ChiFS

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ChiFS compared to other networks

This page attempts to list alternative file sharing applications and networks and to describe the similarities and differences with ChiFS. All of the mentioned projects are awesome on their own right and each serve their use case very well - the intention of this page is not to criticise these projects but instead to clarify what ChiFS is and isn't.

This page is a work in progress.

BitTorrent

BitTorrent is a protocol that allows users to efficiently exchange large files, but doesn't - in itself - provide file search and discovery features. If we include online search engines for Torrent files, with the entire ecosystem of public and private trackers, BitTorrent starts to look very much like ChiFS from a user's perspective. There are still a few differences:

Dat

Direct Connect

Direct Connect is an early 2000's chat and file sharing network that is still being used and maintained in some capacity today. While Direct Connect has been a major source of inspiration for ChiFS, there are several major differences:

Architecturally, ChiFS moves the burden of file discovery out of the network and into (more resource-heavy) centralized nodes. This reduces network overhead, makes dealing with spam a little easier, simplifies Client and Share implementations and hopefully allows the network to scale to more users and files. The downside is that Hubs are more complex and expensive to operate.

Freenet

GNUnet

Gnutella

IPFS

OnionShare

OnionShare is a simple tool that lets you anonymously share files over the Tor network. Alas, that is also where the similarities end: OnionShare is more a convenient tool to set up a HTTP Tor Onion Service than it is a file sharing network. It does not index files, does not provide search and discovery features and does not try to provide alternative download sources in case the original source of a file is offline.

But if you want to privately send files to other people, OnionShare is safer and more convenient than ChiFS.

RetroShare

Tribler

Tribler is a BitTorrent client that comes with built-in anonymity and decentralized search funtionality. These features bring it much closer to ChiFS in terms of functionality, but there are still a few differences: