The protocol brings with it several advantages over HTTP. One of the big ones is that it promises to make browsing the web faster since you’ll be able to access websites through nearby nodes, instead of servers in far off locations. It could also reduce operating costs for publishers since they won’t need to invest as much in expensive server hosting. However, by far the most significant way in which IPFS could change the internet is in that it would make it more difficult for governments to censor specific websites.
“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,” said Molly Mackinlay, IPFS project lead. “Now anyone with an internet connection can access this critical information through IPFS on the Brave browser.”
In that same way, IPFS would also make websites more resistant to the kind of enforcement action we saw Amazon take against Parler earlier in the month. Of course, more browsers will need to adopt and implement the protocol before that’s a realistic possibility. With 24 million monthly active users, Brave is a growing player in the browser space, but it’s far from the biggest one. It would take a giant like Chrome, which has had 1 billion users since 2016, to make the decentralized web a real possibility.
You can start accessing IPFS content by installing version 1.19 of Brave, which is available to download beginning today.