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Cheatsheet: InterPlanetary File System

A blaggers guide to IPFS

What is the InterPlanetary File System?

The InterPlanetary File System (IFPS) is a way to store files on the internet that doesn't rely on sites being held on a central computer server, but is distributed across a network of computer servers that work peer to peer.

An IPFS address looks for a specific file (like a site, or an NFT), which is identified by a hash, and that is spread across many computers. This is a much more robust system where multiple computers all host the same file, ensuring that content remains live.

InterPlanetary sounds a bit Star Trek though...

Well, it is an accurate description as it is a global system, and really focuses on making sure that files are available as much as possible. As for the sci-fi name, we all use HTTP and aren't put off that it stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol

What is wrong with HTTP?

HTTP is fine and has served us well, but it literally uses one computer somewhere on the internet to host your files. That is a single point of failure, and that means:

  • If that server goes down its contents disappear from the internet, and if it is removed it is lost forever

  • Without extra security measures, it doesn’t actually make sure you get what you have asked for

  • It leads to massive data silos and the same files being uploaded many times

So IPFS is the HTTP killer?

Not quite, it is not a battle royal between HTTP and IPFS, with only one winner and picking sides. You can have both at the same time. There is no reason why you can’t bring your site onto IPFS today.

Will my website address change with IPFS?

Yes, you will get a shiny new eth address. There is never any harm in making sure that you have your brand names registered and protected, and before you ask, 'google.eth' has gone.

How do I get it?

There are a few steps, and solutions. Get in touch with us here to find out a bit more?

And what do I say to IT?

You are protecting your brand, making sure there is super resilient availability, and taking necessary steps for Web 3.

What shouldn't I mention?

Maybe give the Star Trek references a miss when you're telling the CEO that you're the future?

Thank you.

Live long and prosper


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