What is IPFS?

Interplanetary File System (IPFS) is a modern peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol that seeks to complement, if not entirely substitute, the current Hypertext Transfer Protocol. This method is the product of a combination of modern and emerging inventions. Protocol Labs, a network protocol R&D lab and former Y Combinator start-up, developed IPFS as an open-source project.

IPFS is a distributed storage and access mechanism for archives, websites, programmes, and records. It is transport layer independent, which means it can connect over a variety of transport layers, including TCP, UTP, UDT, QUIC, TOR, and even Bluetooth. IPFS has laws that govern the movement of data and content through the network.

How Does IPFS Work?

IPFS is analogous to the World Wide Web in that it is a distributed file system as we know it today, However, it more closely resembles a single BitTorrent swarm exchanging artifacts within a single Git repository.

A hash table is a data structure that uses key/value pairs to store data. Data dispersed through a network of computers and efficiently coordinated to allow easy access and lookup between nodes in distributed hash tables (DHT).

Through relying on a revolutionary data exchange protocol, the common file sharing system BitTorrent able to effectively coordinate the transmission of data between millions of nodes. But, unluckily it is restricted to the torrent ecosystem. IPFS implements BitSwap, which is a simplified version of this protocol that acts as a marketplace for any kind of data.

Merkle DAGs are a cross between Merkle Trees and Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAG). Merkle trees ensure the data blocks sent over peer-to-peer networks are accurate, undamaged, and unaltered. Users can accomplish this by using cryptographic hash functions to organise data blocks. The Merkle DAG framework also helps you to build a distributed version control system (VCS).

The Self-certifying File System is the last basic part of Interplanetary File System that we’ll go through (SFS). It’s a distributed file system that doesn’t need any special access in order to transfer files. It is “self-certifying” and the file name authenticates the data served to a recipient (which is signed by the server). What’s the end result? With the transparency of local storage, you can easily access remote content.

IPFS builds on this idea in order to construct the Inter Planetary Name Space (IPNS). It’s a self-certifying SFS that uses public-key cryptography to validate artefacts published by network users.

Above all, IPFS enables data distribution with high throughput and low latency. It’s also stable and decentralized. This brings up a slew of new and thrilling possibilities. Hence, users can use it to distribute content to websites, store files globally with automated versioning and backups, and make stable filesharing and encrypted communication possible.