BitTorrent continues to try to move its P2P file-sharing system further afield beyond direct file downloads. Following the release of its own private file-sharing service and an IM client comes Project Maelstrom, its own web browser that can share webpages over P2P networks and comes with an integrated torrent download tool.
The Chromium-based browser will be very familiar to those used to Chrome, with practically all extensions in the Chrome Web Store also working on Maelstrom. It can also sync your login details and configuration based on your Gmail account. Nonetheless, its true appeal lies not in its speed or compatibility, but in its BitTorrent file-sharing technology.
Its objective is to decentralize the webpages you browse and use P2P networks to broadcast them, where the nodes are users themselves. Thus it’s not necessary to host your site on a physical third-party server; rather, it will persist as a shared network element for all Maelstrom users. This may sound idyllic and unattainable, but it’s also interesting in certain circumstances in terms of the security inherent in this network-sharing method. In fact, its official webpage offers tools to help you integrate your own site into this alternative broadcasting system.
In any case, Maelstrom also offers a traditional browsing system that, as mentioned, is based on Chromium (its first open beta uses version 37) and also takes advantage of BitTorrent’s other secret weapon by including a complete .torrent file download system inside the browser, with interesting features such as its compatibility with magnet links and ability to play videos in real time while you download them.
At the moment the first public Beta is only available for Windows.