The Internet has come a long way since its inception, providing us with a wealth of information and resources at our fingertips. However, as the amount of data and information available continues to grow, the traditional centralized model of the Internet has shown a wide range of bottlenecks and restrictions when it comes to data accessibility and stability. A new, decentralized model of the Internet, commonly referred to as ‘Web3’, has been developed to solve these issues and more, including data ownership and security.
The core component that contributes to a piece of data’s accessibility and stability is where that data is stored. If data is stored on a centralized storage solution, like a local hard drive or a centralized cloud provider, it doesn’t benefit from the same attributes that it would if it were stored on a decentralized solution. To provide a decentralized solution that provides a more efficient and reliable way to store and access data, InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) comes in.
What is IPFS?
IPFS is a decentralized, peer-to-peer file storage protocol that provides a decentralized data storage alternative to traditional centralized storage solutions. Each node on IPFS is located in a diverse geographic location around the globe, and there is no central authority that controls the majority of the nodes that participate on the network. It was created to address the problems of scalability, security, and control that are inherent in the current centralized data storage model. IPFS allows for the storage and retrieval of data in a decentralized manner, making it more accessible and stable than other data storage options.
When a file is uploaded to IPFS, it is given a unique identifier value known as a content identifier or CID. Each CID is generated using a cryptographic hash based on the file’s contents and metadata information, and any change in these values will result in a different CID value. Once a file is stored on an IPFS node that broadcasts it’s stored CIDs to the Distributed Hash Table (DHT), the DHT is updated to include a correlation between the IPFS node’s address and the CID of the file that it is storing. The DHT acts as a large database that stores this information for every file stored on IPFS.
When a file is requested to be viewed or downloaded from IPFS, the DHT can be queried to locate the file. If the IPFS node doesn’t broadcast the CIDs to the DHT, the node that took in the file retrieval request has to query it’s direct peers and ask if any of them have records of which node is storing the requested CID.
The Role of IPFS in Promoting Data Accessibility
One of the biggest benefits of IPFS is its ability to promote data accessibility. In a centralized model, data is stored on a single server or set of servers, making it vulnerable to outages, censorship, and other forms of disruption. With IPFS, data is stored on a network of nodes, making it more resistant to these types of issues. This results in more reliable and accessible data for users, as well as a more stable and resilient network overall.
Additionally, all CIDs are publicly available to anyone in the world without needing to manage account permissions or access control parameters. Between the decentralized architecture of IPFS and the publicity of each file stored, IPFS helps to provide a faster and more efficient way of accessing data, as opposed to the traditional centralized model where data is retrieved from a single source.
The Role of IPFS in Promoting Data Stability
In addition to promoting data accessibility, IPFS also promotes data stability by facilitating IPFS a dispersed network of data that is less susceptible to data loss or outages. To further increase data stability, Filebase provides a geo-redundant IPFS pinning service. Files uploaded to an IPFS on Filebase are automatically pinned to IPFS and stored with 3x replication across the Filebase infrastructure by default, at no extra cost to you. This means your data is accessible and reliable in the event of a disaster or outage, and won't be affected by the IPFS garbage collection process.
Furthermore, IPFS uses cryptographic hashes to identify files, providing data authenticity and validity that makes it easy to determine if data has been altered or tampered with.
IPFS has the potential to revolutionize the way data is stored and accessed on the internet. By promoting data accessibility and stability, IPFS provides a more reliable and efficient way of accessing information and resources.
You can sign up for a free Filebase account to get started with your IPFS journey today.