If you have been installing the Brave web browser since mid-2022, you have also unknowingly been installing the company’s VPN services as well. The discovery of this rather blatant attempt at putting in more programs under the browser install without the consent of the user was first reported by Ghacks earlier this week.
The under-the-radar move actually puts in two VPN services, Brave VPN Service and Brave VPN Wireguard Service. Both were found by Ghacks in the Windows Services manager feature.
The two services don’t send any data to Brave once they are installed. They will also only launch if a person decides on their own to purchase a Brave VPN service. Having said that, it’s never a good idea for any software company to slip in any new programs that you have not wanted or needed. If you discover these two VPNs in your Windows Services manager section, you can either disable them or completely delete them.
After Ghacks discovered these Brave VPNs had been installed, Brian Clifton, the company’s vice president of engineering, made a post on GitHub. He stated that a future Brave browser update will “Remove the service registrations” so that these VPN services will not be installed when the browser is installed.
Furthermore, people who get a Brave browser upgrade and “who have this service installed will have the service removed.” From now on, the services will only be installed when users purchase the Brave VPN subscription.
The Brave browser was first launched in 2016 by the company run by Mozilla’s former CEO, Brendan Eich. Earlier in 2023, it also launched its own independent search service and API. It’s also been testing its own generative AI assistant. Earlier this month, the company announced it was laying off 9 percent of its workforce, which affected several departments.