How to create a private network of ipfs

Are clustered IPFS nodes really the same as a private IPFS swarm?

They are separate features/functionality.

  • With private networks each node specifies which other nodes it will connect to. Nodes in that network don’t respond to communications from nodes outside that network.
  • With ipfs-cluster you use a leader-based consensus algorithm to coordinate storage of a pinset – distributing the set of data across the participating nodes based on whichever pattern you prefer

You could use these features together – using ipfs-cluster to spread a pinset across a private network of nodes – but they are completely separate features. They do not rely on each other. Support for private networks is functionality implemented within the core (go-ipfs) code base. ipfs-cluster is its own separate code base.