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.
Using IPFS in the Browser
Visit try-ipfs.theblockchaininstitute.org to explore IPFS from your browser. No download required!
Using the IPFS Command Line
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.
How does it work?
IPFS depends on using a network of connected peer devices to store and distribute files. The node running in your browser is able to discover other nodes on the network. Conveniently, IPFS peers use RSA Encryption to verify their public keys, which prevents imposter attacks.
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. In fact, files are broken up in a process called sharding, so that only a small piece of your file will be on each individual node. This allows the network to respond dynamically to ensure that files are as available as possible.
In the next section, we’ll walk you through the IPFS command line utility and explore how IPFS storage and addressing work in a bit more detail. If you’re not a developer you might still want to try to follow along. The final section of this course covers the various decentralized storage projects, and it will help to understand the specifics before you get there.