliver malware or hack computers remotely.
Blocking all these ads, trackers, and scripts is what makes Brave browser so fast and I am not complaining.
4. Privacy and Security
Moreover, there is the Private Window mode. It comes with two options. You can either use DukcDuckGo, a privacy-focused search engine that never collects data. They don’t even have an advertising model in place. The second option is TOR integration where your network data is bounced around IP addresses located around the world to mask your identity and location. Depends on your use case. Note that TOR integration with Brave is not the same as using the standalone TOR browser but still, adds a layer of security.
Vivaldi has a ‘Do Not Track’ option which will ask websites to not track you. However, most sites will simply ignore these requests. Infuriating, but true. While Vivladi itself doesn’t collect or sell user data like Chrome does, they do little to prevent websites and apps from doing the same. To be fair, they do employ Google DNS and offer phishing and malware protection but that’s not enough.
Brave browser is more secure and privacy-focused.
5. Rewards Program
Brave browser is a blockchain based product which is supposed to be the next big thing in the tech world right now. Here is how it works. Brave browser will block all ads by default unless you allow it manually. Advertisers will sign up for the Brave Rewards program. These advertisers can now show ads to the Brave users. Users can still choose to opt out of these ads which are currently limited to 5 per hour.
The revenue is split between the users, Brave team, and contributors. Contributors are content creators whom users may choose to tip for the effort, time, and resources they put in creating that content. Again, tipping can be set to be automatic or disabled altogether. Powering all of this is blockchain and their native token is BAT (Basic Attention Token). A novel concept which makes it worthwhile to see ads, if you want to.
Right now, Brave is the only browser working on this unique and revolutionary model, and has received funding from some notable tech figures like Peter Thiel (early investor in Facebook and co-founder of PayPal). Brave Rewards program is currently available in a few countries though.
Vivaldi is available for desktop users only like Windows, macOS, and Linux. Brave browser is available on mobile platforms too like Android and iOS.
Brave vs. Vivaldi
Here is the low down. Brave browser is better if you need something that is fast, secure, and more private. It also has a revenue program that looks promising, right now. Vivaldi browser is extremely flexible and customizable, but not so private in nature.
Between the two of these, I would go for a privacy-centric browser over a handful of features that are useful but I can do without any day. Some of my friends are using both. Vivaldi for casual browsing and Brave for when they are up to something!