Decentralized cloud storage is a key part of building an application that can truly protect user’s privacy and give them full data ownership. But as with any technology, when you put it in use there are other benefits realized.
At Storj, we wanted to hear from startup founders and developers how using Storj as their application backend impacted them, their company as a whole, and their end users. This article details the answers from three innovators in decentralized applications (DApps):
How Storj benefits developers
Developers building applications may look into decentralized storage because of ownership or sustainability, but the tipping point to adopt is typically usability. Web3 decentralized storage is S3 compatible to make the transition from Web2 to Web3 a relatively simple undertaking. Of course, the decision is more holistic than that. Here are the top reasons that Storj hears from developers who are looking into decentralized Web3 storage.
- S3 compatibility - easy to transfer or to start working with familiar protocols
- Excellent performance - for many use cases Storj beats the hyperscalers on transfer and is more consistent across geographies.
- Fully encrypted data and metadata - as a standard part of Web3 storage this takes a lot of work and worry off the shoulders of developers
- Ultra-secure and private file sharing options - data can be secure within its bucket, the risk is in sharing. Decentralized storage provides multiple secure ways to do this—including simple public sharing URLs with revocable access.
- Native support for media streaming - so many applications today incorporate media streaming so this is a big checkbox for decentralized storage and the performance is the same or better than Web2 storage.
- Low, consistent cost - cost isn’t always the primary driver for Web3 storage, but it is a very helpful benefit for companies looking to build apps in Web3. Decentralized storage costs are 1/10th to 1/40th that of AWS and they are very transparent and consistent.
- Sustainability - developers are looking for the Airbnb and Uber business model where existing capacity is better utilized. Decentralized cloud storage fits this model by utilizing unused storage capacity in existing computers and servers. Lowering the carbon footprint of their tech stack is a big driver for eco-friendly businesses.
Ruslan: Storj was less work for our developers
“The biggest advantage to our developers in terms of using Storj was the amount of time they eventually saved instead of building the storage solutions that would work with third parties. We just took the SDK from Storj that they provided and helped us with, and we connected it with a few quick steps and it was up and running. That left our developers with more time for building the actual game.”
Kevin: Storj was easy to build against and just works
“Storj is really easy to build against. It doesn't have the complexity in the cognitive overhead of having to renegotiate storage contracts. With each note, the pricing is simple. The service is decentralized and everything just works.”
Viktor: Storj beats AWS and is easy for developers
“When we show Storj to our clients they quickly realize that it doesn't make sense to use AWS from any perspective. Storj is faster. Storj is decentralized. Storj is cheaper, and Storj is AWS S3 100% compatible. We found that performance of Storj is on the same level, if not higher than centralized storage is. So yeah, we realize that decentralized storage is not the future, it's already happening right now. That's why our clients all choose Storj. And as developers, we fully support that decision and appreciate the easy integration and solid execution of working with Storj.”
Kevin: Storj is less expensive than centralized cloud storage
“Finally, Storj is much more economical than using a centralized provider like Amazon or Backblaze. Core storage itself is about one fifth the price of Amazon. And if you were to replicate data from data centers, like Amazon, US East to US West, to Asia Pacific, to other global data centers that would incur replication fees across each object storage then becomes much exponentially cheaper than other object storage providers. It is a great fit for our stack due to its decentralization, its resilience, its performance and its economic properties.”
How Storj benefits application end users
It’s great if developers like to create DApps, but in order for their applications to be successful, it has to create positive outcomes for end users. Here are the three key benefits of decentralized storage to end users as gleaned from DApp developers.
- Data privacy and security - end users are becoming more aware and informed on data privacy. They are speaking out about the rights to their governments, in social media, and of course by unsubscribing from apps that aren’t doing enough to protect their data. Web3 apps provide the data privacy and security that end users are looking for. And it isn’t all about protecting their data from theft, it’s also about ensuring that no one is profiting off their personal information or behavior.
- Improved performance - end users today are easily frustrated by poor application performance. No one wants to see a loading cycle, no matter how large the file. Web3 delivers on the need for instant gratification by excelling at delivering large media files with incredible speed. With decentralized storage you can jump to a spot 30 minutes into the content you are streaming and it plays almost instantaneously.
- Highly available - in Web2 if you live in a remote area (translated as an area far away from a centralized storage data center) then you are not guaranteed access to Web2 applications. With decentralized storage, that content is stored at the edge across the globe making DApps highly available no matter where you are in the world.
Ruslan: End users feel secure that their data assets are safe
“Our end users benefit from us choosing Storj in terms of security and transparency. They can be sure that we as a company cannot in any way, harm them in terms of their data assets. They can also be sure that nothing can overnight happen to their possessions so they can stop caring about how the data are stored. They don't have to look into it more than they wish to, and they can focus on simply playing the game, enjoying it, and perhaps even earn a few bucks along the way.”
Kevin: Storj consistently performs better than AWS
“So there are a number of benefits around our usage of storage at Europa. That's really driven the decision making process around why we went with decentralized cloud storage. First off, Storj is simply more durable than other cloud storage providers like Amazon, because it's decentralized. It's also much more performant because data is broken up into many concurrent streaming threads. Data gets to clients at a much faster and hyper localized rate than it would through a data center call on AWS or equivalent. Storj works well for our application stack at Europa, as it provides a core quality of service for end users that is unmatched by other players in the decentralized storage space.”
Viktor: End users notice the difference in performance
“Once our clients get started and release to end users they start to realize that Storj is faster. It's more secure. It's decentralized and it's cheaper. My clients using Storj are happy because Storj delivers the same or better experience as AWS, but cheaper and decentralized.“
Storj is making a positive impact on app investment too!
From a corporate perspective, getting into decentralization also means being able to tout the badge of innovation or sustainability or whatever value proposition is important to their investors or end users. Decentralized storage truly can be a game changer for modern applications.
Ruslan: Having Storj makes our startup attractive to investors
“Ultimate Division as a whole gained a lot of benefits using Storj. We can basically brag about how decentralized and transformed we are. We don't have to worry about one extra point all the other games have to worry about unless they use Storj. Investors and partners love the amount of decentralization we have. And it kind of brings us on the same page of innovators. And a lot of partnerships are being made available through this kind of thinking.
Want to learn more about companies and applications using Storj? See case studies