Right now, pretty much the majority of the internet is hosted on various dedicated servers. This means that whenever you want to access a website, the contents from that website are pulled from that server and displayed on your computer. Now it seems that Brave, a browser that focuses on privacy, is taking steps to try and change that.
The latest update to the browser introduces what is known as InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). This means that instead of contents of a website being hosted on a centralized server, it is now decentralized and is hosted on multiple nodes that could be spread throughout the world. According to a pretty accurate analogy from Motherboard, it’s similar to BitTorrent where websites like The Pirate Bay don’t actually host the contents of the torrent, but instead relies on groups of individuals to help share the file itself.
The concept of a decentralized web isn’t new, but Brave’s integration of IPFS is now taking us one step closer to making it a reality. For those wondering why we would want a decentralized web, there are several advantages to it. One of those advantages is that it could offer a faster experience, where you could access a website through a node that’s closer to you.
It could also reduce operational costs for publishers who might not need to spend so much money on hosting services. It could also help with censorship, where governments might find it difficult or impossible to censor content simply because these nodes could be located anywhere.
Of course, there are also downsides to such a system, where the lack of a centralized server means that it would be harder for authorities to track down illegal websites and content. In any case, for those who are interested, you can check out the latest version of the browser via its website.