Everyday I read about new startups setting out to improve user experiences on the web. But there’s a bigger problem that's largely unaddressed, the infrastructure of the Internet is flawed. Applications and uses of the web have changed a lot over the years, but the same basic content delivery methods from the early 1990’s are still pervasive. Today, the traditional, in-browser HTTP server model is ancient. Content delivery from centralized data servers, like the ones Akamai started building in late 90’s, is limited in many geographies and unreliable.
Modern Peer-to-Peer projects, like MaidSafe and BitTorrent, are an inspiration. P2P decentralizes the Internet by transferring data via peers. When linked computers transmit information to and from each other, information disperses and becomes geographically agnostic. In my opinion, this strategy for solving some of the lingering problems of the Internet still has many limitations, like the requirement of a dedicated application for each such use instead of an in-browser solution. In order for continuous peering to work, end-users have to download invasive clients that always run in their computer’s background. Personally, I don’t want foreign software interacting with other outside sources running on my computer at all times. While this work is influential, P2P isn’t part of the web, and the need to install proprietary apps creates added friction, users need to pick a service, download it and then install it before they get the files they’re looking for. To take P2P to the next level it needs to become part of the fabric of the web, accessible in-browser, for those who want it.
When I (or anyone else) am on the web, I’m always in-browser. Solving the current infrastructure problem requires a new system that offers ease of use and a decentralized web, without being invasive. Peering data has huge potential to change the way people receive information, but only an in-browser, clientless, system provides users with seamless content delivery. Ultimately, for me, decentralizing the web requires an in-browser solution.
To learn more about Peer5, and our seamless in-browser P2P offerings, click here.