Decentralization of file storage. Most promising platforms of 2021

Know the most promising platforms for decentralization of file storage in the year 2021. Learn what are the advantages and disadvantages of centralized and decentralized storage and what have we achieved till now in terms of technological advancement of file storage decentralization.

Nowadays nobody is surprised by the gradual transition of things to the digital space. However, not everyone is aware of another trend noticeable in recent years — the gradual transition from centralized solutions to decentralized ones. This is best seen in the financial sector — cryptocurrencies are becoming real competitors to fiat money. But the blockchain technology, on the basis of which most decentralized ecosystems are built, can be successfully applied in other areas, for example, for storing user data. Let us take a look at what such storage is like, and how it can take some of the market shares from traditional cloud products.

Disadvantages of centralized storage

Despite the fact that there are a huge number of different file hosting services on the market, almost all of them have significant drawbacks. This is not due to the fact that they pay little attention to reliability and security issues, but the very principle they are based has disadvantages — the data is stored on a single server. And what's wrong with that, you ask? Here's why it's bad:

Vulnerability and data loss: Server hacks are common even for such giants as Facebook, Google, or Microsoft, companies that spend billions of dollars on security. Vulnerability threatens data loss, and the cost of this loss can be enormous.

Access restriction: It is technically much easier to block one web resource. And this can be misused, for example, the government can enforce censorship and restricts your access to a certain site.
Lack of communication: "Error 503" (no access to the server) often occurs due to failures, maintenance, unsuccessful updates, and so on. Nobody wants to see this message when requesting data access.
Slowness: Sometimes, if the channel is overloaded, access to your data can be very slow.
Now let's see how decentralized storage can help to overcome these problems.

Decentralized storage concept

In general, decentralized storage works as follows.

There is a blockchain-based platform with a distributed registry. Some users (nodes) decide to give part of their disk space to store files. Storing any data directly on the blockchain network is too expensive and the level of necessary protection will be too hard to achieve. Therefore, storage known as a dApp application is applied, and the interaction between users and the system is regulated by self-executing smart contracts.

A user uploads a file, the document is encoded and divided into parts between the storage nodes, and is stored in the system this way. If the user wants to get access to it again, they collect the parts of the file and decode them using a special key (known only to the user). Thus, decentralized storage has several advantages:

The maximum level of protection. Organizing a successful hacker attack on a blockchain network is nearly impossible. Even if one of the storage nodes is hacked, the whole file cannot be restored from one fragment only

No access restrictions. No one can restrict your access to the storage. In addition, you will be able to build the file even if some of the storage nodes are disabled.

Payment "upon the completion." In decentralized storage, you pay not for a standard package, but for the megabytes you actually use. In addition, payment, as a rule, occurs just once.

Now let's discuss which platforms available in the market, in our opinion, are the most promising ones today:

Filecoin (FIL). Filecoin is a P2P network that allows users to store files and also has several built-in economic incentives. Users must pay Storage Miners to store the information. Thus, on the one hand, Filecoin attracts those who want secure storage at competitive prices, and on the other one, those who want to make money by safely storing other users' data.

Storj (STORJ). Storj is another cloud storage platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain. Here, each member of the network (called Tardigrade) can offer their free space to store information. To become part of the Storj ecosystem, it is enough to have free disk space and normal bandwidth to exchange information.

Sia. Another decentralized storage platform based on blockchain technology. Like other platforms, it uses free space on the hard drives of its users. Storage prices are quite affordable (for example, 1 TB of data will only cost $2 per month). This platform appeared earlier than others, so it is already quite popular now.

Qstorage. This platform is based on the latest generation blockchain network — Qchain. A number of innovative solutions are applied in Qchain, thanks to which the storage provides maximum protection, performance, and opportunities for earning money. Another significant advantage is its versatility. Node works on any device (PC, smartphone, tablet, server).

There is no doubt that decentralized storage will take its due place in the hosting market due to its advantages and benefits. The only question is how quickly it'll take place. We believe that it will happen within the next two or three years. Well, consumers will only benefit from this!


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