The InterPlanetary File System, or IPFS for short, is a network of computers that work together to store and share files in a decentralized manner like blockchain technology. The IPFS network is formed by a combination of computers, and the new computers or storage devices in the network can form individual nodes. Basically, IPFS algorithmically encrypts the file to be stored on the network and sends it to devices. Thus, the encrypted file is divided into parts and stored on a decentralized network. IPFS differs from traditional centralized web platforms that rely on a single server, such as the HTTP protocol, because files can span many locations and users can easily access the data.
Moreover, IPFS offers enhanced security for data stored on the network thanks to its decentralized nature. Since files are stored in a decentralized manner, it is difficult for cyber attackers to target a specific location such as a server. Besides, computers on the network cannot access the contents of the data they store. That’s because data is encrypted and sent over the network before it’s stored. For example, the block that stores the data sees it as "QmcBLMry4KaC9y7mh4WceH8nGPCGL", which provides additional security for users who use the IPFS network for storage purposes.
IPFS is a new way to store and share data, which is faster and more secure than traditional methods. In addition to the encryption mechanism often used in cryptocurrencies, IPFS uses a decentralized network of servers to store files and an addressable mechanism like cryptocurrency wallets to easily access stored files.
How Does IPFS Work?
Let’s look at an example to better understand how the IPFS protocol works. James wants to share a photo with his friends Russell and Thomas and adds it to the IPFS network. Then, the photo is divided into smaller pieces and goes through a cryptographic encryption process. Instead of being stored on a single server, the pieces of the photo are distributed and stored on the IPFS network. Russell and Thomas need to use the IPFS client and have the password for the photo. They make a request through the client, and the client assembles the pieces of the photo distributed to the network in seconds so they can view it.