Nov 10, 2021
1 mins read
Introducing IPNS-Link - a new way to host your websites for the decentralized web.
If you are familiar with ngrok, you can think of IPNS-Link as a decentralized alternative.
If you are familiar with static-website-hosting with IPFS & IPNS, then think of IPNS-Link as the counterpart for dynamic sites.
If you are familiar with .onion sites accessible only through Tor, then you can think of the websites exposed using IPNS-Link as similar hidden services that are accessible only through special, yet decentralized, gateways (e.g. ipns.live).
To get a feel about how it works, lets take the simplest use case.
Alice runs her website (e.g. a WordPress blog) on her old PC, which may not even have a public IP address.
The app gives her a UUID as the public address of her site, that she distributes to her desired audience.
When Bob wants to access her site, he simply has to choose any one of the many public gateways available and put Alice's UUID there. If he wants utmost privacy, he can also run his own gateway locally and use that to access Alice's site directly.
That's it! Alice didn't have to go through any of the hassles of conventional web-hosting, such as buying a domain name and managing TLS/SSL certificates, acquiring a public IP and setting up DDNS in case the IP is dynamic.
You can also expose a website that you don't control. Here's a demo. This helps in cases where a site is blocked or geo-restricted.
You can read about more use cases here. For a detailed overview of the project, checkout this. We are hosting a prototype gateway in a small server at ipns.live. Hopefully, volunteers would host more public gateways in near future, or, we would have enough funds to scale up. To try IPNS-Link right now, you can follow the Quick-start tutorial.
IPNS-Link is completely free and open-source, and depends entirely on donations for sustaining itself. So, please help out if you believe in it. Also, join the community and help us improve. Happy hosting!