In brief

  • Brave is a web browser built on privacy.
  • The InterPlanetary File System is a distributed protocol for sharing files.
  • Now, IPFS is integrated into Brave.

Since launching in 2018, Brave has built a loyal following by giving Web users what they want: more privacy and fewer ads.

Now, it’s letting users give back by making the internet more censorship-resistant.

The privacy-centric Brave browser has tucked a nifty new integration into today’s software update that lets Brave users view content via the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS).

The IPFS is a decentralized system for sharing files in which websites are hosted not by companies but by other IPFS users running nodes. According to Protocol Labs, the makers of IPFS, the peer-to-peer protocol saves bandwidth, improves internet connectivity, and makes it easier to keep content online.

That especially goes for Web users in countries with blocked websites, pointed out IPFS Project Lead Molly Mackinlay. 

“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,” she said via a press release. “Now anyone with an internet connection can access this critical information through IPFS on the Brave browser.” 

That fits well with the ethos of Brave, which already aims to put control into users’ hands. For example, it already rewards users who view advertisements with its native token, the Basic Attention Token (BAT). Users can then use BAT to tip publishers or exchange it for cash. Brave also allows users to block things like trackers and cookies. 

To use IPFS on Brave, users must first have version 1.19 installed. Then, they have two routes. The first is to just plug an IPFS URL into the browser. Here’s one. That allows the user to access the content via a public gateway. 

The second method is to install a local IPFS node, which would make the network stronger and also allow users to look at prior content while offline. If Brave detects IPFS content, it will give users the option of using a local node.

And, if you need something to read on your private, censorship-resistant internet, might we suggest Decrypt? You can read it via IPFS by using the IPFS link at the bottom of any article.

Okay, enough advertising.