HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) are both protocols used for transferring data over the internet, but they are fundamentally different in how they work. HTTP is the protocol used for the World Wide Web. It is a client-server protocol, meaning that a client (such as a web browser or a mobile application) sends a request to a server, and the server responds with data. HTTP relies on centralized servers to store and serve data. When a client requests a web page, the server sends the entire page to the client. This means that if the server goes down or becomes overloaded, the website may/should become unavailable.
IPFS, on the other hand, is a distributed file system. It allows files to be stored and accessed across a decentralized network of computers. When a file is added to IPFS, it is broken up into small pieces and distributed across the network. When a user requests a file, their computer retrieves the pieces from multiple nodes in the network and reassembles them into the complete file. This means that the file is always available, unlike the client-server protocol, even if some of the nodes in the network go down.
One of the key benefits of IPFS is its ability to enable decentralized and censorship-resistant (refers to a system or technology that is designed to resist or prevent censorship by a centralized authority or organization.) applications. With HTTP, if a website is taken down or blocked by a government or other authority, it becomes unavailable. With IPFS, however, the files are stored on a distributed network of computers, so they cannot be easily censored or taken down!
However, IPFS is still in its early stages and has some limitations. For example, because files are broken up into small pieces and distributed across the network, it can be slower to retrieve large files than it is with HTTP. Additionally, IPFS is still not widely adopted, so it may not be as well-supported as HTTP in terms of tools, libraries, and documentation. Some of the most known systems that already use IPFS protocols are Filecoin, Brave browser, Temporal, Infura, and Aragon.
In summary, HTTP and IPFS serve different purposes and are used in different contexts. HTTP is used for client-server applications, while IPFS is used for decentralized and censorship-resistant applications. Each protocol has its own strengths and weaknesses, and developers should choose the appropriate protocol based on their specific needs and use cases.