Brave Firewall + VPN arrives on Windows
Brave has expanded its browser/firewall/VPN service, known as Brave Firewall + VPN, to Windows with the release of Brave 1.49, the company said Monday.
Brave, of course, is typically known for its privacy-centric browser, which has existed for several years. Recently, it expanded into VPN services, though just for Android and iOS. Today, Brave’s Firewall + VPN service can now run on top of Windows and MacOS for $9.99 per month or $99.99 annually. Each subscription supports up to five devices in total. (If you already subscribe to the mobile service, you can simply add your PC.)
Google recently said that the company would add its VPN by Google One for all Google One subscribers. Brave’s offer works a bit differently. For one, Brave isn’t supplying its own VPN itself; instead, it’s working with Guardian to provide its VPN. Google’s VPN also didn’t allow you to select from any other regions, thus preventing you from sampling Netflix options in foreign countries; Brave’s browser VPN does, though it’s not clear how flexible those options are.
Google’s connection to its VPN works across the operating system, with what Google calls a “blinded” interface that prevents the network from identifying the client. Brave’s VPN service doesn’t collect identifying information, including cookies, nor logs it, but the VPN is confined to the browser—sort of.
When Brave Firewall + VPN connects to the internet, the browser hides your personal information while surfing within the browser. While Brave Firewall + VPN can hide your identity outside the browsers, within other apps, you’ll need to turn off what’s known as the Windows Smart Multi-Homed Name Resolution Feature for additional privacy.
If you don’t know what this is, don’t worry: “The problem only affects apps outside of Brave; as long as you use Brave VPN, your activity within the Brave browser is protected even with Smart Multi-Homed Name Resolution in place,” Brave says.
Brave, however, said it believes its combination of services offers close to, if not absolute privacy: The Brave browser blocks ads and trackers, the firewall blocks incoming attacks, and the VPN helps preserve your anonymity from ISPs and other services. If you want other, more flexible options for a VPN, however, you can check out our list of the best VPN services as well as our list of the best free VPNs.