Filecoin compared to

While Filecoin shares some similarities to other file storage solutions, the protocol has significant differences that one should consider.
Filecoin combines many elements of other file storage and distribution systems. What makes Filecoin unique is that it runs on an open, peer-to-peer network while still providing economic incentives and proofs to ensure files are being stored correctly. This page compares Filecoin against other technologies that share some of the same properties.

Filecoin vs. Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage

Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage
Main use case
Storing files at hypercompetitive prices
Storing files using a familiar, widely-supported service
Determined by a hypercompetitive open market
Set by corporate pricing departments
Many small, independent storage providers
A handful of large companies
Reliability stats
Independently checked by the network and publicly verifiable
Companies self-report their own stats
Applications can access all storage providers using the Filecoin protocol
Applications must implement a different API for each storage provider
Competitive market for retrieving files
Typically more expensive than storing files to lock users in
Fault handling
If a file is lost, the user is refunded automatically by the network
Companies can offer users credit if files are lost or unavailable
If something goes wrong, the Filecoin protocol determines what happens without human intervention
If something goes wrong, users contact the support help desk to seek resolution
Physical location
Miners located anywhere in the world
Limited to where provider’s data centres are located
Becoming a storage provider
Low barrier to entry for storage providers (computer, hard drive, internet connection)
High barrier to entry for storage providers (legal agreements, marketing, support staff)

Filecoin tokens (FIL) vs. Bitcoin tokens (BTC)

Main use case
File storage
Payment network
Data storage
Good at storing large amounts of data inexpensively
Small amounts of data can be stored on blockchain at significant cost
Blockchain secured using proof of replication and proof of spacetime
Blockchain secured using proof of work
Consensus power
Miners with the most storage have the most power
Miners with the most computational speed have the most power
Mining hardware
Hard drives, GPUs, and CPUs
Mining usefulness
Mining results in peoples’ files being stored
Mining results in heat
Types of provider
Storage provider, retrieval provider, repair provider
All providers perform proof of work
Uptime requirements
Storage providers rewarded for uptime, penalized for downtime
Miners can go offline without being penalized
Network status
Mainnet running since 2020
Mainnet running since 2009