Should I Use IPFS or Sia?
Learn the differences between the IPFS and Sia networks, and which network is best suited for your project’s workflow.
Filebase supports creating buckets for data storage on the IPFS and Sia networks. Which network should you use for your project’s workflow, and what are the benefits associated with each?

IPFS

To learn about how IPFS works, please see these docs:
  • IPFS
  • IPFS Pinning
  • IPFS CIDs
  • IPFS Gateways
  • IPFS Whitepaper
IPFS, or InterPlanetary File System, isn’t natively a decentralized storage network - it’s a communication protocol that provides the groundwork for a peer-to-peer file storage network that utilizes content addressing rather than location addressing.

Content Addressing

Content addressing isn’t susceptible to what is known as ‘link rot’, which URLs that use location addressing are susceptible to. Link rot refers to when an HTTP URL is no longer accessible or valid due to the content being removed or the domain becoming inactive. Since content addressing doesn’t rely on location addressing URLs, but on unique content identifiers that can be referenced through hundreds of different IPFS HTTP gateways, content identifiers (CIDs) on the IPFS network are reliable for long-term data persistence.

Public

All data uploaded to IPFS is publicly accessible. It can be viewed and downloaded by anyone in the world without authentication using IPFS native URLs or IPFS HTTP gateways in conjunction with the file’s IPFS content identifier (CID).
Data can be encrypted by the user prior to upload to provide a level of data privacy for sensitive documents or information. Encryption must be maintained by the user prior to and after upload. Files are encrypted on the network only during data transfer, and not while the data is at rest. Data stored in a private IPFS bucket is not private. The only difference between data stored in a private IPFS bucket and a public IPFS bucket is that a private IPFS bucket’s data cannot be accessed through the Filebase S3 URL. All data can still be accessed through the file’s CID and an IPFS gateway or URL.

Versatility

Data that is uploaded to IPFS is given a unique content identifier (CID) that is used to identify and access the file. CIDs can be accessed without authentication through IPFS native URLs or IPFS HTTP gateways for platforms that don’t natively support IPFS. This allows data to be referenced and used in various code bases, SDKs, or other applications. As long as your IPFS CID is pinned to the network, this CID never expires or changes.

Filebase’s Geo-Redundant IPFS Pinning

All data uploaded to IPFS through Filebase is pinned with 3x redundancy across the Filebase IPFS infrastructure. Each file is stored with 3 copies across the United States, London, and Germany, for maximum data reliability and availability.

Benefits of IPFS

  • Public availability allows for ease of access without maintaining permissions and authentication access.
  • Decentralized and distributed infrastructure that provides data persistence without a single availability.
  • Data resiliency designed for long-term storage and content hosting.
  • Inexpensive compared to traditional data storage or web hosting options.
  • Efficient and performant to provide sustainable bandwidth savings for data retrieval.

Drawbacks of IPFS

  • All data is public and must be encrypted to remain private.
  • No monetary incentive for nodes to participate on the network.

When To Use IPFS

IPFS should be used for projects such as:
  • Public data sharing
  • NFT collections
  • Storing and hosting digital assets and in-world items for Metaverse platforms
  • Video live streaming
  • Parallel data analysis
  • Hosting datasets
  • Peer reviewing or collaborating on documents and projects
  • Decentralized, static website hosting
  • Software container hosting, such as Docker containers
  • Distributed pageant management
  • Content delivery network configurations
  • Decentralized data replication clusters
  • Digital identities
  • Music streaming
  • Decentralized DNS services
  • Censorship resistant content
  • Decentralized social media, chat apps, or other social networking platforms
  • DAO governance or voting that uses IPFS to store proposals and off-chain voting results
  • Distributed operating systems
  • Activist coordination that isn’t restricted by censorship

Sia

To learn more about Sia, please see these docs:
  • Sia
Sia is an open-source, public decentralized storage blockchain network. Filebase works directly with Sia as a node operating, which means that the Filebase platform manages all Sia storage contracts on behalf of Filebase users.

Privacy

All data stored on the Sia network is private by default. If your Filebase bucket is set to private, your data is inaccessible to anyone else. If your Filebase bucket is set to private, the files stored in your bucket can be accessed by others using the data object’s Filebase S3 URL.
Data stored on Sia is encrypted using the Threefish encryption algorithm, which is hardened against related-key attacks and side-channel attacks.

Reed-Solomon Erasure Coding

Sia uses Reed-Solomon erasure coding to secure and store data across multiple nodes. On Sia, data is split into 30 individual pieces, with some of these pieces acting as parity blocks. Each piece is stored on a different node across the globe. Of these 30 pieces, only 10 are required to be accessible in order for the file to be compiled for the file to be retrieved. This way, up to 20 nodes can be offline or inaccessible, and the file can still be accessed.

Maximum File Size

The maximum individual object size that can be stored on Sia is 300GB.

Benefits of Sia

  • Data is private by default, without having to maintain encryption.
  • Highly redundant.
  • Nodes are incentivized through Siacoin to participate in the network, resulting in less node churn.

Drawbacks of Sia

  • Data sharing requires public buckets or authentication.
  • Hosting decentralized apps, websites, or other public-facing platforms requires the use of domain names and content delivery mechanisms.

When To Use Sia

  • Storing private data that is highly sensitive - personal identification information, copies of identification cards, etc
  • Backing up private, confidential files
  • Storing user data, such as addresses, credit card numbers, or other information that must meet certain security compliance requirements
  • Storing private application data, like message logs or purchase history for a user
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IPFS
Filebase’s Geo-Redundant IPFS Pinning
Benefits of IPFS
Drawbacks of IPFS
When To Use IPFS
Sia