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I’m InterPlanetary, Get Me Out of Here! Accessing IPFS From Restrictive Environments

Author: Balduf, L., Rust, S., & Scheuermann, B.
Published in: DICG '23: 4th International Workshop on Distributed Infrastructure for Common Good
Year: 2023
Type: Academic articles

We investigate how well IPFS functions in real-world restrictive network environments. In a series of experiments, we utilize four vantage points, one of which lies behind the Great Firewall of China (GFW), to ascertain how various parts of the IPFS ecosystem perform in these settings. We test HTTP gateways and find that, although they are not systematically blocked, only about a third function in China, in comparison to Germany. Evaluating P2P functionality, we run experiments on data exchange between the four nodes. We find that the GFW has little measurable impact on these functionalities. The main inhibiting factor for P2P functionality remains network address translation (NAT). Lastly, to help NATed nodes spread their content, we propose and evaluate using public gateways as temporary replicators, but find only marginal gains.

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