Centralized storage services have ruled the data storage game for years, but more and more people are starting to see the loopholes in their services, including loss of privacy, system errors, unfair costs, and mismanagement of data, among other issues.
In contrast, Decentralized Storage Networks run on the blockchain, thereby offering a better, cheaper, and more secure mechanism for storing information.
Meanwhile, a decentralized storage model safeguards the integrity, accessibility, and security of data by spreading file hosting across a peer-to-peer network. Several companies already offer decentralized storage options, so we decided to compile a list of the 6 best decentralized data storage providers in 2023 for your consideration.
Table of Contents
What is a Decentralized Storage Network?
Let’s first define a decentralized storage network in order to better understand the best decentralized storage networks. When it comes to the storage of data, these are our usual options:
- USB drives are used as storage for small files.
- Your data is stored on a central cloud space that is owned and managed by a third party in centralized cloud storage. The issue is that your data now belongs to the organization that runs the cloud, negating the freedom and security benefits.
Decentralized storage networks can provide a remedy for this. Any data is stored in this manner on a network shared by numerous users around the world. These users are encouraged to join and run the network in order to maintain its decentralization and to guarantee that the data is always available. As a result, a number of individuals rather than a single authoritative body host the servers that are used.
A blockchain-based decentralized network is open to everyone. Users are protected by smart contracts, which also provide incentives in the form of native tokens to keep the network running smoothly. A number of advantages, including governance rights, are provided by said tokens.
As opposed to centralized storage, why should you choose a decentralized storage network?
- Because blockchain technology is so secure, data breaches are much less likely to occur.
- DDoS attacks are much less likely to occur.
- All rights to your personal data are yours alone.
- Decentralized storage networks are associated with much less censorship and surveillance.
History of Decentralized Storage Solutions
The best method for managing records and important information has long been a source of debate among humans. Our daily lives, both at work and at home, depend on our ability to store and retrieve data. Here’s a brief and somewhat chronological look at storage devices from the early computer era:
- Selectron Tube: The first memory storage device was created in 1946, but it was expensive and had production issues.
- Punch Cards: When programming and entering data into early computers, punch cards were frequently used. They were created for the first time in 1725 and improved in the 1940s to allow reading of the data.
- Magnetic Drum Memory: It was created in 1932 and became a popular working memory for computers in the 1950s and 1960s.
- Hard Drives: The first hard drive, developed by IBM in 1956, used quickly rotating disks to store data and took up most of a room.
- The Floppy Disc: IBM created the diskette, which was widely used from the middle of the 1970s to the late 1990s.
- DVDs: People were able to store all kinds of media on an external source thanks to this ground-breaking method of data storage, including files, sound recordings, and videos.
- USB Drives: In order to establish communication between a computer and peripheral devices, many different types of serial and parallel ports were initially developed and replaced with the USB (Universal Serial Bus) in 1996.
- TODAY — CLOUD STORAGE: Cloud storage is used by more than 50% of businesses. One Exabyte, or one billion gigabytes, of data was kept in the cloud as of 2013.
List of Top Decentralized Storage Projects
|Filecoin — best decentralized cloud storage overall||Filecoin [FIL]||Verifiable storage with censorship resistance|
|BitTorrent — best decentralized cloud storage for early-adopters||BitTorrent Token [BTT]||The first scalable decentralized storage ecosystem|
|Arweave — best decentralized cloud storage for communities||Arweave [AR]||Immutable data access, community-owned data|
|Sia — best decentralized cloud storage for commercial usage||Siacoin [SC]||Commercial & developer data storage solution|
|Storj — best decentralized cloud storage for anyone||Storj [STORJ]||Affordable and fast cloud storage for anyone|
|Swarm — best decentralized cloud storage for systematic storage||BZZ||Providing decentralized storage as part of the Ethereum ecosystem|
In today’s data-driven world, the need for reliable and secure storage solutions is more critical than ever. Decentralized storage networks have emerged as an innovative solution, leveraging blockchain technology to ensure data integrity and privacy. In this blog, we will delve into some of the best decentralized storage networks that are revolutionizing the way we store and manage data.
Here is the list of the best decentralized cloud storage systems:
Anyone can rent storage space on the decentralized Filecoin network. Your documents can be divided up and stored on computers around the world rather than being entrusted to one business. By paying users in FIL tokens, it is an incentive layer built on top of IPFS that encourages users to rent out their storage space.
Users of Filecoin pay miners for data storage, management, and distribution. In exchange for their labor, miners receive FIL tokens as payment. The cost of the ancillary fees is set by the open market. The Filecoin network has two different kinds of miners. To provide users with storage space, each of these miners is compensated.
By charging the least amount possible for storage, the miners compete with one another. Hard drive space that is unoccupied and an Internet connection are the only requirements to start mining. On the basis of your dependability and the worth of the storage you are offered, you will be judged if you join the mining pool.
The Proof-of-Replication and Proof-of-Spacetime consensus algorithms are the foundation of Filecoin. The Proof-of-Replication mechanism confirms that the miner has kept the number of copies of data that it says it has on its drive. The miner must continue to store a unique piece of data for the network, thanks to the Proof-of-Spacetime mechanism.
These tools enable Filecoin to recognize bad miners on its own. The protocol maintains the history of each miner. The dependability, cost, and availability of each miner are rated. It makes sense that miners with the best reputations get more storage requests. As a result, they receive greater benefits.
The value of a FIL token depends on two major factors:
- A number of people willing to provide secure storage through the Filecoin network
- Many users would be willing to pay to store their files.
A decentralized storage marketplace is one of the other decentralized data services that Filecoin offers in addition to file storage.
Data sharing in Filecoin
- Proof of storage using proof of replication and proof of space-time
- Consensus protocol rewards miners with higher storage
- Collateral to ensure reliability
Filecoin storage cost
If you store your data on Amazon S3 for the same amount of money (at the current FIL price, ADD CHECK), it will cost you about 0.0010% more in Filecoin.
On Filecoin storage, storing 1GB of data for a year will cost you $0.0000016 USD (0.0000003173331925679285 FIL).
2. BitTorrent File System
One of the oldest and most well-known decentralized data storage networks available today, BitTorrent has been in operation for over 20 years. Founded in 2001, BitTorrent became infamous as a site for pirating movies and other media, but has since evolved into a decentralized storage network offering a range of products, including the BitTorrent File System (BTFS)
The goal of the scalable, decentralized storage system known as BTFS is to lower storage costs, increase fault tolerance, and circumvent government censorship. BTFS is dependent on user nodes, just like many other distributed storage networks. However, one aspect that sets BitTorrent apart from other networks is the fact that the platform has more than 100 million active user nodes. Additionally, BTFS is a blockchain-based platform that utilizes the TRON network, which has more than 1,000 complete TRON nodes, to operate.
Given that BTFS is an IPFS derivative, it can be used for both file storage and file transfer. The design of BTFS, in contrast to other decentralized data storage solutions, makes it possible for users to locate and remove unlawful or copyrighted media from their nodes.
Data sharing in BitTorrent
A fork of IPFS is BTFS. It has additional features such as token economics with BitTorrent Token (BTT) integration, file encryption, file removal for hosts
Cost of storage
Arweave was created to operate completely differently from other decentralized storage networks, which frequently place a premium on privacy and avoiding censorship or surveillance. Users can remember and permanently save important data, apps, and history with Arweave because it is a collectively owned hard drive that never forgets.
With PCs acting as Arweave clients, the network provides additional storage capacity and is a peer-to-peer (P2P) storage protocol with a blockchain-inspired design. Permaweb, a piece of software, is used by the platform to provide features like data storage.
AR tokens, which are available on most cryptocurrency exchanges, must be paid once for the storage of data.
Arweave incorporates numerous high-end security features. To protect data, for instance, the system incorporates enterprise-grade encryption. Even more impressively, Arweave is unable to view the stored data, making it inaccessible to the nodes hosting the information. The network is powered by AR tokens, the project’s native asset, which users can use to make payments in exchange for limitless network storage of their data.
Data sharing in Arweave
Pay only once for permanent storage
Blockweave: Every block has two links to previous blocks: the one before it and a recall block, a randomly selected block from the blockchain’s earlier history.
Proof of access: A probabilistic and incentive-driven strategy is used by miners to replicate data in the network by incentivizing them to store rare blocks.
Memoization of state: New nodes are not required to download all of the prior blocks. Only the most recent blocks can be downloaded by new users; older blocks can only be requested or verified using the Block Hash List and Wallet List block data structures. The miners maintain these lists in sync and up-to-date. The network will be able to ensure storage and replication despite the fact that each node may prioritize its storage according to their preferences or available resources.
Cost of storage
Cost per GB for lifetime storage is approximately $8. No monthly subscription.
Sia is a successful decentralized peer-to-peer cloud storage system that seeks to lower the cost of cloud storage while enhancing the security of users’ stored data. Sia, which David Voric founded in 2015, has 11 investors as of this writing, among them INBlockchain and Dragonfly Capital Partners.
Sia divides, encrypts, and distributes data stored on the Sia blockchain to various nodes so that they can later be used to retrieve the data only at the request of the designated user. This is because the private encryption keys are only in the user’s possession.
The token economy of Siacoin allowed Sia to achieve this by establishing a market place for hosts and users. Anyone who has extra disk space on their computer can rent it out to the Sia decentralized network and get paid in Siacoin, which is the native cryptocurrency for the Sia blockchain platform. Siacoins must first be paid to a selected host by users who want to use Sia storage.
The Sia platform provides a significantly more reliable and cost-effective alternative to centralized systems, which are susceptible to single points of failure and are frequently accused of using unencrypted data to increase their business profits.
Data sharing in Sia
With the straightforward goal of enhancing storage security, speed, and affordability, Shawn Wilkinson founded Storj in 2014. A decentralized network of nodes is used by Storj, an open-source, peer-to-peer, encrypted cloud storage platform, to host user data. Users can essentially join the network by choosing to provide terabytes of cloud storage space, in which case they will be rewarded with Storj tokens.
Compared to the majority of traditional, centralized cloud storage options, Storj’s Decentralized Cloud Storage (DCS) is more private, secure, and cost-effective. Nothing is ever in one place on Storj DCS. Instead, files are divided up into more than 80 smaller pieces, encrypted, and distributed throughout a vast network of separate nodes. It is automatically put back together by the network when a user requests that their data be reconstituted.
Storj DCS offers transparent pricing, which makes it simple to estimate costs. Storj tokens or conventional credit and debit cards can be used by users to pay for the service.
Since only individual users can grant permission to access files, giving them full ownership, control, and responsibility over their data, Storj has high, multi-region availability, trustless architecture, default encryption, and edge-based access controls, making it more secure and minimizing data breach risks.
The Storj network’s status as one of the few Ethereum ICO projects to have Vitalik Buterin’s support is one of its many comforting features. Even the Storj whitepaper included contributions from Vitalik.
Data sharing in Storj
- High durability with fragmentation(erasure code)
- AWS S3 compatibility
- Privacy with Encryption
Cost of storage
Swarm is an Ethereum ecosystem component that focuses on offering decentralized storage. It runs on a decentralized peer-to-peer network and enables users to store and retrieve data using smart contracts built on Ethereum. Swarm is a great option for developers and blockchain enthusiasts due to its integration with Ethereum’s decentralized applications (dApps) ecosystem.
Swarm’s decentralized storage system is built on the following components:
- Chunks: Each piece of data stored on Swarm is divided into chunks, each of which is no more than 4KB in size. A 32-byte hash of the content in each chunk identifies it.
- Reference: a special file identifier that makes it easier for clients to retrieve data stored in chunks.
- Manifest: a data structure that makes it possible to retrieve content using URLs.
The Manifest uses the distinct reference to identify the pertinent data chunks when a client requests content on Swarm, allowing the nodes hosting those chunks to be contacted for retrieval. Similar to this, data is divided into portions that are distributed across nodes and given an identifying timestamp when it is uploaded to Swarm. The built-in BZZ incentives are administered by smart contracts and paid to nodes that make their resources available for file storage.
Redundancy is already built into Swarm to guarantee persistent data availability, guard against nodes leaving the network, and defend against DDOS attacks.
Data sharing in Swarm
Other Storage Crypto Projects Listed
There are a lot of storage-related crypto projects that are already active and in development. To get a better idea of what to anticipate from the sector, let’s list a few lesser-known storage crypto projects.
Holo — Decentralized Storage Projects
One of the less well-known storage-related cryptocurrency projects, similar to AirBNB among providers of decentralized storage. Holo client software or a host capacity can be used by each user to store data within the network, making it suitable for both corporate clients and retailers to store files.
Phantasma [SOUL] — Decentralized Storage Projects
One project focused on the gaming industry’s storage needs is Phantasma. The network aims to act as the spine of the decentralized gaming sector.
Aleph.im [ALEPH] — Decentralized Storage Projects
One of the storage crypto projects that allows the integration of both on-chain and off-chain data allows you to access your off-chain securely and avoid having to store all of your data on-chain.
ScPrime [SCP] — Decentralized Storage Projects
P2P distributed datacenter uses the strength of the community to outperform all other storage crypto projects. Although it isn’t very well known, the project has recently seen some good growth.
Bluzelle [BLZ] — Decentralized Storage Projects
Another gaming-focused storage cryptocurrency project is underway to enable top-notch gaming, data storage, and financial solutions for all.
Storage crypto projects also worth mentioning:
- Pac Protocol [PAC] — Decentralized Storage Projects
- Stratos [STOS] — Decentralized Storage Projects
- Opacity [OPCT] — Decentralized Storage Projects
- Crust Network [CRU] — Decentralized Storage Projects
- ProximaX [XPX] — Decentralized Storage Projects
- SONM [SNM] — Decentralized Storage Projects
- Big Data Protocol [BDP] — Decentralized Storage Projects
Benefits of Decentralized Cloud Storage
The most secure centralized systems are easier to compromise than best decentralized cloud storage solutions. In a distributed network, segmentation is the process by which files are broken down and distributed among various nodes. Security is achieved by encrypting each file with a private key, making it challenging for a network node to view a specific file. The reliability of data is questioned when nodes in a centralized system malfunction. In a decentralized network, it makes no difference how many nodes are terminated.
The fact that decentralized data storage projects have their own coins, which enable network players to earn additional income at a low cost, is another significant factor explaining why so many storage-related cryptocurrency projects are evolving. Decentralized data storage is less expensive than centralized alternatives like Microsoft Azure, AWS, and others.
Decentralized Vs Centralized Storage Solutions
|Centralized Storage||Decentralized Storage|
|Single storage provider||No dependency on a single platform|
|Subject to censorship||Censorship resistant|
|Pricing decided by a centralized authority in an organization||Pricing decided by free market + democratic protocols|
|Limited redundancy||High redundancy|
|Relatively expensive||Typically cheaper than centralized solutions|
|Profits are largely accumulated at the top and tricked down||Funds generated via fees are used to incentivize storage providers|
directly and to develop the decentralized ecosystem
|Network information and source codes not publicly shared||Network information and source codes are open sources with|
incentives for developers to contribute to the network
Decentralized storage networks offer an array of benefits, including data privacy, reliability, and resistance to censorship. Filecoin, BitTorrent File System Arweave, Sia, Storj, and Swarm are among the best decentralized storage networks, each with its unique features and advantages. As the demand for secure and scalable storage solutions grows, these networks are at the forefront of revolutionizing the way we store and manage data. Embracing the power of blockchain and peer-to-peer technologies, decentralized storage networks are shaping a new era of data storage, where individuals and organizations have greater control over their digital assets.
What is the Best Decentralized Cloud Storage?
Filecoin and BitTorrent are among the best decentralized cloud storage solutions. Storj, Arweave, and Safe Network are worthy mentions for retail users, while SIA targets commercial and enterprise decentralized cloud storage verticals.
Who is the Competitor of Filecoin?
A Decentralized Storage Network Protocol
The best alternatives to Filecoin are Blockstack, Lionshare, and Larva Labs. If these 3 options don’t work for you, we’ve listed a few more alternatives below.
Is Arweave Better Than Filecoin?
The focus of the projects is where they diverge most from one another. While Filecoin is more focused on encouraging large-scale storage, especially for private data, and uses a tiered payment model based on storage time and space requests, Arweave is more focused on long-term data storage with a one-time payment model.
Is Filecoin Cheaper Than AWS?
Another key difference is cost: AWS charges roughly $1.34 per 100 GiB per month for hosting, whereas Filecoin charges only $0.00002 for the same amount. As a result, starting in the middle of 2022, storing data on Filecoin will cost about 0.0015% less than doing so on AWS.
Which is Better Filecoin Or Storj?
One of the main differences between the two is Filecoin’s use of IPFS, while Storj uses its own proprietary protocol to securely store data Filecoin has built on top of IPFS giving them the ability to harness the security and scalability IPFS is already established.