In celebration of its 10th anniversary last August, The Pirate Bay presented a gift to its users – the PirateBrowser.
Since The Pirate Bay is censored in countries all around the world, many users have to jump through hoops to access it. The PirateBrowser software allows people to bypass these restrictions, without having to use a proxy site or other circumvention tool.
The browser is based on Firefox and utilizes the Tor network to obfuscate people’s locations. It is meant purely as a tool to circumvent censorship and unlike the Tor browser it doesn’t provide any anonymity for its users.
The browser idea clearly appealed to a wide audience with the number of downloads going through the roof right from the start.
Recently, PirateBrowser achieved a new milestone. The Pirate Bay team informs TorrentFreak that more than five million people have downloaded a copy of the tool from the official website. That’s an average of more than half a million downloads per month.
Since its first release there haven’t been any additions to the software, but this will change in the coming weeks. The Pirate Bay team will push out an update soon with upgraded versions of the software. In addition, the new release will have support for social media sites, to serve users in countries where these services are restricted or blocked.
Another new feature will be to have lists of blocked sites per country, so users are only redirected through a proxy site when it’s needed.
In a separate and even more ambitious effort the team also continues the development of a special BitTorrent-powered application, which lets users store and distribute The Pirate Bay and other websites on their own computers. Instead of bypassing external censors, the new tool will create its own P2P network through which sites can be accessed without restrictions.
This “p2p browser” should be able to keep The Pirate Bay operational, even if the site itself is pulled offline. There is currently no estimated release date set for this second project, but it will take a few more months of development at minimum.