What is IPFS?

The InterPlanetary File System, known as IPFS, functions as a distributed peer-to-peer system, allowing nodes to keep and share files amongst themselves. Unlike other decentralized storage networks, like Sia, IPFS doesn't directly constitute a network. Instead, it's a communication methodology that defines the processes and elements allowing the IPFS network to function. Tools like the IPFS Desktop client or IPFS CLI daemon empower IPFS nodes to communicate with others utilizing the same software, thereby forming a community of peers engaged in storing and exchanging files with each other.

HTTP: The Client-Server Model

Usually, when you open a webpage, several protocols collaborate to present the website to you. Initially, the DNS protocol locates the IP address associated with the domain name. Following that, HTTP takes over to solicit the website from the host server. This series of actions is known as the client-server model.

The client-server model, though pivotal in our current interactions with the internet, is inherently centralized. This centralization introduces risks like instability, vulnerability, and singular failure points. In this model, the onus is entirely on the host server to ensure uninterrupted availability and access to the website. Should the host server encounter an issue, such as an outage, catastrophe, or hardware malfunction, the website could become unattainable.

A significant distinction between HTTP and IPFS lies in the request handling. HTTP merely directs your website request to the host server and doesn't pass the request to other servers that might be capable of responding if the primary server is down. This crucial difference highlights a fundamental variation between the conventional HTTP approach and the IPFS methodology.

What About Centralized Cloud Providers?

Cloud providers like AWS and Google Cloud are popular choices for hosting websites, files, and applications. They offer redundancy and high availability by distributing resources across multiple servers, often within the same geographical area. While this provides protocol-level redundancy, it doesn't protect against data center-wide outages, natural disasters, or human errors.

These solutions are unique to each provider and lack standardization, leading to vendor lock-in. Customers may find themselves tied to a specific provider, even if alternatives could offer more advantages.

Additionally, large cloud providers' significant market share means that any outages or disasters can have a far-reaching impact. Failures can affect thousands of services and lead to cascading failures, highlighting the potential vulnerabilities of relying solely on these big providers for hosting and storage needs.


IPFS shares similarities with HTTP, the central protocol that shapes the way we access and generate content on the web today. Though IPFS is a newer development, it boasts an array of unique characteristics and advantages over HTTP.

To harmonize these two protocols, IPFS HTTP gateways are employed. These gateways merge the features of both protocols, enabling interaction with and development using IPFS by channeling the IPFS network through HTTP requests.

How does IPFS work?

IPFS stands out from other decentralized storage networks by incorporating distinct features and characteristics, including content addressing, the utilization of directed acyclic graphs (DAGs), and the implementation of distributed hash tables (DHTs). These elements collectively contribute to the uniqueness and functionality of IPFS in comparison to alternative decentralized storage systems.

IPFS: The Peer-To-Peer Solution

IPFS operates on a peer-to-peer communication protocol, where every peer (or node) is interconnected with all others. Unlike the client-server model, each peer in IPFS acts as both client and server, allowing any peer to respond to requests for files or websites. This structure contributes to high availability, dependability, and resilience against network interruptions.

Peers in the IPFS network combine their resources such as storage capacity and internet bandwidth, ensuring continuous accessibility to files and resistance to downtime. Most importantly, this system promotes decentralization, eliminating reliance on a single point of control or failure, which contrasts sharply with the vulnerabilities present in the centralized models used by major cloud providers.

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