What is a decentralized CDN?

Decentralized or peer-to-peer (p2p) content distribution networks use thousands of peer nodes to hold content.

Traditional content distribution networks (CDNs) often rely on tens or hundreds of nodes in strategic locations to hold or cache content. Decentralized CDNs use thousands to millions of smaller server nodes, often inexpensive desktop computers.

Decentralized networks have three major advantages:

1. Decentralized networks can offer much faster response times for people who are far from major city centers where most CDN server farms tend to be located, near major telephone switching centers. In addition, the peer swarming methods used by SWRM Labs mean that there should be many fewer delays or lags when streaming rich 4K or VR content. The net download speed is limited only by the end-user's connection performance.

2. Decentralized networks are more secure. Content is broken into small segments called shards, instead of being stored centrally. Files and file shards are stored as hashes, further protecting content from being visible, even to the hosts who store it. Security may be further enhanced through AES128 or AES256 encryption for private content (such as IoT device updates or corporate video traffic).

3. Lower cost to the publisher and/or the end-user. The Hive network is built with infrastructure that belongs to independent partners; SWRM Labs compensates the Hivers by providing valuable tokens for every gigabyte of content that each Hiver serves, so Hivers are encouraged to stay connected through broadband connections 24x7. Inexpensive hardware replaces expensive dedicated and underutilized server data centers, and less expensive consumer or small business broadband replaces expensive fiber connectivity typically used for traditional CDNs.

The net benefit for the organizations seeking to publish content or to offer video streaming services over our network is that their monthly service costs can be 30-70% lower than traditional cloud services and 60-80% below the cost of deploying their own private network.