All the Ways You Can Surf the Decentralized Web Today

The decentralized web is here. It’s growing fast and is easier than ever to use.

A normal website has two basic components: a web server where the website files are stored, and a DNS name to access the website in a human-friendly way. A decentralized website makes both parts censorship-resistant: it uses IPFS (a distributed file storage network) for storage, and the Ethereum Name Service (ENS; a decentralized Ethereum-based naming system) for the name to access it.

There are tons of such websites, which you can easily find with the decentralized web directory and search engine Esteroids, with new ones being added all the time (check out their Twitter feed to stay updated).

Here’s how you can access the decentralized web today.

Browsers with native support

There are at least six browsers with native support for ENS+IPFS websites. That means you can just type “vitalik.eth/” into the URL bar and it should work without special extensions.

Those browsers are Brave (desktop), Opera, Status (mobile), MetaMask Mobile (mobile), and Puma.

Native ENS+IPFS support in MetaMask Mobile.

MetaMask extension on desktop

If you are using Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or the Tor Browser on desktop, you can add support with the MetaMask browser extension. MetaMask turns your ordinary browser into a Web3 browser capable of interacting with Ethereum dapps.

Many people in the blockchain space already have MetaMask added to their browser but may not know that it makes your browser support decentralized websites. So if you have MetaMask, try going to “almonit.eth/” right now and watch the magic happen.

Support for ENS+IPFS in Firefox via the MetaMask extension.

For everyone else

But what if you don’t have any of the browsers above and don’t have MetaMask? We’ve still got you covered.

In any normal browser, you can simply append “.LINK” or “.LIMO” to the end of a .ETH name, and it will load like a normal website. So, for example, you can go to esteroids.eth.limo.

We call the system that makes this work EthDNS, and we developed it in collaboration with Protocol Labs, the original creators and stewards of IPFS. Cloudflare now runs this service for us.

What is there to see?

Lots! The best place to start exploring is one of the decentralized website directories like Esteroids.

You can find everything from personal blogs and games to company websites and even the Bible.

Happy surfing!

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