Basic 101 network understanding

So I have just spent an hour or so reading through all the IPFS website for the 1st time and watched the video promoted on the homepage,

I think I have a crude understanding of what IPFS is, but my mind works with maps and pictures so i put together a simple map. The top picture is accessing the network via the ipfs gateway and the latter accessing the ifps network directly… would somone be able to say if I have understood this correctly?

I know the flow could better be illustrated in a swimlane chart, but is this essentially correct?

And if the above is correct, how can one advertise a website using more human friendly urls without a hash?

In addition to this, the only way a local machine could learn the ip of a node on the network would be via the main gateway?

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I can’t comment on the top picture, but the bottom picture is essentially correct. However before going out to the internet, your IPFS would check local peers first to see if they have the data, and then go out to the internet.

If the main gateway publishes it’s peer list then yes, otherwise I don’t believe so. However you can see the IP addresses of the nodes you are connected to using ipfs swarm peers

You can make the IPFS invisible to the end user by simply using it to populate the contents of a website that you then deliver in a traditional way using domain names. It really depends what you are trying to achieve with IPFS.

The hash for a whole website is really only needed for people consuming the content using IPFS directly, or using an IPFS gateway. If your website isn’t intended as a gateway, it doesn’t need to display the hash in the url. It just needs to poll ipfs to update the content regularly if it using IPNS. If it is IPFS, then the content will never change anyway.

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There is another thread in here as well about how to setup dnslink: How do I set dnslink? ipfs

I also posted a video in that thread about how it works, I hope it explains properly at least the basics so you can understand it easier: How do I set dnslink? ipfs

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What is the advantage of using dnslink? Does it simply mean the ipfs gateway does away with the need for a webserver? :thinking:

dnslink is simply about being able to load IPFS content (/ipfs and /ipns) via mutable DNS records. So you can have your website ( for example) be published on IPFS, but still loaded via

Just a nicer way of navigating to IPFS websites :slight_smile:

Yes, but surely the same thing can be achieved using a webserver like apache/lighttpd/etc and then adding the same webroot folder to ipfs/ipns? Same site accessable from both http://my.domain and from ipfs/ipns hash?

Only difference, if I understand correctly, is that it does away with need for apache/lighttpd etc., as the ipfs gateway will process the url?

I’m asking because I want to make sure I understand it correctly. :slight_smile: