What's Storj?

Storj (pronounced: storage) aims to become a cloud storage platform that can’t be censored or monitored, or have downtime. It is the first decentralized, end-to-end encrypted cloud storage that uses blockchain technology and cryptography to secure your files.

Storj is a platform, cryptocurrency, and suite of decentralized applications that allows you to store data in a secure and decentralized manner. Your files are encrypted, shredded into little pieces called 'shards', and stored in a decentralized network of computers around the globe. No one but you has a complete copy of your file, not even in an ecrypted form.

Because of this, Storj can be faster, cheaper, and more secure than traditional cloud storage platforms. Faster because multiple machines are serving you your file simultaneously, cheaper because you are renting people's spare hard-drive space instead of paying for a purpose-built data center, and more secure because your file is both encrypted and shredded. There is no need to trust a corporation, vulnerable servers, or employees with your files. Storj completely removes trust from the equation.

Storj uses blockchain features like a transaction ledger, public/private key encryption, and cryptographic hash functions for security.

Storj is working hard to solve data security issues with the help of its own web app,Storj, which lets you store your files, and client app, Storj Share, which lets you rent your hard-drive space for money.

To best protect your data, files are encrypted client-side on your computer before they are uploaded. Each file is split up into chunks which are first encrypted and then distributed for storage across the Storj network. The network is comprised of Storj Share nodes run by users around the world who rent out their unused hard drive space in return for Storj Token (STORJ).

The decentralized aspect of Storj means there are no central servers to be compromised, and with client-side encryption, your are in control of the keys to your files.

How is Storj different from Storj Labs?

Storj is a cloud storage platform. The key word in that sentence is ‘platform’ because without it, Storj would just really be a decentralized cloud storage alternative. While a decentralized cloud storage alternative in itself would still be a great product, what we are creating goes beyond that.

Storj allows users to create decentralized applications. We have already begun to see basic demos using the Storj API and pulling content from the network, including an image viewer, a .txt and .pdf viewer, a music player, and even a video service. Some of these services have even been thrown into a Storj Media Center of sorts.

Our corporate entity Storj Labs aims to bring decentralized cloud storage to the average business and consumer. With constant data breaches and high costs, users are becoming more aware that the current model of cloud storage is broken. Storj Labs provides DaaS (Data-as-a-Service), as well as help building tools and APIs for customers to be able to interface with this new cloud storage model.

What is Storj Share and how do I share my unused hard drive space?

Storj Share is an open-source application that allows users to rent out their excess hard drive space in exchange for STORJ, a cryptocurrency similar to Ethereum. Those running Storj Share will act as decentralized cloud storage nodes for the network.

Drive Farming

Drive Farming is the term we use to describe the renting out extra hard drive space. This is comparable to traditional crypto-currency mining; in the same way you can use your computer's GPU to mine Ethereum, you can use the hard drive space to farm STORJ. Users allocate a portion of their available hard drive space and specify a folder on their drive to store network data.

This space stores small encrypted shards of Storj users files. This means that no farmer holds the entire file that a user uploaded, and because the file is encrypted, it's unlikely that the farmer could read it anyway.

If someone attempts to access and alter the files that they are storing, the shard will fail the next challenge issued by the owner of the data. This will result in the malicious node being dropped, and the network will select another location to store the shard. And of course, the network doesn't pay cheating nodes.

The simple Storj Share GUI will allow you to specify how much storage space you want to share, add a STORJ address (an ERC20 compatible wallet) for payments, and specify a Storj node to use.

Then, when people upload files via Storj, if your node is online, you will start getting file chunks hosted on your drive and you will get a reward for them.

There are a few variables that could make the number of hosted chunks on your shared storage (and thus your expected rewards) higher or lower:

  • Size of shared storage

  • Upload and download bandwidth

  • Reliability and availability of your Storj Share node

  • Demand for storage