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If you’re at all familiar with the way torrents work, you’ll know that when a torrent is downloaded it begins to collect “pieces” of itself from other users through the internet. These pieces are collected over  time and eventually form a fully functioning file.

Storj Labs, based out of Atlanta, Georgia, is seeking to give a unique twist on cloud storage using a method similar to torrents through their new service entitled “Storj.”

According to their FAQ, they are attempting to develop several apps to ease this new type of “cloud” storage. The first one “Metadisk” is a web app that allows clients to upload their files. Before the upload process begins however, the files are encrypted and then broken into smaller pieces and distributed throughout the Storj network. This network consists of nodes which are housed on people’s personal computers. The nodes themselves are created through Storj’s client app Driveshare and make use of any available hard drive space on that person’s computer.

This is seen as a boon to many considering the recent worries of privacy with storing your electronic files in the cloud. The decentralized nature of the storage, client side encryption and the fact that the service does not need any of your personal information would negate a government’s ability to spy on you. DDOS attacks would also be more difficult since there wouldn’t be a central server to attack. However, even with these positive affirmations, the service could still have some problems.

One issue you may run into if you’re uploading files is if the person storing them has their computer running and online. Storj’s system has several ways of addressing this. The first method will buzz other nodes if one is down to find the needed files. Unfortunately this depends on whether the person who uploaded them contracted out to multiple people for storage.  The second method is that they’ve incentivized staying online by allowing uploaders to pay those providing storage.

Another issues is internet speed, but Storj allows you to farm bandwidth through the node network. Users are able to set the desired speeds and the network is structured to compensate if there’s a drop in speeds.

What do you guys think? Is Storj a better, more secure service than cloud storage or does it bring another range of problems into the mix?



Jon Schear

Staff Writer

Graphic and web designer by day, amateur digital artist/illustrator and writer for Techraptor by night. When I’m not doing any of those things, you can find me getting extremely angry in WoW as I watch my Moonkin get killed multiple times in PVP or drinking scotch.