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Photo: 24K-Production (Shutterstock) Brave is now the first web browser with integrated InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) support. IPFS is a peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol, and provides a different way of building and using the internet compared to the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Over Secure Socket Layer) protocols we’ve used for decades. This is a notable change for Brave users that impacts browsing speed, connection stability, privacy, and even legislation, but it could even affect the future of the internet in general if other browsers follow Brave’s lead. Before we get into why IPFS support is a big deal, let’s explain how it works and what makes it different from HTTP/HTTPS. What is IPFS? When you use HTTP or HTTPS, your browser uses URLs (universal resource locators) to access websites from centralized servers. Your physical proximity to the servers affects how much bandwidth is used and how long it takes to load the page. Instead of URLs and servers, IPFS distributes website data across a network. The data is accessed with URIs (universal resource identifier). You can read more about how IPFS works on Brave’s announcement post , but in simple terms, it’s similar to BitTorrent and blockchain. Each computer or mobile device—known as “nodes”—temporarily stores a piece of a website’s data. So whenever you access a website via IPFS, you’re loading the data from other nearby nodes on the network. Users can also access IPFS content via a “public gateway,” if they do not wish […]