Users have found that the Brave web browser for Windows secretly installs services related to VPN, even if the user does not subscribe to Brave VPN. Brave recently introduced the Firewall + VPN feature priced at $9.99 per month in March 2023, which is not surprising as many browsers now offer built-in VPN services.
The problem is that Brave version 1.57.47 and above automatically install services called Brave VPN Service and Brave VPN Wireguard Service. Users can manually disable these services from the service settings (services.msc) but it raises suspicions about the intentions behind this addition. Particularly because Brave has faced criticism in the past for not being entirely transparent, such as inserting its own advertisements on web pages or secretly including its own affiliate links when visiting cryptocurrency-related websites.
The Brave team has acknowledged this issue on GitHub and plans to change it by installing the VPN service only when it is actively used for the first time.
TLDR: Brave web browser for Windows includes hidden VPN services, even for non-subscribers. Brave version 1.57.47 and above automatically install Brave VPN Service and Brave VPN Wireguard Service. This raises concerns about the company’s intentions, especially considering past criticisms. The Brave team has acknowledged the issue and plans to change the installation process.