IPFS Explained In 2min
A lightning and fun article to bring everyone up to speed on IPFS, its usage and basic mechanisms. Even grandma will get it. No need to be a rocket scientist to understand IPFS! 😁
What Does IPFS Do?
It allows you to store data (files, folders, objects…) in a distributed way.
This data is accessible through unique identifiers (CIDs) that ensures it hasn’t been changed.
Who Stores The Data?
Anyone running the IPFS program on a machine (tablet, laptop, server, etc) connected to the IPFS network.
When doing the above, that machine is called “an IPFS Node”.
Sounds Great! Why Are People Complaining About Lost Files Then?
Because each node chooses which file to store. And if you want to access a file that’s not stored by any node — or none of the ones that store them is online — then your file is unavailable.
By the way, in the IPFS lingo, storing something that’s available is called “pinning”.
Seems Like A Business Opportunity. Doesn’t It?
Exactly. There are now companies providing “Pinning Services”. They run the IPFS program on one or several machines that are always online.
Some of them: Axel, Eternum, Infura, Pinata, Temporal.
But… But… It’s Centralization All Over Again!
You are right. Outrageous, I know.
We are now transitioning to Decentralized Pinning Services. Aleph.im is one of the pioneers in that field.
Decentralized Pinning Services… Oh My… Can I Know More?
That’s enough for today. Let’s keep it short and sweet. 😉
Check out the official IPFS documentation, it’s actually quite beginner friendly.
IPFS = InterPlanetary File System
IPFS Node = the IPFS program running your local computer to store data and connect to the IPFS network
CID = Content Identifier; the unique hash that identifies a specific file or folder.
IPFS Path = The whole path for a specific resource, comprised of: “/ipfs/CID/file” (file being optional, and only there in case of a containing folder).
Gateway = A web server that serves content of various paths. Example: https://ipfs.aleph.im/ or https://ipfs.io/.
IPFS Services on aleph.im
Pinning on aleph.im: https://medium.com/aleph-im/pioneering-decentralized-ipfs-pinning-services-fe31d9d5817b
An NFT Backup Dapp To Protect Your NFTs: https://medium.com/aleph-im/an-nft-backup-dapp-to-protect-your-nfts-66fb3b094152
Explanation Provided By Aleph.im
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Aleph.im’s core mission is to help re-decentralized the web. By helping apps and protocols strip off the centralized parts of their stack, achieving a fully decentralized architecture. Aleph.im achieves this by providing decentralized databases (including file storage), computation and a decentralized identification (DID) framework. You can think of aleph.im as a decentralized AWS or Firebase.