Can I use IPFS Rest API(to store and retrieve files on/from it) without installing it on my local system and making it a contributing node?
In simpler words: Can I use IPFS as a third party service to store and retrieve files? If yes how can I do that?
Currently, in order to store content on IPFS without actually installing it on your local system / contributing as a node, you would need to have a third party provider host your content for you. These providers are typically referred to as “pinning services”.
To put it simply, these pinning services host IPFS nodes that “pin” (save) your content on them and make sure they’re always available to rest of the IPFS network.
When Filecoin comes online (ETA is still unknown), you’ll be able to interface directly into a storage marketplace to store content on IPFS, but it’ll likely be some time before that’s an option.
If you’re interested in hosting content on IPFS without installing it on your local computer, there’s a few tutorials on Medium that show you how to set up your own node on a cloud provider (such as Digital Ocean or AWS).
Does that help?
As obo pointed out, unless you want to run your own infrastructure, you’ll have to use a third party service. If you do not have the physical resources to run your own, it can be reasonably cost effective to spin up a node in the cloud.
My company and I have a project called Temporal which is perhaps the most extensive third-party IPFS API on the market right now, with support for private networks as well. We have api documentation for those that want to use an API, but we also have a web interface that can be used. It’s in beta right now, and entirely free to use for the remainder of the beta. If you have any questions you’re more than welcome to talk to us on telegram