BitTorrent's browser now available for download

BitTorrent's Project Maelstrom browser is now available in a public beta for Windows.

BitTorrent has released the public beta of Project Maelstrom, its new P2P-based web browser. Currently available only for Windows, the browser aims to offer improved confidentiality, security and download management.

In an effort to sidestep government censure and surveillance, Project Maelstrom uses the same peer-to-peer (P2P) technology that powers the BitTorrent file sharing protocol. According to BitTorrent, the new browser offers a more efficient and economical alternative to accessing the web through the conventional Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

The protocol war

While Maelstrom can of course be used to connect to conventional websites (addresses starting with http://), it also enables access to special "bittorrent://" pages, examples of which are provided on the browser's home page. These are stored across multiple users' browsers rather than on a single centralized server. BitTorrent points out that in addition to web pages, the browser could be used to store games and other apps.

Like Chrome, Maelstrom is based on the open-source browser technology Chromium, which allows users to connect to any conventional site and to download files (including torrents).

Initially a groundbreaking P2P file sharing protocol, BitTorrent is now a website offering a range of programs and services. The platform, which has served up over 100 million downloads, also offers legal content downloads in the form of bundles of different file types (audio, video, etc.). Madonna, Moby and De La Soul are among the artists who have delivered content to their fans through the platform.

Download Project Maelstrom: