Skip to main content

Brave's privacy-focused search engine is here to challenge Google

Brave Search Lifestyle
Brave Search Lifestyle (Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • After being announced in March, Brave Search is available in beta form.
  • The feature is available for all devices, including your current browser.
  • It's unknown when Brave Search will be moved into the stable version of the browser.

The day has arrived for everyone to give the new Brave Search a chance for themselves. The new search engine has started rolling out to the beta versions of the mobile and desktop browsers. However, everyone can try it by navigating to search.brave.com.

Back in March, the developers of Brave Privacy Browser announced that it would be launching its own private-first search engine. The company acquired Tailcat, an open-source search engine, and stated that this would be integrated into the Brave web browser.

When you open the updated app on your Android or iOS phone, you will be asked which search engine you want to use. Google is selected by default, but right below that, the Brave Search option is listed amongst other popular search engine alternatives.

"Brave Search is the industry's most private search engine, as well as the only independent search engine, giving users the control and confidence they seek in alternatives to big tech."

In the blog post announcing the introduction, Brave stated that the service has been testing with more than 100,000 users. This is pretty impressive, but this new search engine could grow exponentially once it's in the hands of the more than 32 million monthly active users for Brave's browser.

The move comes after Brave (and other popular browser developers) publicly declared its stance against Google's recent efforts to create a series of Privacy Sandbox APIs for ads. The goal of Google's FLoC technology is to preserve privacy by grouping users together instead of using individual IDs for tracking. However, there are concerns that Google could build a "back door" of sorts to give itself access to those individual tracking IDs. On the other hand, Brave does not track its users at all, opting to partner with companies to provide "privacy-respecting" ads.

Perhaps this is why Brave is looking to create a "true independent alternative to big tech," as the company is building its own index for results. Other search engine alternatives use an index rented from Google or Microsoft, and Brave won't follow suit.

Because of this, you may experience some growing pains when trying to use Brave Search over Google or Bing. This is because the developers are creating and using APIs to "improve and refine" the results that appear for things like image search results and others.

Brave's browser is already one of the best Android browers, even if you ignore the privacy features. The app itself is fast, fluid, and can enable some privacy features if you want. Plus, it also offers a way for you to earn rewards through the Brave Rewards program as you use the browser.

Andrew Myrick
Andrew Myrick

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.

3 Comments
  • How is this more privet than duckduckgo?
  • Not sure, but I use duck duck go more for the unbiased search results than any improvement in privacy. Unfortunately I still use Google/chrome on my phone because the seemless integration is unmatched by third party browsers/search engines.
  • While this is a good choice for folks, I doubt anyone at Google is too worried about serious competition from Brave for search. Somehow I can't see 10 years form now someone saying "Let me just Brave it" instead of "Google it" :-). Seriously though, the folks that choose Duckduckgo now, might try this. The ones using Google now, and not another privacy based search likely will not make any changes once would think. It's great to have this choice though for sure, and I love the Brave browser.