Since the explosion of cryptocurrencies, open source developers have tried to implement decentralized technology in all kinds of things, including the protocols that the internet works on. The Interplanetary File System (IPFS) is one of the most ambitious technologies in that regard, and Brave has become the first browser to support it natively.
Like HTTP, IPFS is a protocol that enables the transfer of hypermedia documents over the network. But it does so with a peer-to-peer (p2p) method, eliminating the need for websites to have a central origin server. IPFS is a distributed file system. Rather than downloading a file as a web page from a single computer, you get its parts from multiple computers simultaneously, saving bandwidth and addressing many of the inherent problems of today’s internet protocol.
“We use content routing so that content can be unlinked from the origin servers and stored permanently,” he told TechCrunch the Mexican Juan Benet, who launched IPFS in 2015. “This means that the content can be stored and served very close to the user, perhaps even from a computer in the same room. Content routing also allows us to verify the data, because other hosts may not be trusted. And once the user device has the content, it can be cached indefinitely. “
IPFS allows users to not only receive, but also host content, as is the case on the BitTorrent network. One user or node can serve a file, and another can find it with a distributed hash table (DHT). IPFS makes it possible to access blocked content in certain jurisdictions. Content signing and addressing in turn enable you to store unalterable data, eliminate duplicate data, prevent DDoS attacks, and improve network performance.
The Brave browser, known for block trackers and invasive advertising by default, adds native IPFS support as of version 1.19. With the latest update, users can access network content from addresses beginning with ipfs: //, as well as host their own node. According to the company, created by one of Mozilla’s founders, adding IFPS support to Brave will help improve the “overall resilience of the internet.”