Vault types explained

1. Permanent storage

With permanent storage all your files, messages and metadata are stored on the Arweave blockchain.

Arweave is a permanent data storage network. The only truly permanent data storage solution in existence. Files cannot be deleted and data is stored for at least 200 years.

Permanent storage is decentralised, storing data in hundreds of nodes across the globe, and eliminating many single-point-of-failure risks. The Arweave network is programmed to incentivise storage providers and doesn’t require a centralised entity to maintain its service.

Once your file is stored you never have to pay again for the storage of that file. It’s more expensive than the cloud initially, but for storing data over the long term it is the more cost effective choice.

Permanence makes data more real and adds value. Because data is stored forever, it is no longer ephemeral and can give it much more value. It’s why permanent storage on Arweave is a very popular choice for NFTs, and a logical choice for archiving and preservation projects.

Permanent storage can only be used once. For example, if you buy 1 GB of permanent storage and upload a 1 GB video, then that 1 GB is gone. You can’t delete the video, so you can’t get that 1 GB back.

Permanent storage is ideal for files you never want to lose access to, and is most powerful when you want to store this data for as long as possible or many generations.

If you stop paying a subscription to Akord your permanent storage remains accessible forever.

Your Akord account will never be deactivated for lack of activity.

Akord Explorer guarantees perpetual accessibility even if Akord were to cease operations. Explorer is a decentralized app running directly on Arweave and will live alongside your data on the blockchain. All you need is your recovery phrase to connect and all your vaults will be there.

Permanent storage is not a good choice if you believe you may need to delete the data at a given point in the future. In the business context, personally identifiable information from customers falls under data regulations like CCPA and GDPR, and is therefore unlikely to be suitable if the customer doesn’t control the vault.

2. Cloud storage

Your data will be stored on AWS with data held in Frankfurt, Germany, if you choose cloud storage.

Cloud storage is much cheaper and more flexible when managing data, compared to permanent storage. For example, it costs relatively little to have hundreds of GB of cloud storage, upload large amounts of data, decide the next month it’s no longer needed, delete it and recover that storage space.

Once you stop paying your monthly payments you’re at risk of having your data deleted. On Akord, if you stop paying a subscription, then we’ll give you at least a month to get your files on cloud storage downloaded and migrated if needed. But eventually that data will have to be deleted.

Cloud storage depends on a centralised service. There’s no guarantee that AWS will continue running storage services in years to come, or even exist.

Cloud storage makes sense if you have large amounts of data that is not critical, and you may want to delete it at some point.

Cloud storage is not a good choice for the data we absolutely can’t afford to lose.

The cloud has a number of security risks. Data in the cloud, as it’s held by a centralised service, is prone to single-point-of-failure risks and cyber attacks such as ransomware.

Akord’s end-to-end encryption mitigates some of these security flaws inherent in the cloud, giving you a greater degree of control and ownership over cloud data.

3. Private vaults

Private vaults on Akord are protected by end-to-end encryption.

All files and messages are encrypted on your device before ever being sent to Akord or Arweave.

Cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive do not end-to-end encrypt your data, making it vulnerable to hacks and leaks.

You own the keys to the encryption, meaning there can be no backdoors to your data.

Your data’s so secure even we can’t see it.

You can invite other people into your private vaults, giving them access control permissions. Members of your vault can be either Owners (with equal permissions), Contributors (able to upload and message etc) or View Only.

You can chat with end-to-end encryption in private vaults, as well as access other collaborative features enabling you to manage whole workflows in a secure context.

4. Public vaults

Files and messages in public vaults are not encrypted.

Do not upload anything to a public vault that you are not comfortable sharing with the world.

Public vaults using permanent storage can be:

  • Ideal for ensuring files stay in the public domain forever. The immutable and permanent nature of Arweave guarantees that data in your public vaults will be accessible to anyone in the world with internet access.

  • Used for radical transparency. We can use the immutable nature of this on-chain storage to make a public statement. Because data on the cloud can be easily overwritten, edited or deleted, we can never be certain of its integrity.

  • Discovered and followed on Akord Explorer. Explorer is our decentralized app running directly on the Arweave blockchain, and it enables anyone to search for public vaults through their title or tags added to the vault. People can then follow the vaults they like.

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