Brave is doing as its name suggests and taking the brave step of replacing Google search as the Brave browser’s default search engine.
Brave announced it was developing a privacy focused search engine back in earlier this year and subsequently launched it in June. Brave Search contains no tracking, user profiling, or reliance on other providers, and was focused on competing directly with Google. A little over three months on from the launch, Brave believes its own search engine is ready to be the default in its own browser.
Brave’s desktop browser, Android, and iOS apps version 1.31 all include Brave Search as the default engine and are available right now. The change is limited to users in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Until now, the default engine in France was Qwant, and in Germany it was DuckDuckGo.
Brave said it would eventually display ads, but that an ad-free Premium version would be offered. For now, Brave Search remains free and ad-free, but that will change in the “near future,” so you can take some time to try it out and decide if it does a good enough job of replacing your existing search engine of choice.
Brave also launched the Web Discovery Project (WDP). “If you opt in, you’ll contribute some anonymous data about searches and web page visits made within the Brave Browser This data helps build the Brave Search independent index, and ensure we show relevant results to your search queries.” By default, users are opted out of WDP, but can enable it by opening the Brave browser settings and scrolling down to the “Web Discovery Project” section where there’s a toggle.
To try it without installing a new browser, simply visit search.brave.com.