Decentralized data management is one most promising use cases of blockchain. Since the early days, many projects have experimented with the technology and have tried to build solutions that can harness the power of blockchain. Some notable projects include Sia and Storj.
Nowadays, projects like Filecoin and Arweave have gained considerable traction. The projects that are built on these protocols are cheap, secure, and easy to use. Do you know that you can store up to 20 GB of data for free? Compare that to the 15 GB of free space that Gmail offers!
Why Is Decentralized Data Storage Important?
In Web 2.0, people store data in local hard drives or 3rd party cloud services. Large corporations use dedicated 3rd party servers to store and protect their data. Due to the presence of these data storage partner(s) (the 3rd party), file storage is costly. Also, your confidential data can be accessed by a 3rd party.
Decentralized storage systems use underutilized hardware capacity from anybody who runs a particular software to create a large decentralized data storage network. Such networks are safer and cheaper than existing solutions. In this article, we will explore how to use Filecoin for personal data storage.
Store Files Using Chainsafe Files (Built on Filecoin)
Chainsafe Files is a data storage application built on Filecoin. It has all the features of Filecoin, including encrypted file storage, sharing capabilities, etc.
Some of the benefits of using Chainsafe Files are:
- Web 3 works remotely. Many contributors to a project are anonymous. All data in Chainsafe Files is encrypted end-to-end with AES-256. Only you can access your file. If you want others to see it, you will have to share your files will proper access controls.
- Chainsafe Files has options for both email or Ethereum wallets, whatever is more comfortable.
- The code is open source and pluggable. The project has released a part of its Filecoin interacting stack as a modular product. This will ensure rapid development inputs from the community.
How to Store Your Files
Go to the Chainsafe Files web page.
Log in. You will get multiple login options, both Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. We will use a Web 3 wallet to remain decentralized. Do make sure you have a Web 3.0 wallet like MetaMask installed.
The application can create local backups. We will use the Enter Password option. Click Continue.
Remember that your wallet is the actual sign-in mechanism. In case you lose your local password or use a different computer, you will be able to access the same application using your Web 3.0 wallet.
Set up a password.
You will now enter the application. The application interface is simple. It has two primary features (like Dropbox).
- File storage – Drag and drop files from external sources to your Chainsafe Files drive.
- File sharing – Share links to your folders. All folders are encrypted.
Setting up Your Profile
Go to Settings! You can create your public username. People will be able to use this username to transfer files to you. For people to find you, keep the Account Visibility button set to ON. In case you are working on a critical project, it is advisable to stay anonymous.
Do save your file sharing key for future use.
Choose between Dark Theme and Light Theme.
You can also go to Security and generate a backup of the seed phrase. Store the seed phrase somewhere safe. You might need it later in case you start with a completely new setup with a new browser and a freshly installed MetaMask.
Go back to the “Home” Tab. You can use the Upload button to upload your files. However, it is advisable to create folders for better categorization. You will always be able to move files in between folders.
Click on Upload to upload a file.
Click or drag to upload the selected files.
Your file is now uploaded.
Click on the ellipsis on the right side of the file/folder and you will find a drop-down with different options. You can download your files anytime and anywhere. The most important feature is the option to share.
Click on Share.
The app asks you to put a new shared folder name. It is important to tick the small check box to keep the original files.
You can give different permissions.
- View Only
- Can Edit
You can add the people you want to share with by their username, wallet address, or ENS (Ethereum Name Service) address. The app will also generate a sharing link.
Check all your shared folders in the “Shared” Tab.
Chainsafe Files is an easy-to-use application. The free version gives you 20 GB of data storage. This is enough for you to cover your basic tasks.
We highly encourage you to test decentralized storage applications and provide your feedback in the comments. Check out our guide – How To Upload Files Into Arweave.
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