In the game of desktop web browsers these days, you have to be different to hope to stand a chance against the big guys. And that’s exactly what BitTorrent is attempting with their browser software, dubbed Project Maelstrom. What makes it different? Instead of getting data from centralized servers, websites can be delivered via peer-to-peer connections, just like how that new Hollywood movie gets passed around so quickly. While the browser was in alpha only a few months ago, a beta is now available to download for Windows PC users.
If at first glance you think Project Maelstrom looks a lot like Google’s Chrome, you’d be right. That’s because it’s based on the Chromium open source code, much like the Opera browser when it was refreshed several years ago. However, Project Maelstrom’s advantage over Chrome is that it can manage more URIs.
With the way the web exists today, it will be some time before websites migrate to decentralized delivery methods, though one motivating factor could be lower server costs. Project Maelstrom acts a preview of peer-to-peer network advantages, with the beta including tools for web developers.
For users, BitTorrent’s browser means they don’t need to use a torrent client when visiting tracking sites. Torrent links are handled by Maelstrom by default, downloading files just as one would in Chrome. New for the beta is streaming video support, as well as auto-updates. Check out the Project Maelstrom blog post for the full details.