This technology didn’t just pop up overnight! In this section we’ll cover the background of decentralized storage from torrents until now, and go through some basics terminology to get you up to speed.
In this module, we cover how to set up your own IPFS node, and how to push and pull files from the network. We’ll also go over the addressing structure and get you caught up on the background of this technology.
State of the Industry
IPFS is just the beginning - in this module we'll catch you up on the developments currently affecting the space, and cover the various cryptocurrencies and tokens that have proposed incentive models for peer to peer storage.
Decentralization in the Browser
Since it would be impractical to expect everyone to upgrade their software for decentralized storage such as IPFS right away, teams like those at Protocol Labs are developing different modules that allow the technology to run in nontraditional places. For example, any website to easily integrate peer to peer storage into their services by making use of WebRTC technologies built into modern browsers.
Using the Interface
When you reach the page, you’ll be able to upload and download files from IPFS using the browser window.
Everything here is working just like it did in the command line interface. Once the node is done initializing, it will have its own ID and addresses and will begin to network with other IPFS peers throughout the network. You can see the connected peers in the lower left portion of the user interface:
These are IPFS addresses, which can make things a bit difficult to read, but you’ll notice there are patterns depending on the client software being used and the location of the node. When your node uploads or requests a file, these other nodes will receive your request and either serve the file themselves, or offer routing information to a node that can serve the file.
The peers we see above are operating for free to facilitate the network, which presents some problems if we want to get things running at a larger scale. Instead, a number of solutions have been proposed to compensate nodes for storing files. This problem is largely unsolved though several projects are attempting to solve this issue along with tackling many others.