BitTorrent is looking for Alpha testers for a new product called Project Maelstrom, and what that is may surprise you: a browser based on the company’s peer-to-peer sharing technology. What does that mean, exactly? Well, the company’s keeping details hush-hush at this point, but if the browser works just like a torrent client, then it will most likely load websites from peers instead of from servers. BitTorrent believes that its success could not only protect people’s privacy online, but also help maintain net neutrality and keep the web open.
BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer file sharing company, is today opening an alpha test for its latest stab at disrupting — or at least getting people to rethink — how users interact with each other and with content over the Internet. Project Maelstrom is BitTorrent’s take on the web browser: doing away with centralised servers, web content is instead shared through torrents on a distributed network. BitTorrent years ago first made a name for itself as a P2P network for illicit file sharing — a service that was often used to share premium content for free at a time when it was hard to get legal content elsewhere. More recently, the company has been applying its knowledge of distributed architecture to tackle other modern file-sharing problems, producing services like Sync to share large files with others, Bundle for content makers to have a way of distributing and selling content; and the Bleep messaging service.