Internet security provider Cloudflare is introducing a new product to help users more easily access the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), the decentralized storage protocol developed by Protocol Labs.
In a blog post Monday, Cloudflare announced it was launching a “Crypto Week,” where it will announce “support for a new technology that uses cryptography to make the internet better” every day. The first of these technologies is a portal to more easily access IPFS, as well as build websites on top of the technology.
In a second post, the company explains that the peer-to-peer nature of IPFS provides a number of redundancies for users trying to access a specific website or piece of data. The first is that content can be accessible even if a node goes down, whereas a single server failure might bring down a website on the existing internet.
The second feature revolves around the fact that users can request data using hash values, rather than IP addresses, which acts as a method of ensuring the data received is what was requested, according to the post.
To ensure users can access data stored through IPFS, Cloudflare is offering a gateway which delivers content using Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), the dominant protocol used to transfer data.
The post explained:
“At the most basic level, you can access any of the billions of files stored on IPFS from your browser. But that’s not the only cool thing you can do. Using Cloudflare’s gateway, you can also build a website that’s hosted entirely on IPFS, but still available to your users at a custom domain name. Plus, we’ll issue any website connected to our gateway a free SSL certificate, ensuring that each website connected to Cloudflare’s gateway is secure from snooping and manipulation.”
While Cloudflare’s product is allowing access to a decentralized protocol, the company noted that users can still report abusive or harmful content, indicating that it may be able to revoke its portal to any websites providing such content.