If you care about privacy and security, you need to be using the Brave browser. Brave blocks ads and trackers by default, but with the built-in VPN and Firewall, you can take your privacy to the next level.
Does Brave Browser have a VPN?
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about setting up and using Brave’s VPN and Firewall on desktop, Android, and iOS. We’ll cover what a VPN and Firewall do, how to enable them, tips for staying secure, and more. Read on to transform your browsing experience with Brave’s powerful privacy tools.
An Introduction to Brave Browser and Why Its VPN and Firewall Are Game Changers
Brave is more than just a fast, ad-blocking browser. Brave offers robust privacy protections that are built directly into the browser itself.
With Brave’s built-in VPN service and Firewall, all your traffic is encrypted, and your IP address is hidden from the prying eyes of advertisers, ISPs, and other third parties trying to track your online activity.
Brave’s VPN service encrypts your connection on a network level, protecting your entire device, not just your web browsing. The Firewall blocks unwanted connections to provide an additional layer of security.
Together, Brave’s VPN and Firewall create a virtually impenetrable barrier between your mobile device and the internet. This prevents your mobile carrier, public Wi-Fi networks, and even government agencies from seeing what you’re doing online.
Unlike most other VPNs and firewalls, Brave’s privacy tools are totally free and built into the browser itself. There’s no need to download a separate VPN app or configure your device settings.
If you’re using Brave browser on a desktop, Android, or iOS, you already have access to these powerful tools with just a few clicks. Please keep reading to learn how to enable them.
Brave VPN Availability by Device
Before we dive into the step-by-step setup instructions, it’s helpful to understand the availability of Brave’s built-in VPN across desktop, Android, and iOS devices. The VPN is fully integrated into the Brave browser itself, so its availability depends on which version of Brave you are using. The table below summarizes the key differences:
|Device||Free VPN Available?||Paid VPN Option?|
|iOS||No||Yes (after free trial)|
Activating Brave’s Free VPN on Desktop
Brave recently rolled out its free VPN service to desktop users with the release of Brave 1.49. Here are simple steps for turning it on:
- Open the Brave browser on your desktop.
- Click the settings menu in the top right.
- Select “VPN” from the left sidebar.
- Toggle on “Enable VPN” and choose your desired region.
That’s it! The VPN icon will appear in your toolbar to indicate an active connection.
Brave’s desktop VPN offers complete protection whenever you have the browser open. It encrypts your traffic and masks your IP address to prevent snooping by ISPs, hotspot owners, or sketchy Wi-Fi networks.
Guardian’s Firewall + VPN powers the VPN and provides unlimited bandwidth for secure browsing.
What Can Brave’s VPN Do and How Does It Work?
A VPN, or virtual private network, creates a secure tunnel between your device and the internet. All traffic passing through the tunnel is encrypted so that your online activities are hidden from prying eyes.
Brave’s built-in VPN offer the benefits of both a VPN and a firewall in one simple package:
- Total encryption – Brave’s VPN uses industry-standard encryption protocols to scramble your traffic. This prevents hackers and spies from accessing your data.
- Hidden IP address – Your IP address is replaced with one from the VPN server, masking your identity and location.
- Ad blocking – Brave’s browser blocks ads and trackers by default. The VPN provides an added layer of protection.
- Works on any network – Stay secure on public Wi-Fi, cellular data, and even at home. Brave’s VPN protects all network connections.
- Firewalled connections – The built-in firewall filters incoming and outgoing traffic to block malware, spyware, and suspicious connections.
- No speed slowdown – Brave optimizes servers for fast speeds, so browsing stays snappy. Streaming and downloads won’t be throttled.
- No learning curve – Unlike using a third-party VPN app, Brave’s VPN integrates seamlessly with one click. It couldn’t be simpler.
With Brave’s built-in VPN enabled, you can browse on any network with total confidence that your privacy is protected and secured.
How to Activate Brave’s VPN on Android Devices
The desktop is one of many places to enjoy Brave’s secure VPN. The built-in VPN is also available on Android mobile devices. Here’s how to activate it:
- Make sure you’re using the latest version of Brave for Android.
- Open the Brave browser app and tap the “Lion” icon in the bottom toolbar.
- Tap on VPN.
- Toggle the switch for “Brave VPN” and choose your region.
That toggles on the VPN for all web browsing and internet use while Brave is open. The VPN icon in your toolbar will turn green to indicate an active connection.
Brave’s Android VPN masks your mobile traffic behind an encrypted tunnel to keep your browsing private, even on public Wi-Fi. With the VPN running, no one can see what you’re accessing on the web.
Using Brave’s Firewall for Extra Security
In addition to the built-in VPN, Brave for Android also offers an integrated firewall powered by Guardian. Here’s how to turn it on:
- Open Brave on your Android device.
- Tap the “Lion” icon in the bottom toolbar.
- Select Firewall.
- Toggle the switch for “Firewall” to the on position.
That’s all there is to it! Brave’s Firewall blocks unwanted connections and stops third-party trackers from following you around the web. Using both the VPN and Firewall provides complete protection on Android.
How Brave’s VPN and Firewall Work Seamlessly Together
You might be wondering — if Brave already blocks ads and trackers, why do I need the VPN and Firewall?
It’s true that Brave blocks many third-party connections by default. But the VPN and Firewall offer some key advantages:
- The VPN encrypts all your mobile traffic, not just Brave browsing. This keeps other apps secure, too.
- The Firewall acts at a device level to block trackers, malware, and other threats.
- Together, they hide your IP address and mobile fingerprint from ISPs, hotspot owners, and sketchy Wi-Fi.
- Brave’s protections only work inside the browser. The VPN and Firewall secure your entire mobile device.
So, while Brave does an excellent job securing your web browsing, the VPN and Firewall extend that protection for a truly impenetrable privacy shield on mobile.
Activating a Free VPN Trial on iOS
Unfortunately, Brave’s built-in VPN is not available yet on iOS. However, you can still enjoy a free VPN trial through the browser.
Here’s how to activate it on your iPhone or iPad:
- Install the latest Brave update from the App Store.
- Open Brave and tap the “Lion” icon in the bottom toolbar.
- Choose VPN.
- Tap “Start Free Trial” and enter your App Store credentials.
This will activate a free 7-day trial of Brave’s VPN. You’ll see the VPN icon in your toolbar turn green when connected.
At the end of the trial, you can purchase a Brave VPN subscription for $9.99 per month or $99.99 annually.
While not free, Brave’s iOS VPN provides the same great benefits available on desktop and Android. For complete mobile privacy, it’s worth the subscription cost.
Choosing a Server Location for Your VPN
When enabling Brave’s built-in VPN, you have the option to choose your virtual server location. This allows you to spoof your location and access region-restricted content.
For the strongest privacy and security, you generally want to choose a server located in a country with strong privacy laws. Brave offers locations like Switzerland and Iceland that fit the bill.
However, choosing a server closer to your actual location will provide faster speeds. For most browsing, picking a nearby country like Canada or the UK works great.
Don’t worry about choosing the “best” location. Brave’s VPN servers are fast, secure, and guaranteed not to log your activity. Feel free to change locations anytime to suit your needs.
Using Brave’s VPN on Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
Free public Wi-Fi is incredibly convenient, but it often comes with privacy tradeoffs. When you connect to an unsecured hotspot, your browsing activity can be exposed.
Brave’s VPN keeps you safe by encrypting your traffic, even on unprotected networks. Follow these tips for staying secure:
- Only connect to public hotspots you trust – Avoid shady-looking networks.
- Turn on Brave’s VPN before connecting – That way, all traffic will be secured right away.
- Never access sensitive accounts – Don’t enter passwords or credit cards without the VPN.
- Use HTTPS sites – Encrypted HTTPS connections add an extra layer of security.
- Turn off traffic sharing – Prevent nearby devices from accessing your phone’s internet.
With Brave’s VPN running, you can browse freely, knowing your connection is private, even around potentially compromised public Wi-Fi.
Browsing Securely on Cellular Data with Brave’s VPN
Cellular data networks are encrypted by default, which provides some security. However, your mobile carrier can still monitor and log your activity when browsing on mobile data.
Brave’s built-in VPN keeps cellular browsing private by hiding your mobile fingerprint and replacing your IP address. This prevents your mobile provider from profiling your activity.
The VPN also blocks IP leaks that can expose your identity. Brave uses the WireGuard protocol, which is highly secure compared to alternatives.
Don’t assume cellular networks are 100% private without a VPN. Turn on Brave’s protection whenever browsing on mobile data.
Using Brave’s Desktop VPN at Home for Enhanced Security
You might be wondering if Brave’s VPN is necessary on your home Wi-Fi network. After all, your private home internet should be secure, right?
While home networks are safer than public Wi-Fi, using Brave’s desktop VPN provides some key advantages:
- Encrypts traffic from your ISP – Prevents prying eyes from monitoring your activity.
- Hides your IP address – Stops websites from tracking your location.
- Adds antivirus/malware protection – Blocks suspicious connections with the Firewall.
- Secures all apps – Extends privacy beyond just web browsing.
- Enables region hopping – Easily spoof your location to access blocked content.
So yes, even on your home network, it’s worth turning on Brave’s VPN for maximized security and privacy.
Troubleshooting Tips for Brave’s VPN
As with any software, you may occasionally encounter bugs or glitches with Brave’s built-in VPN. Here are some troubleshooting tips if you’re having connection issues:
- Restart your Brave browser and try reconnecting to the VPN. This often fixes minor bugs.
- Check your Brave version – you may need to update to the latest release.
- Turn off any other VPN services/extensions that could cause a conflict.
- Try changing VPN server locations in case one node is down.
- Force close the Brave app and restart your mobile device. Then reconnect.
- Ensure you have an active internet connection and try toggling aeroplane mode on/off.
- Re-install the latest Brave update from the app/Play Store.
- On iOS, double-check that your VPN trial or subscription is active.
- Toggle the VPN off and on a few times to reinitialize the connection.
- If issues persist, contact Brave support through the app.
With a few simple troubleshooting steps, you should be able to get Brave’s built-in VPN up and running smoothly.
Extra Features That Make Brave’s VPN Stand Out
Brave’s built-in VPN is more than just easy to use. It also packs some nifty bonus features you won’t find elsewhere.
One handy option is split tunnelling. This allows you to pick specific apps that use the VPN connection while excluding others. For example, you could VPN-protect sensitive apps like banking and email while leaving streaming video apps unencrypted for faster speeds.
Brave also supports port forwarding on its VPN. This comes in handy for connecting smart home devices or gaming consoles using your mobile hotspot. Port forwarding is an advanced feature skipped by many other VPN providers.
For torrent users, Brave permits P2P file sharing on its VPN servers. Many competitors block torrenting entirely or restrict your speeds. Brave keeps the pipes unclogged for hassle-free torrenting.
So don’t be fooled by the simple one-click interface. Under the hood, Brave’s VPN has all the advanced features and customization options experienced users need.
Why Brave’s VPN is the Best Choice for Privacy-Focused Users
There are certainly plenty of VPN services out there. But Brave’s offering stands out from the crowd when it comes to privacy and security.
Here are some of the key benefits that make Brave’s VPN a top choice:
- It’s free – The desktop and Android VPNs don’t cost a dime. No subscriptions or hidden fees.
- No privacy compromises – Brave pledges not to monitor or log any of your activity across its servers.
- Seamlessly integrated – No need to deal with installing third-party VPN clients or extensions.
- Optimized for speed – Brave’s servers are high-performance to avoid throttling your connection.
- Firewalled servers – Get added protection from malware and spyware with the built-in Firewall.
- Ad blocking included – Brave blocks ads and trackers by default for layered security.
- Supports P2P traffic – Brave allows torrenting and file-sharing activity on its VPN.
For privacy purists, Brave checks all the boxes. It offers an encrypted VPN and Firewall seamlessly built into the browser itself.
Frequently Asked Questions About Brave’s Built-In VPN
Here are answers to some common questions about setting up and using Brave’s built-in VPN:
What is split tunnelling, and does Brave support it?
Split tunnelling allows you to choose which apps send traffic through the VPN tunnel while excluding others. This lets you optimize performance by VPN-protecting only sensitive apps. Yes, Brave’s desktop and Android VPN offer split tunnelling options in the settings.
Absolutely. Brave permits torrenting and file-sharing activity across all of its VPN servers. Your speeds won’t be throttled or capped like on some other VPNs when torrenting.
Does Brave’s VPN work in countries that restrict access, like China?
In most cases, yes. By masking your IP address and encrypting connections, Brave’s VPN can bypass government censorship to access blocked sites and services. Connect to an overseas server for best results.
What does Brave’s VPN cost? Is it really free?
The built-in VPN is 100% free on Brave’s desktop and Android versions, with unlimited data usage. The iOS version requires a paid subscription, but you can test it free for seven days. Additional premium features are coming soon for a fee, but the base VPN will remain free.
How many server locations does Brave’s VPN offer?
Brave has VPN server locations in over 30 countries spread across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. More locations get added regularly as Brave expands its VPN infrastructure. Popular countries like the US, UK, Canada, and Germany are included.
Does Brave’s VPN work on school or business networks that block VPNs?
In some cases, yes. Brave uses stealth VPN protocols to fly under the radar of VPN blocking. However, very restrictive networks may still be able to detect and block Brave’s VPN connection. Results vary depending on the network.
What happens if I uninstall Brave – will my VPN stop working?
Yes, Brave’s built-in VPN relies on having the Brave browser installed to function. If you uninstall Brave, the VPN capabilities will be removed as well, as they are baked into the browser itself.
Closing Recommendations for Using Brave’s Built-In VPN
Brave’s free VPN and Firewall are total game changers when it comes to securing your web browsing. With VPN protection across all your devices, you can browse freely without worrying about privacy compromises.
Make sure to take advantage of this powerful tool:
- Enable the desktop VPN for enhanced security at home and on public networks.
- Turn on the Android mobile VPN whenever browsing cellular data or public Wi-Fi.
- iOS users should activate the free VPN trial for full mobile protection.
- Use the VPN settings to spoof your location and access blocked content when travelling.
- Pair it with Brave’s ad blocking for airtight security from online tracking.
Brave makes it simple to browse the web privately across all your devices. With the built-in VPN and Firewall protecting your back, your data stays secure.