Brave's privacy-focused search engine is available in beta

You don't need the Brave browser to use it, either.

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

You can now try Brave's search engine for yourself. Brave has launched a beta Search feature both as an option in all its browsers as well as through the web for everyone else. As you'd expect, it's billed as a privacy- and transparency-oriented platform that doesn't track your activity or use "secret" algorithms to curate results.

You'll eventually have the option of an ad-free version if you're willing to pay, and Brave will make Search available for other engines. The site index is independent, although Brave noted that image searches and some other features will lean on Microsoft's Bing. You won't be tracked for those Bing queries, Brave said.

Brave has jumped into the search world by acquiring the open source engine Tailcat, created by the team that worked on the privacy-focused browser Cliqz.

The engine is something of a gamble. Google still dominates search with over 92 percent share worldwide, according to Statcounter's May 2021 data, and privacy-oriented browsers like DuckDuckGo don't even register on that chart. However, Brave also has over 32 million monthly active users, many of whom installed the browser precisely to improve privacy — the search engine already has a ready-made audience that could grow as long as Brave keeps adding users.