Brave browser adds a new Snowflake feature to help bypass Tor blocks

Brave browser version 1.47 was released with the Snowflake extension

Brave browser adds a new Snowflake feature to help bypass Tor blocksPeer-to-peer network traffic connectivity system now available in Brave

Brave Browser is a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software, Inc. It is built on top of the Chromium web browser and is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and mobile devices. Brave is known for its privacy and security features, such as built-in ad and tracker blocking, and its use of the Basic Attention Token (BAT) for digital advertising.

On January 13th, 2023, the latest version of Brave Browser, version 1.47, was released. This version includes a new feature called Snowflake extension, which allows users to utilize their devices as proxies to assist users in censored countries to access the Tor network.

This feature is an addition to the support for Tor Bridges in Private Windows with Tor which was introduced in version 1.44, which was released in September 2022. The new feature encourages Brave users to voluntarily contribute to the promotion of free access to information in regions where governments attempt to limit it.

What are Tor bridges?

Tor Bridges[1] are useful to users who live in countries where the government censors the internet or blocks access to the Tor network. By using a bridge, users can connect to the Tor network without their internet service provider (ISP) or government knowing.

This can help users to access blocked websites, protect their online privacy, and bypass firewalls or other censorship tools. Additionally, using bridges can also make it harder for an attacker or an oppressive regime to block access to the Tor network, making it more resilient to censorship.

In a way, Tor Bridges provide an alternate entry point. These bridges are run by volunteers and are not publicly listed to protect them from being blocked by local regimes or their operators.

In the Brave browser, users can access these Bridges by going to the Settings menu, choosing Privacy and security, clicking on Tor windows and selecting a built-in Bridge, requesting one from, or entering a Bridge they received from a trusted source.

Should you enable the Snowflake extension?

Snowflake is a peer-to-peer network traffic connectivity system developed by the Tor Project[2] that aims to enhance the resilience and privacy of the Tor network. It combines a proxy with the WebRTC protocol[3] to dynamically assign ephemeral Tor Bridges to users who need them while maintaining their anonymity.

Snowflake relies on the participation of volunteers to function effectively, making it harder for an attacker or oppressive regime to block or track access to the Tor network. Brave users can enable Snowflake on the Tor Bridge settings or volunteer to assist others by activating the Snowflake extension.

The process of enabling Snowflake is straightforward and Brave's analytical guide provides more information on how to do so. Snowflake is considered safe to use and does not pose any risk to volunteers, as all IP addresses are kept private to maintain the system's functionality.

When volunteering, computers act as relay points for encrypted messages between Snowflake users and other computers on the Tor network, rather than acting as middlemen to connect to websites on behalf of others. It's worth noting that users living in countries where Tor is blocked, using workplace/company computers, or having limited internet connectivity, should not volunteer for the Snowflake network.

Brave – a leader in secure and private browsing

There are several other reasons why users should consider using the Brave browser. First, Brave is built on top of the Chromium web browser, which means it has the same performance and compatibility as Chrome, but with added privacy and security features. Brave includes built-in ad and tracker blocking, which can help to speed up page load times and protect your online privacy by preventing third-party companies from tracking your browsing activity.

Brave also has a feature called “HTTPS Everywhere” which automatically upgrades your connection to a website to a more secure HTTPS connection if available. This can help to protect your data from being intercepted by hackers or other malicious actors. Another feature called “Script Blocking” allows you to block third-party scripts from running on websites, giving you more control over your privacy and security.

Finally, Brave also has a feature called “Fingerprinting Protection” which makes it harder for websites to identify your browser and device, further enhancing your privacy and security.[4]

Brave browser is a great choice for users who value privacy, security, and speed while browsing the internet. It provides more control over your privacy and security while maintaining the same performance and compatibility as Chrome. Additionally, it has a unique feature of earning tokens by viewing ads and supporting your favorite content creators without compromising your privacy and security.

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Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

Jake Doevan is one of News Editors for He graduated from the Washington and Jefferson College , Communication and Journalism studies.

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