This Internet Browser Installs a VPN on Windows Without Users’ Consent

Brave is a great Internet browser, but one of the company’s practices is now raising eyebrows, as the browser turns out to install its own VPN service on Windows PCs without users’ consent.


The privacy-focused Brave web browser silently installed VPN services on some users’ Windows computers. This could have been good news, but it seems that the company acted without the consent of its users.

This initiative, launched in 2022, attached Brave’s VPN service, known as the Firewall + VPN service, to the browser installation on Windows devices, without considering user preferences. Although the VPN service remains inactive unless explicitly subscribed by the user, this approach has raised concerns about transparency from a browser company that prides itself on privacy.

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Brave does not ask for user feedback to install services

This strange behavior seems to be exclusive to the Windows version of the Brave browser for the moment. According to the company’s vice president of engineering, Brian Clifton, who explained in a post on GitHub, users can check the presence of VPN services on their Windows machines through the Service Manager, where they are listed as “Brave VPN” and “Brave Wireguard”.

However, the company recognizes thata more ideal approach would be to download these services after the user has actively engaged and subscribed to these servicesthus guaranteeing a more transparent and consensual process.

As of now, it is unclear whether or not Brave will change its policy to ask for user consent in the future. While it is possible to remove the VPN manually, any future updates could reintroduce it unless Brave changes its installation process.

For the more concerned among you, an alternative solution suggested on GitHub consists of uninstall Brave then reinstall it without administrator rights, which would prevent the program from installing additional services. Indeed, Clifton claims that the browser began integrating the Brave Vpn Wireguard service from version 1.57.47, but only for users with administrator privileges.

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