What is Skynet ?
Skynet is a completely decentralized file-sharing and content delivery platform built on top of the Sia cloud storage network. Skynet adds file sharing and data publication capabilities to Sia and creates the infrastructure necessary for apps to store and serve content in a fully decentralized manner.
Data cannot be de-platformed. Files can not be hacked. Any type of data can be uploaded to Skynet.
You can upload files through your own Sia node, or a third party Skynet Web portal. Once the file has been uploaded, a 46-byte link called a Skylink is generated. That link can be shared with anyone - Sia users and non-Sia users alike - to fetch the data from Skynet.
The original uploader does not need to stay online in order for the file to remain available. The Sia network handles all of the pinnings, guaranteeing both high speeds and excellent uptime.
This is a boon for decentralized applications, which can run confidently knowing that their storage layer is just as decentralized as their app.
And for centralized applications, Skynet provides a low cost, low hassle, high-speed mechanism to store and distribute data. Storage costs are as much as 10x lower than traditional infrastructure, bandwidth costs as much as 100x lower, all without sacrificing performance or reliability.
What is Skynet Web Portal ?
Portals power Skynet. A Skynet portal is a low-cost server that sits between Skynet and everyday users, enabling them to access Skynet content without needing to operate any special software themselves.
There are standard Skynet portals, which is a regular Sia node configured to be a portal. These are typically used privately by the individuals who set them up.
Then there are Skynet webportals, which has a web UI built on top of it, and is publicly accessible using your browser. Since webportals pay their own bills and for the files uploaded to them, they will likely have their own policies on how many and what types of files you can upload.
Here is a list of Skynet webportals available at launch:
https://siasky.net/ - an official portal from Nebulous
https://sialoop.net/ - by Hakkane, of keops.cc
https://skynet.luxor.tech/ - by Luxor, a longtime partner
https://skynet.tutemwesi.com/ - by Tutemwesi, a trusted community member
https://siacdn.com/ - by ericflo, a trusted community member
https://vault.lightspeedhosting.com/ - by Lightspeed Hosting, a cloud and colocation data center
https://skydrain.net - by Fornax, who has been making apps on Sia since near the beginning
https://skynethub.io/ - by Crypto-Rocket, a trusted community member
Any Skynet file can be retrieved by any Skynet portal. Additionally, anyone can run a Skynet portal - a Skynet portal is essentially a normal Sia node that forms contracts with every host instead of just a handful of hosts. As of writing, this costs about $10 per month in blockchain transaction fees.
Skynet portals are fully interchangeable, a fact which is key to the decentralization of the network. If one portal goes offline or begins rate-limiting or overcharging, a new portal can easily take the place of the old one.
You can setup your own Skynet Web Portal https://github.com/NebulousLabs/skynet-webportal