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Brave browser installs a VPN service on Windows whether you want it or not

Illustration of Brave logo
Your private web browser might have come with a side of unwanted VPN service downloads. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Brave’s privacy-centric browser has been downloading VPN services to some customers’ computers without their consent. Noted by Ghacks, starting in 2022, downloading Brave to a Windows PC meant you were also downloading the company’s VPN service, regardless of whether you wanted it. The Firewall + VPN service is an extra paid subscription and would remain dormant unless the user subscribed to it. Still, that’s not the most transparent move from a company based on transparency.

The behavior is limited to the Windows version of Brave, and a post on GitHub from the company’s VP of engineering details the current behavior and a plan to change it. You can check for the VPN services on your machine in the services manager on Windows — they’re…

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