Is my data secure?
Your data is incomparably safe when you use Skynet. The Sia network, where Skynet stores your data, is a fully decentralized cloud storage network. It has been operating since 2015, hundreds of terabytes are currently being stored on it, and thousands of terabytes have been stored over the years.
The data normally on Sia gets split up, encrypted, and the pieces are then distributed all around the world to different hosts.
Most Skynet data is expected to be unencrypted, as it is intended to be a mechanism for publishing data. This means that Skynet encryption is opt-in by default. Encryption is supported for use cases where data is intended to only be visible to a restricted set of people. The encryption algorithm for Skynet is XChaCha20.
It's just the way it's built
Skynet is built into Sia. Sia is decentralized, which has a lot of inherent benefits. While we develop the software, we're not in charge of the network. No one is - it's all handled by smart contracts and a blockchain, and Sia is completely open source so you can make sure we're staying honest.
Files uploaded to Sia are automatically encrypted and private, but since Skynet is intended to be used for file-sharing and content distribution it works a little different. Files uploaded to Skynet can be shared with others using Skylinks, a link that will resolve the Skynet file into something your browser can understand.
When you upload your media to Skynet, every single file gets divided into 30 segments before uploading, each targeted for distribution to hosts across the world.
File segments are created using Reed-Solomon erasure coding, commonly used in CDs and DVDs.
Each file segment can be encrypted before being sent out.
On Skynet, files are expected to be unencrypted, since they'll be shared via Skylinks.
When your files are split and encrypted, no host ever stores a complete piece of your data. And they can't even see the piece that they've got. As mentioned earlier, the encryption algorithm for Skynet is XChaCha20.
The technical side
Like we mentioned earlier, Skynet divides each files into 30 segments before uploading, and puts those pieces all over the world on the Sia network. This distribution assures that no one host represents a single point of failure and reinforces overall network uptime and redundancy.
The Reed-Solomon erasure coding allows Sia to divide files in a redundant manner, where any 10 of 30 segments can fully recover a user's files.
This means that if 20 out of 30 hosts go offline, a user is still able to download a files. And when hosts go offline, Sia automatically starts to re-duplicate them again. It would take a simultaneous global event to knock out enough hosts to damage the integrity of your files.
And because Sia is decentralized, no one person, company, or government can deny you access. It's global and governed by no one.
The economic side
Just as important as how it keeps your data secure, is why. The Sia network keeps your data safe because data hosts are financially incentivized to provide enterprise level service. They earn money by hosting data.
With Skynet Webportals, the webportal operator will decide their policy. You might be able to upload a certain number of files for free, or they may charge a fee per upload. Remember, every upload costs money, but you only pay for what you use. That's the beauty of decentralization.