IPFS is a distributed system for storing and accessing files, websites, applications, and data.
What does that mean, exactly? Let’s say you’re doing some research on Aardvarks. (Just roll with it; Aardvarks are cool! Did you know they can tunnel 3 feet in only 5 minutes?) You might start by visiting the wikipedia page on Aardvarks at:
When you put that URL in your browser’s address bar, your computer asks one of Wikipedia’s computers, which might be somewhere on the other side of the country — or even the planet — for the Aardvark page. However, if you use IPFS to get that page from:
Your computer might have gotten it from someone else’s computer across town, or maybe even your neighbor’s computer across the street. When you use IPFS, you don’t only download a file from someone else, but your computer can help distribute it, too — when your friend a few blocks away needs the same Wikipedia page, they might be as likely to get it from you as your neighbor.
IPFS makes this possible for web pages, but also for any kind of file a computer might store, whether it’s an MS Word document, an e-mail, an MP3 file, or even a database record.