Files uploaded to Skynet will remain available as long as a portal pins the skyfile (agrees to pay from it). The rule-of-thumb for a minimum time is 3 months, but this will vary from portal to portal and could depend on if you have a user account with the portal. You can pin files yourself by running your own portal, and any portal can pin any file that already exists on the network.
By default, data stored on Skynet is stored in plain-text. Communications on the network are encrypted and applications and users can encrypt their data before uploading it to Skynet. Also, because files are broken into pieces and erasure-coded, even plain-text data becomes broken apart and obfuscated when distributed between hosts.
Accessing Skynet is free, but there are paid user accounts that allow prioritized access.
Uploading files to Skynet is free, but without a user account, most portals will store your files for a minimum of 3 months.
Storage expenses are paid by Skynet Portals, which use a cryptocurrency called Siacoin on the Sia network.
Portal operating costs are paid by operators, but we encourage users to support portal operators, developers, and content creators by signing up for a user account.
Skynet is open-source, so the code is available for anyone to freely use.
See Webportals on Skynet.
Not really. We say "censorship-resistant," because the infrastructure makes it extremely difficult to censor or deplatform data and applications across the entirety of Skynet. That said, portals operate their own "blocklists." Users cannot download a file from a portal if it is on its blocklist. This helps to protect portal operators. The code for running a portal is free and open-source, so users can always run their own portal if they do not agree with the decisions made by another portal operator. See Web Portals on Skynet and Running a Web Portal.
New download code released in
siad 1.5.5 still needs to be tested for real-world latency, but streaming throughput can reach speeds of 1 Gbps. It is competitive with centralized services and out-performs decentralized storage competitors. The team is regularly developing optimizations to further increase the speeds of uploads and downloads.
Skynet is secure because Sia is secure. Also, by designing our ecosystem around client-side applications, any data compromise doesn't affect the entire service, but rather just the user. For more information on Sia's data security see their support article Is my data secure? and see more about Failure modes for Decentralization in A Deep Dive into Skynet.
When a portal "pins" a skyfile on Skynet, they are telling the network that they are willing to continue paying for the storage costs of that file. Any number of portals can pin the same skyfile, and as long as the file is pinned, it will be available on Skynet. See Web Portals on Skynet for more.