Dat protocol is a hypermedia peer-to-peer protocol, provides the end user an easy way to create decentralized private web. There are other projects can achieve that, but they were built for developers, geeks, and advanced users, However, Dat is much easier to use and quicker to grasp, It has also powerful easy to use tools for non-technical users.
What is the peer-to-peer network?
Peer-to-peer is a decentralized communications model in which each party has the same privileges and both parties can start or initiate the communication. Unlike the classic model: client-server, peer-to-peer model allows each to act as both client and server.
Why using it.
It's private, secure and fast, There is no need for a server or complex setup or configurations. It costs nothing of advanced hardware, of high-level technical skills to use.
First of all, It's easy to use, there is no need for a complex learning curve, or spending hours reading documentation meant for developers, It has desktop ready applications.
It's free from many aspects, free as an open source project built by a community on a long-running concept, which makes it suitable for use, free of the fear of powering down or disconnecting.
General use cases of dat
It's not just about peer-to-peer file sharing when it comes to dat://, as many may use it for such use, It also helps the user to build decentralized websites and distribute them for free with no time.
How to use dat protocol?
Personally, I prefer the command-line tool, However, I find the desktop application pretty easy and useful especially when one of them " Beaker browser" becomes my main daily used platform to edit, manage, and share my TiddlyWiki. So here I will list the most powerful and yet only desktop apps for dat yet.
Dat Desktop application
Dat Desktop is an application for sharing files/ folders over Dat protocol. It has very simple easy to use interface, allows the users to share folders and download other shared projects with them with the provided dat:// URL. Despite the simplicity of it, It gives the user insights about how many peers are connected, the transfer speed, and allows them to pause and resume sharing.
Dat desktop has been released under MIT License, and It works on Mac OSX, Linux. There is no Windows version yet. Hopefully, it's coming soon as declared in the download page.
Using dat desktop app
It's pretty straightforward, run the application and choose share folder and select a folder you wanna share, or if you about to receive files over dat:// select download and add the link you received, and it'll start downloading the file.
Beaker browser is a peer-to-peer web browser built to browse dat:// protocol, It helps the user to create a decentralized website, and share files/ folders over dat. While Dat Desktop is focusing on sharing files and folders, Beaker browser is extending its functionality to the developers with API to build decentralized simple applications.
So Beaker browser basically gives the user the power of creating a decentralized website, seed it, and publish it from his own machine, within few mins.
Currently, Beaker browser start having some apps and website, you may browse them from Beaker browser directory.
Applications built on dat protocol
SceinceFair is a decentralized peer-to-peer application that allows the user to discover, collect, organize, read and analyze scientific papers and articles. It has simple user-interface but yet advanced features for searching, locating and download the requested materials with ease, alongside powerful viewing tools and options. It has Built-in bibliometrics and analytics.
ScienceFair allows the user to share their created data-sources over dat protocol which means as they declare :
downloads come from the nearest, fastest sources
it doesn't matter if the original source goes offline
only the original creator can add new content
anyone can create a datasource (tools to make this easy coming soon)
your local collection of articles is ready for data mining.