Those of you looking for a different kind of ad-blocking web browser that feels like Chrome might want to take the new developer version of Brave for a spin.

SEE: [How to beef up your Chrome and Firefox security in 2018]

Known as Brave Core or Brave Dev, the new 0.55.x version of the upstart browser is seeking developers and other brave souls to try it out. Brave is an attempt to create a browser with ad blocking and other security features baked in and allows users to compensate publishers for lost ad sales through a contribution system. The new flavor of Brave, though, is an "early, untested version with incomplete features which are in progress," according to its download page. That distinguishes it from the current stable release version of Brave for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

"Brave Dev is our unpolished and unfinished early preview for new versions of Brave," the download page explains. "These releases show our work in progress and they aren't for the faint-of-heart. Brave Dev showcases the newest advances that we're bringing to your browser, but it's a prototype, not a reliable daily driver. Try it out only if you're looking for a little extra spice and adventure in your browsing."

With privacy and security always on the minds of web users, Brave offers and enables ad-blocking, tracking protection, and other measures by default. But Brave is also taking a familiar approach by adopting the design and supporting the extensions of Google Chrome to make current Chrome users and developers feel at home.

So what does Brave offer and why should you check it out? Brave starts with ad-blocking to filter out advertisements. But herein lies a twist. You can opt in to see targeted ads, with the ad revenue going to Brave and to you and other people using the browser.

Tracking protection is included to prevent sites from monitoring your web activities. Also in the browser's arsenal is HTTPS Everywhere, which automatically encrypts the connection for insecure "http" web pages. Brave blocks cookies, including third-party cookies by default. It offers protection against browser fingerprinting, a technique that tries to identify each individual who visits a web page by collecting many pieces of data. Brave's welcome page lends a helping hand by showing you the number of trackers and ads blocked as well as the insecure web pages made secure.

But Brave provides a familiar face as well. The design, menus, and other features resemble those of Chrome. And for good reason. Like Chrome, Brave uses the open source Chromium web browser and Blink engine. You can install extensions designed for Chrome and import your bookmarks from Chrome and other browsers.

The Brave Dev version 0.55.x will get updated at least once a week, according to the browser's Reddit page. The goal is for the current version to spend three weeks on the Dev channel, another three weeks on the beta channel, and then move to general release within a week after October 16. Version 0.55.x will be the first instance of Brave Core to replace the existing release builds at Brave's website.

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[h2] Takeaways

  1. Available in a new version for developers and other brave souls, the Brave web browser offers ad-blocking, tracking protection, and other security features.
  2. The developers version of Brave also looks and feels like Google Chrome and supports Chrome extensions.

[h2] Also see

Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books - "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time" and "Teach Yourself VISUALLY LinkedIn."