back to article Brave's homegrown search claims to protect your privacy but there's a long way to go if it's to challenge the big G

The Brave browser will now default to the company's own search engine, claimed to preserve privacy, while a new Web Discovery Project aims to collect search data again with privacy protection. The Brave web browser is based on the Google-sponsored Chromium engine but with features designed to prevent tracking, as well as an …

  1. fnusnu

    Here's a guarantee

    The number one search term will be 'google'

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: Here's a guarantee

      The number one search term on Bing is probably "Chrome".*,†

      Personally, I'm a Firefox person (for all its faults), and however good the Brave browser may be, or however private its search is, it's still a Google browser. DuckDuckGo is my search engine of choice, but I have to admit, like Firefox, it's not entirely ideal. I use these things as a matter of principle though.

      (*which is the first thing most people will do in Edge, unless you're one of the many less-tech-savvy people who can't tell the difference between the little blue icon and "The Internet")

      (†Edit: I just checked – apparently "google" is the number one search on Bing in the US, while "Google Chrome" is at number 30. Elsewhere in the world, though (scroll down), "Google Chrome" does indeed take the no. 1 spot.)

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Firefox + NoScript + uBlock Origin here.

        I search with StartPage.

        1. JDPower666
          Facepalm

          Ah, the search engine owned by an ad company. Congrats.

          1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

            Search engines are ad companies. That's how they work.

    2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Here's a guarantee

      Fairly unlikely : if you're already on Brave, it's probably for good reason.

      For me, Brave is far, far faster than firefox or chrome. Not because it's a fater browser, but because it loads less crap and spends less time waiting for slow ad servers that then resize the window.

      My experience of the web if I'm temporarily without an adblocking browser is so appalling that I get off that as soon as possible, and I find Brave a very convenient way to do that.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's hard to break in here with Google in the position it is. In the past I used Scroogle but that avenue of pleasure was closed to us. Now I use DuckDuckGO and have to say it's now at a standard where, for me at least, I rarely go anywhere else.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Google results have massively dropped in quality. Anything beyond top 5 results is most likely spam passing as legitimate website.

      It's quite frustrating when you search for an article about something and then you realise you are reading AI generated garbage. Then most of those pages are trying to install Malware.

      Using Google on Windows machine is like using adult websites in the 90s. You can be certain you'll get a virus.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Definite loss of quality

        A Google image search for "idiot" used to get 8 of the first 10 right but now it is down to 3 in the first 20.

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Definite loss of quality

          GIS for "idiot": It's about 50% right at the moment.

      2. iron Silver badge

        > Using Google on Windows machine is like using adult websites in the 90s. You can be certain you'll get a virus.

        Both those "facts" are false.

        1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

          (To be fair, the second one was pretty accurate as far as I can recall.)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's quite frustrating when you search for an article about something

        Hear, hear.

        Search for something like "software that does X" or similar and you'll get several pages with articles like "The best 10 software that does X in {$YEAR}", which will be a thinly disguised ad for a company that sells software that does X comparing it to other companies' software, and guess which one is the best?

  3. tip pc Silver badge

    anyone trust BAT?

    anyone trust Basic Attention Token?

    i'm not sure i do,.

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      Re: anyone trust BAT?

      The concept of BAT seems fine, but the adverts they show are mostly crypto-scam-bollox which I don't trust at all. I assume that a single click on any of those ads will put me on a gullible fool list somewhere, so I simply don't bother.

      I have tried to 'tip' ElReg and empty my stash of rewards, but so far they are not set up to take my tokens. There's $50 or so waiting for them ....

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Consent

    The fact that Google build their search database without consent - basically DDOSing the internet should be addressed by regulators.

    I think Google database should be wiped and they should only be able to index pages on opt in basis.

    Their scanning without consent needs to stop.

    All other companies also should work on the opt in basis.

    1. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: Consent

      It's always been opt-out, can't see that changing any time soon as it would be a massive impact on existing sites and pages, if that was changed now.

      Don't want Google to scan your site, add a robots.txt

      Without that, you are basically consenting to the scan.

      You can also set noindex which removes a page from the database, so it won't show up even if the URL was referenced on a site that allows scanning.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Consent

        Don't want Google to scan your site, add a robots.txt

        Google is ignoring robots.txt. There is no way to stop Google bot from scanning!

        You can only make it ignore the contents (but probably they'll still use it for AI and whatnot) by adding noindex meta tag or noindex header in server's response. They still make requests though!

        It's simply bandwidth and resource theft!

        1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Consent

          Not sure why people downvote? Look at the source Block access to content on your site

          How Google bot is going to know that you put noindex tag? It has to scan the page!

          Only sure way (that still uses up your resources) is to detect the bot and drop packets, but you need to be in control of the gateway you are using.

          Verifying Googlebot

          So you have to run DNS lookup which you can imagine can slow down the legitimate traffic if given IP is not cached.

          If they don't want to do opt in, they should be required by law to provide free tools and reimburse the time spent on blocking their bots!

          1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Consent

            "Not sure why people downvote?"

            Because you've expressed a complete lack of comprehension regarding how search engines work.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Consent

              Would you be happy if your favourite 3-letter* agency crawled your site the way Google does?

              Probing every nook and cranny, trying to exploit all access paths is not as benign as it sounds.

              Besides, if Google does this, then the 3-letter agencies can plausibly they deny doing this because all they need do is make a request via FISA. While my distrust assumes the cooperation is prejudicial in a certain direction, I am sure that Yandex has prejudicial cooperation with certain government agencies, as does Baidu, etc.

              *Yes, some have digits, but "3 character alphanumeric" doesn't flow as well. I also know not all are 3-letter (but a surprising number are: CIA, NSA, CSA, MI6, MSS, KGB, FSS, CNI, SID, BND, SWW, EYP, etc)

            2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

              Re: Consent

              Can you explain where I am wrong?

              I don't consent for Google bot to crawl my URLs but there seems to be no recourse.

              1. teebie

                Re: Consent

                By making a website publicly accessible you are consenting for the public to access it.

      2. Draco
        Windows

        Re: Consent

        Depending on the jurisdiction, "opt-out" may not be considered "informed consent" and, hence, is illegal.

        We've seen this with how Europe (and California, I think) deals with tracking cookies - you have to opt-in to tracking cookies, not opt-out.

        Not sure I've seen debates on web-crawling, but I have on tracking, cookies, etc and I'm sure similar arguments would apply.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Consent

          Not really the same thing.

          Tracking cookies etc. are you as an end-user of the service. i.e. you access the site, the site asks you to opt in to cookies, or not.

          For web crawling, no user is involved, it's scanning a public facing web site, put there by a publisher.

          Don't want Google to scan, either use the mechanisms provided to manage that (Google even provide specific examples on how to do this), or don't make your site public facing. i.e. Lock it behind a login, the web crawlers can't access private pages, only public ones.

  5. wolfetone Silver badge

    I've been using Brave since I read the article published here about which of the browsers were more privacy focused (and didn't track you etc), and have been using the Brave search engine since it was released as Beta.

    I'd say 90% of the searches I make are all catered for with Brave's engine, and I seldom have to go to Google to do a search. Things that are specific to me (such as when does a specific shop in a specific location open) are better served by Google than Brave. But to get my work done, to look for how to do a specific coding thingymajig, Brave is actually quite good. Better than DuckDuckGo in all fairness.

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      That's interesting, thank you. I use DDG at the moment, but have return to Google far too often. I'll be giving Brave search a try.

      1. Boothy Silver badge

        I do the same, DDG as primary, but I find whilst it's good for most generic type searches, it misses a lot on more technical items, where I end up going back to Google.

        Might also give the Brave search a go, been testing the browser out for a little while.

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      I also switched from DDG to Brave about 2-3 months ago, as I found DDG was going downhill on the search results. Brave has so far been quite good, and I've rarely had to jump over to google (and on those rare occasions, usually my query on google also hasnt found what I'm after anyway, so obviously its more me, rather than brave, that's the problem... :P)

  6. chivo243 Silver badge
    Go

    Change is inevitable

    I remember the days before and leading up to google's launch. There were other search engines out there. Dogpile comes to mind, altavista? or was that the warez site? Lycos, and I'm drawing a blank for any others. Help me out! Right, I digress, Google will go the way of Internet Exploder. I probably won't see it in my professional career, but it will happen.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Change is inevitable

      Wasn't Yahoo! originally a search site? And don't forget AskJeeves.

    2. joeW

      Re: Change is inevitable

      AltaVista was a (rather good) legit search engine. The warez/crackz/hacking search engine you're thinking of was the cheekily named AstaLaVista.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Change is inevitable

        I thought there was an Arnold S connection! Thanks!!

  7. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Brave search is currently ad-free, the bad news being that "the free version of Brave Search will soon be ad supported"

    Not surprising; infrastructure and bandwidth cost real-world money.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Windows

    "the free version of Brave Search will soon be ad supported"

    AKA : the free version of Brave Search will soon no longer be used.

  9. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Affiliate Injection

    This is your annual reminder that Brave decided to inject affiliate codes without user consent. They aint the white knights you are looking for.

    https://www.talkandroid.com/353597-brave-browser-redirect-referral-code/

  10. Ken G
    Paris Hilton

    Mojeek

    what do you have to enter as search terms to find that search engine? I'm not trying to be cruel, I use qwant but obscure much?

  11. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    duckduckgo

    I usually start in the search bar (using duckduckgo on my current Brave installation) and if that doesn't get me the result I want, I use google's explicit page.

    Google generally gets the better result for more sepcific queries and its default of looking for local (ie UK rather than global) is often what I want.

    But the majority of the time, the default search bar result is good enough.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: duckduckgo

      "...if that doesn't get me the result I want, I use google's explicit page."

      Sounds pretty clear exactly what result you want then!

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