What is the permaweb?

As the internet continues to grow and change, the next step in its evolution is the permaweb. 

The term “permaweb” refers to the permanent web, which encompasses a vast array of webpages, applications, and files hosted on the Arweave network. It works similarly to the existing internet in terms of user experience and functionality, with one key distinction: any content uploaded to the permaweb is preserved indefinitely and cannot be removed or deleted.

Let’s take a look at the tldr of the permaweb!

What is the Permaweb?

The permaweb looks just like the normal web, but all of its content – from images to full web apps – is permanent, retrieved quickly, and decentralized – forever. Just as the first web connected people over vast distances, the permaweb connects people over long periods of time. – Arweave Team

Why do we need a Permaweb?

The internet has an extremely high turnover of information, and much of it disappears or simply goes missing every day. The web is anything but static and would better be described as fluid.

Data has become the main commodity of today’s economy, and the need for reliable, transparent, and useable data has never been more pressing. 

The permaweb solves this problem by giving users and developers permanent and reliable data.

What can you do on the Permaweb?

You will be able to do anything you can on the internet that you know form blog posts to file sharing apps to social media. 

However, with the foundation of permanence the way that you interact with sites and applications will be enhanced. 

For instance, imagine being able to interact with an application or website at any time of its existence? 

This is possible on the permaweb. 

What other applications are on the Pemaweb?

A thriving ecosystem of applications is being built on the permaweb for the average person to be able to make use of permanent data:
  • ArDrive – file storage and storage app
  • Mirror – blogging platform
  • BazAR – digital marketplace
  • Pianity – Music NFTs
  • EverPay – decentralized token exchange
  • ArConnect – Arweave wallet extension
  • ArNS – friendly URLs for the permaweb
A growing number of applications are also integrating with Arweave and ar.io and, one day, this will lead to the permaweb becoming a household name.

How does a file get onto the permaweb?

For the everyday permaweb user front-facing applications like ArDrive are required to get all types of files onto the permaweb. Otherwise, developer skills are needed to interact with the permaweb to use it. 

A full-suite of permaweb applications are being developed by a range of teams to allow users to interact with the permaweb in many different ways.

What is the technical background of the permaweb?

The permaweb is the layer built on top of Arweave’s global permanent hard drive and gateways. This is similar to the way Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) – the web as we know it – sits on top of the TCP/IP network.

Similar to the traditional web, it works over http across modern browsers. It performs like you would expect web apps today to perform. And its all programmed with today’s popular languages and frameworks, like HTML, JavaScript and React among many others

Is the permaweb all public data? Can you have private data?

The permaweb is both public and private data. 

The Arweave protocol, which the permaweb is built on top of, defaults to public data. However, ArDrive has built the ability to privately encrypt data that can be uploaded to the permaweb. 

If you make data public on the permaweb it will always be public – it cannot be deleted or encrypted after the fact. However, if a user makes it private through ArDrive then it can only be seen by them. 

Can you host websites or applications on the permaweb?

Yes, websites and applications can be hosted on the permaweb. 

At this point static websites that don’t change a lot are the best use for hosted websites – see this helpful guide. 

As for hosted applications – checkout all of the versions of ArDrive hosted on the permaweb.

What makes the Permaweb possible?

The permaweb is made possible by two infrastructure protocols (think the roads and pipes that the information world is built on): Arweave and ar.io gateways.

  • Arweave: This is the technical and economic storage layer that keeps data as a permanent hard drive.
  • ar.io Gatewaysar.io gateways are infrastructure utilities that sit above the base Arweave storage layer and allow users to access and query the information stored on Arweave. They are specialized utilities for data retrieval, caching, and serving as well as indexing transactions into a queryable database.

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