The protocol provides several advantages over HTTP. One of the biggest is that it promises to make browsing the web faster, as you will be able to access websites through nearby nodes, instead of servers in remote locations. It could also lower operating costs for publishers, as they won’t need to invest so much in hosting expensive servers. However, by far the most significant way IPFS could change the Internet is that it would make it harder for governments to censor specific websites.
“Today, web users around the world cannot 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, ”said Molly Mackinlay, IPFS project lead. “Now anyone with an Internet connection can access this critical information through IPFS on the Brave browser.”
Likewise, IPFS would also make websites more resilient to the kind of enforcement actions we’ve seen Amazon take. against Speak earlier in the month. Of course, more browsers will need to adopt and implement the protocol before this is a realistic possibility. With 24 million monthly active users, Brave is a growing player in the browser space, but it is far from the biggest. It would take a giant like Chrome, which had 1 billion users since 2016, to make decentralized web a real possibility.
You can start accessing IPFS content by installing Brave version 1.19, which is available for download starting today.