Brave’s Hidden Extra: Users Unwittingly Get a VPN
Brave browser users operating on the Windows platform encountered an unforeseen issue, as reported by journalists from GHacks. They discerned that, since 2022, the installation of Brave on Windows devices would automatically bundle the VPN client, without an option for its deactivation. Moreover, the company failed to apprise users that they were downloading additional software alongside the browser.
From the onset of 2022, Brave introduced a subscription option for Firewall + VPN at $10 monthly, offering access to its proprietary firewall and VPN services. Yet, on Windows, the VPN client was concomitantly installed with the browser. Users received no prior notice of this, with the supplementary software lying dormant on their devices until a subscription was procured.
Following media critique, Brave’s Vice President of Development and Technology, Brian Clifton, affirmed that the software distribution approach would soon be revamped. The VPN client and other supplementary software would henceforth be downloaded only post subscription confirmation.
Currently, users can ascertain the presence of Brave services on their system through the task manager, identified as Brave VPN and Brave Wireguard.
While users possess the autonomy to uninstall these applications, there’s a looming risk that Brave may reinstate them in the future. To circumvent this, one would need to remove the browser and reinstall it devoid of administrative rights. The developers have pledged to rectify this inadvertent behavior of Brave.