How long can we safely store IPFS Files

Assuming IPFS is not using cloud cluster subject to Company closures bankruptcies and mergers if the IPFS is stored only in peers what happens when they eventually die are files disposed of? in the case of medical records or Big data, original owners may never be found in 30 years. Original computers seem to be replaced on average every 3 years now. I burn ours up in 18 months before replacing will we forever be backing up other peers files?

This is what “pinning” is about. Files are not “stored” (i.e. not guaranteed available) on any given instance, unless that instance “pins” them. When you pin a file you’re telling your gateway to keep that file forever (or until you ‘unpin’). BTW: By “gateway” what is normally meant by that is your IPFS instance. That terminology confused me for a while, because the word ‘gateway’ is widely used with different meanings.

To be clear then, if I co-locate a Linux box at my local data center, and it becomes my pinning IPFS mode…
I could charge a customer for pinning and invest in a long term maintenance and growth plan to handle their needs over time.
How is this any different than the Web 2.0 model?

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The most significant difference is the “content addressing”, where files can be identified without having to involve any ‘specific’ domain who ‘owns’ it. That gives people the ability to relocate data and even change their pinning service, without it affecting any links. No broken links. Data portability. You own your own data. Also it’s ‘decentralized’ in IPFS …although not “strong” decentralization like a blockchain, because yeah, if you let pins expire, and you don’t save data yourself, you can loose it.

I think they don’t store files. This is what peers-to-peers system means, I am afraid if I store my tennis students’ session data. Are files safe here or should I look forward to some other ways?

yes, OK, but what happens as peer Computers wear out every 4 years or the peers drop out or die I m looking for 15 -30 years of safe records like a mortgage would need Certainly for many AI uses I need lots of old Data maybe even generational… What Can I use short of creating a 1000 year Foundation?

thanks will need to rethink our AI use for IPFS i missed the whole Pinterest type thing
What about useing the DTN prototcal and simply address it to be delivered in the future then it could reside on a sever until sloser to deliver date.

seems like it can only be decentrailized file storage i understanf the file path can be decentalized peer to peer for as long as oeers remain active. if I pay for the Data to be Stored in a minimum of 3 Data centers and then stripe it as a Raid0 storage would be like a Cloud Cluster. If storing on peers is not possible,

You can use filecoin contract or pining service to store your data long term. They can replicate your data to multiple data centers and increase storage safety. Without replication data will be lost due to hw failures.

IPFS gives you more control over your data then typical cloud drive storage. Storage providers like S3 can lose data too. Data in IPFS can be easily replicated (pin) while traditional cloud storage has to be backed up manually. You can always setup small local machine with cheap HDD storage and replicate your data from IPFS there.


File persistence is built into the protocol itself. But incentive to persist files is not a built-in feature of the IPFS protocol per se. That was supposed to be taken care of by Filecoin which sadly enough is no longer the case…

P.S. Filecoin does leverage the IPFS stack but it is no longer an incentive layer for pinning. It has developed into its own “storage contract” thing into which I bet you can take a look.

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Btw I think it is easier or more “natural” to reason IPFS with analogy to BitTorrent or eMule as they are very similar in construct.

You may consider “pinning” analogous to “seeding” in BitTorrent or eMule. As long as there is at least one person aka node seeding all pieces of a particular file, you or others can retrieve that file in full. And once you have successfully retrieved that file and decide to continue seeding/pinning, that particular file will then have two “seeds” on the network from which others can retrieve pieces of that file in full.

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Thanks will try that this year but have to consider Filecoin as one single entity for the long term as they could disappear even with 3 copies of data.