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How Beaker works

What's the peer-to-peer Web?

The peer-to-peer Web is a loose term for websites and apps that are transported with a peer-to-peer protocol instead of HTTP.

There are many peer-to-peer (p2p) protocols with subtle differences, but they share some important properties:

  • Files are not bound to any one IP address or server
  • You download files from other people on the network
  • Anyone can become an uploader (or seeder), contributing bandwidth to help host files

Peer-to-peer protocols and Beaker

We call Beaker a p2p browser because it supports a p2p protocol called Dat (dat://). Adding dat:// support in the browser made it possible for Beaker to provide experimental new features:

  • Publishing websites and files from the browser, no server required
  • APIs for building p2p apps
  • Powerful View Source and in-browser editor
  • Live reloading, offline sync, and more

How is Beaker different from other browsers?

Beaker is unique because it provides browsing support for dat:// URLs, and provides new Web APIs for building p2p websites and applications.

You can also browse http:// and https:// websites with Beaker, and Beaker’s browsing interfaces should feel comfortable and familiar.

Read next: peer-to-peer websites