FAQ - Will my files be accessible after I shutdown my node?

It is common misconception that IPFS is magic storage in the cloud.

IPFS is a distributed, permission less file sharing network.

If you don’t take care of hosting your files somewhere, probably no one else will and they will disappear, IPFS nodes don’t store others’ files unless explicitly pinned.

If you want to turn off your node and have files still accessible you need to host them somewhere else.
You can:

  • Host a node somewhere on a server.
  • Use a “pinning service”.
  • Store them Out-Of-Band. (<todo link on how to use car files>)

Servers running 24/7

For the files on your IPFS node to be available 24/7, your IPFS nodes need to be constantly online.

This can be either a single IPFS node, or alternatively, multiple IPFS nodes running to ensure resiliency and redundancy with ipfs cluster which helps you manage a cluster of nodes as one, do allocations, etc.

(requires some linux system admin knowledge)

Pinning service

A pinning service is someone else hosting IPFS nodes for you.
So you “pin” files with them, they host it.
You can find some here: Persistence | IPFS Docs
How to use them: Work with pinning services | IPFS Docs

Combining solutions

One of the main benefits of IPFS is the interoperability enabled by CIDs.

Because the CID is only the hash of the content, you can then use multiple pinning services or pinning services and your own cluster, … to host the same CID as long as at least one reachable IPFS node stores the CID, others will be able to replicate.