Brave Searches Reveal My Location

Description of the issue: Searches using Brave reveal my location
How can this issue be reproduced?

  1. I recently installed Brave and set 'privacy/security; site/shield; location permission - do not see location; no sites have permission to see my location.
  2. I have used Brave to search for terms and businesses and my location is always revealed.
  3. Businesses and shops in my local area are highlighted together with the town where I live.

Expected result: I expected not to have my geographic location revealed in the search results

Brave Version( check About Brave):v1.150.121 Chromium: 112.0.5615.138 (Official Build) (64bit)

Additional Information: Windows 10

Your IP address is not private and it can be used to identify your general location. If you use a VPN, you can select a termination country/city to change your IP location.

1 Like

Thanks for replying, Big Chief. I am not happy with the answer though because it implies that the ‘do not reveal location’ function only works if you use a VPN which it appears I have to pay for. I am not sure who owns Brave, but I’d say that they need to clarify this point with users otherwise the software is making false claims about what it can do!!

Hi Edwin,
Browsers such as Brave can supply the location known to your device, eg from your GPS or other method. You’ve disabled this feature so Brave will not supply this location info.

However, while you’re on the Internet, you’re assigned an IP address by your ISP that all internet services use (email, etc). Internet service providers may make general location information of their IP addresses available, and even if they do not, the location can often be derived from other users in the same IP blocks.

So Brave is doing its job, but if you want full location anonymity, you’ll have to take additional steps.

1 Like

@Edwin87 It seems BigChief did a great job explaining. That said, I’m going to rephrase and add some extra details that wasn’t mentioned just in case it helps you to understand what’s going on.

Whenever you use the internet, you’re given a unique IP address. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a web browser, gaming client, or something else to use the internet, it will have and show your IP address. When you connect to content, the place you’re connecting to will see your IP. There is no way to hide an IP address from anyone. What’s important to know is that this often doesn’t show your detailed/exact location, but it can at least narrow things down to your city.

That said, you can disguise your IP address in two primary ways:

  • Proxy serves as a go between. So you connect to them and then essentially use their IP address to do whatever you’re wanting. Then each site will see the Proxy’s IP instead of yours. This is generally limited to just one app or service. So it might work to help hide your browser, but it could leak information from Java, other programs on your device, etc.

  • VPN works similar to a proxy, except it will also encrypt your information so all information being passed back and forth can’t really get “seen” by anyone and it improves on your privacy a bit more. What this will also do is run everything connected on your device through their IP address.

What this references is whether the browser itself can provide information on your location. If you allow permission to see your location, then it will use things like GPS on your device or even wifi in order to try to estimate your exact location.

So rather than saying “user from Orange County, Florida” or “User from Orlando, Florida” it would say something like “User from Pine Street Orlando, FL” or even “User from 123 Pine Street Orlando, FL”

That said, you may want to do some extra reading if you have the time. I’ll provide a couple links to get you started below:

Big Chief and Saoiray,

I’m not sure why you thought I hadn’t understood Big Chief’s explanation… My reply merely pointed out that Brave and YT influencers (whose videos I watched) give the impression that the Brave browser can hide a user’s location when apparently it cannot unless a VPN is being used. Within a minute of reading Big Chief’s confirmation that I did indeed require a VPN to hide my location, I found a free VPN and solved the issue. My concern was with misrepresentation to the general public; Brave isn’t all it was cracked up to be! I shall continue to use Brave for general browsing, but will choose an alternative method when necessary.

Main thing is because there were details he didn’t mention. So based on the question you asked and what was said, I wanted to make sure it was spelt out. In addition, this is a public forum and so I often will add to things for anyone else who visits the topic.

Where do you see this? I haven’t seen it except for the times they spoke about Brave with Tor or in activating their VPN. If you use Private with Tor, which is free, then Brave uses Tor as a proxy.


Make sure to do research. “Free” VPN have to make money somehow. There are many who maintain their “free” service by collecting and selling your information. If not that, they often will show you ads and/or will have much slower speeds. Not to mention, security levels can be lower than premium. Lastly, some claim to be VPN when they are just proxy.

Sure it is. I just think people jump to conclusions quickly and don’t pay attention to everything. Not to mention, some YouTube videos or links might just be extremely vague. Such as when they say Brave is highest protection in a browser and keeps your data safe, they may not explain that you must enable particular settings in order to take advantage of things. So if you relied on those sources that didn’t explain and you haven’t reviewed the information on Brave’s site, then it’s likely you come in with preconceived notions that aren’t correct.

Base runs its default settings somewhere in between secure and normal. For example, Shield settings will be running so as to not break most sites. But that also means it’s not giving you 100% protection against trackers and all. In order to do that, you’ll need to enable some filter lists and change the default settings to be stricter. Though in doing this, you may encounter issues with some websites on occasion.

Or if you want to protect your IP address, you may need to run in Private with Tor. There’s a lot of things the browser can do. It’s just a matter of sitting down to “read the manual” so to speak. (They need to do a better job of guides, but they have some good help articles and all which can guide on some basics)

Dear Saoiray,

I don’t want to have a running argument with you over unimportant details - it’s not helpful to anyone and I don’t have the time. You previously said you thought Big Chief’s explanation was good and now you are saying he missed things out… I thought Big Chief did fine, I appreciated his efforts and s/he directed me to the underlying problem and solution, hence the thanks. I am not sure how you see your role as ‘community ninja’, but you might have added a simple comment such as “People might also find this information useful:…”
My opinion that Brave isn’t all it’s cracked up to be is not written as a statement of fact, it is simply an opinion; I will not be the only person critical of some of Brave’s features - even good software can be improved! I don’t wish to be converted to the cult of Brave - as a user I’m content it provides an improved performance over Chrome.
If you search on YouTube for videos explaining how to enable location hiding on Brave you will encounter several videos (aimed at people who are new to Brave) which explain how to hide one’s location and they do not mention having to use a VPN. And yes, I am now aware that other videos exist which explain that in order to hide one’s IP address a VPN should be used, but I did not encounter these in my initial searches. I won’t add links because I’m sure you (and others will) have the ability to find them unaided. :wink:

@Edwin87 All good, I’m not arguing either. I provided extra info. Even when I said they did good explaining, I said I was going to rephrase and add extra details. There are people who appreciate things like that, much as there are others who don’t. It seems you’re the latter.

As to the rest, I just was responding to what has been said and trying to provide answers. Often I do look at contect. For example, I explained Tor functionality with you and how it’s free within Brave. But even here in your last comment, you claim to have to use a VPN. That claim is false, as you could use Tor to hide your IP. Yet depending on what you mean, it also is true a VPN would keep you safer. So a lot of it just comes down to what a person means and how it is interpreted.

Anyway, glad to hear you have some answers now. While I believe there’s still some misunderstandings based on your responses, there’s not much else I can do as you’re expressing you don’t want to hear more. So I’ll end it at that and wish you the best.

Accidentally tagged BigChief instead of Edwin87. Sorry about that. Changed it right away but didn’t catch it before I submitted. So BigChief may have gotten a notification or seen this arrive in your email, depending on your settings.

Look, I’m not sure if you are part of the admin who run this site or not, but I would say that you are intent on point scoring, i.e. argumentative for the sake of being found ‘correct’ - that is not at all helpful!! I did not claim that Brave has to be used with a VPN - my observation was based on the advice you and Big Chief gave me after I started using a free VPN - it was apparent that my location was hidden. Yes, I could use Brave with Tor, but then I could use Tor alone - no need for me to use Brave. I really regret joining this forum now…

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