The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a new transfer protocol that aims to be faster, safer, more resilient, and secure than what we currently use to distribute content on the internet, HTTPS. IPFS is a peer-to-peer distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files. It does this by changing the way that we access our content. Currently we request content by accessing a server at a given name, ex: www.youtube.com. Our computers convert the server name to an IP address and a content is served from the server to the client computer. IPFS changes this by requesting content by the value of the contents cryptographic hash, and being served by the closest computer with the content it’s self. This means that content that has been delivered to the client computer once doesn’t need to be resent and that all the content is verifiable.
Another problem that IPFS solves is those 404 dead links and content being removed that has been cited previously. Since content is requested by the “value” of the content its self each web page version receives its own unique cryptographic hash. So a link like https://gateway.ipfs.io/ipfs/QmdiQymBQcQDPcpoKBzgZVtDDr9kkT4bp4xB8gsbcCbMk5 (a previous version of this page) will always call that page even though it has been updated to its current content.
While IPFS is still in the Alpha stages and under significant development it has become stable to use in certain situations. Project Apollo Archive serves as an online reference source and repository of digital images related to the manned lunar landing program. A large gallery of images is stored on the IPFS network, click here to view them.
Video Streaming is another application that is already implementing IPFS, the reason for this is that when you don’t have to serve content always from a single server you can save on bandwidth. Also if you go back to watch an adorable cat video again you serve the content to yourself. Sample Video Player.