Brave, one of the most secure and fastest browsers, has now taken crucial steps in extending its support to a decentralized web. Brave is now going to offer native integration with a peer-to-peer networking protocol and is the first mainstream browser to do.
The browser makes use of the IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) technology to improve upon the existing HTTP protocol, while also increasing the speed of accessing content. Generally speaking, HTTP obtains information from a central server. But IPFS, however, obtains information from a network of distributed nodes.
Simply put, using IPFS is more or less like downloading from BitTorrent instead of downloading from a central server. So each time you access a website from Brave browser, the website content is obtained from various distributed nodes.
IPFS not only helps lower server costs for website owners and content publishers but also helps make web content more immune to censorship, promoting internet freedom.
Brave has already been offering early support of IPFS since 2018; but with the latest 1.19 version, users can now use IPFS directly. URLs must either be started with ipfs:// instead of http:// or a “full IPFS node in one click” must be installed.
“IPFS gives users a solution to the problem of centralized servers creating a central point of failure for content access,” said Brian Bondy, CTO of Brave.
Molly Mackinlay, IPFS project lead, said that the usage of decentralized web can help beat “systemic data censorship.”
“Today, Web users across the world are unable to access restricted content, including, for example, parts of Wikipedia in Thailand, over 100,000 blocked websites in Turkey, and critical access to COVID-19 information in China,” says Mackinlay.
At a juncture where online censorship has become a rampant issue, be it due to Big Tech or authoritative regimes such as China, a decentralized web may be a plausible solution as it cannot be manipulated or controlled like the conventional web.