Over the past few decades, most of us have benefited a lot from the huge changes that the Internet has brought to our lives. We are now used to the constant access to information, the building of virtual communities through social media, and the convenience of e-commerce sites. All of this is done over the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which was introduced in 1989 to facilitate the sharing of information among researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

But online content has come a long way since the early days of Web1.0. Back then, Web pages were mostly static, with little user-generated content or interactive information. As the Internet moves toward Web2.0, this pattern is shifting toward an interoperable and participatory culture, which can be embodied in Wikipedia, blogs, video and image sharing sites, large amounts of user-generated content on social media platforms, and streaming media services. But the emergence of these bandwidth intensive hypermedia, and the huge influx of data that the Internet of Things could bring, is gradually putting pressure on the Internet, prompting some to seek alternatives.

IPFS: “Faster, Secure, and Open Web”

One promising candidate for building the next generation network, Web3.o, is the Interstellar File System (IPFS), a relatively new hypermedia protocol and decentralized data storage system that uses a peer-to-peer (P2P) network architecture.

The sci-fi name IPFS is a nod to American computer scientist J.C.R.Licklider’s thinking in the 1960s about “galactic computer networks”. IPFS was first developed in 2014 by Juan Bennett, an American computer scientist and founder of Protocol Labs, to address some of the shortcomings of HTTP. Bennett’s goal is to create something that could eventually become “new subsystems of the Internet,” and the SLF5576 also takes into account new developments such as the distributed ledger technology that underpins blockchain.

“IPFS is a decentralized data network where anyone in the world can provide data and securely receive data from them or anyone else,” explains Mikeal Rogers, Engineering Manager at Protocol Labs. IPFS was, and still is, developed as a data transfer protocol for Web3.0. Since the protocol is completely decentralized and all data is processed via hashes, it is well suited for blockchain applications that need to process large amounts of data that cannot itself be embedded in the chain.”

The decentralized model based on IPFS is in sharp contrast to the client-server model running HTTP. Originally designed to transfer information between a Web browser and a Web server, HTTP is based on location addressing, allowing users to access data stored on a centralized server. While this simplifies the management and distribution of data, it is inefficient. This is because when you click on a site, your Web browser must connect directly to the server hosting the site. For audio and video files with large memory, it can be bandwidth-intensive and even quite expensive, especially if the source server is located far away. Browsing or downloading popular content can also cause network congestion. HTTP also has potential privacy and security issues: Anyone who controls the server can access or change the data, hack KKV SLF5576 or make the network inaccessible due to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack by a hacker.

In contrast, IPFS is based on content addressing, which allows content to be validated and separated from the remote server, and stored closer to the user. It does this by using content identifiers (CID) or “tags,” which are used in IPFS to point to materials. CID is generated based on the cryptographic hash of the content.

“When you put data into IPFS, it can be accessed through a hash address or CID, and anyone in the world can put that address into their computer and retrieve the data,” Rogers said. Just as anyone in the world can put a URL link into a browser and retrieve it, anyone with a CID can retrieve the data that is available in the IPFS network.”

Any difference in the content will result in a different CID, and the same content added to different IPFS nodes will still result in the same CID, meaning that the user can easily verify the integrity of the data. In addition to providing decentralized content storage and validation, IPFS can also be used to build and host decentralized applications (DApps), which are open source computer applications whose back-end code runs on a peer-to-peer network.

Rogers said, adding that “a CID, the data you are looking for the hash in the address, so you can get data from anywhere, because you can by comparing the hash to verify the correctness of the data, it can let you have a decentralized, to trust the network, because you can retrieve data from anywhere or anyone else, And verify that the data is correct through encryption.”