# What is IPFS

IPFS is a modular suite of protocols for organizing and transferring data, designed from the ground up with the principles of content addressing and peer-to-peer networking. Because IPFS is open-source, there are multiple implementations of IPFS. While IPFS has more than one use case, its main use case is for publishing data (files, directories, websites, etc.) in a decentralised fashion.

This guide is part 1 of a 3-part introduction to the basic concepts of IPFS. The second part, IPFS and the problems it solves, covers the problems with the internet and current protocols like HTTP that IPFS solves.

In this conceptual guide, you'll learn what IPFS is and isn't.

# Defining IPFS

The term IPFS can refer to multiple concepts:

# What IPFS isn't

While IPFS shares similarities with, and is often used in architectures with the systems described below, IPFS is not:

  • A storage provider: While there are storage providers built with IPFS support (typically known as pinning services), IPFS itself is a protocol, not a provider.
  • A cloud service provider: IPFS can be deployed on and complement cloud infrastructure, but it in of itself is not a cloud service provider.

# Further reading