Hyperspace is a trustless, decentralized platform built with the intention of allowing users to maintain control of their data. Unlike traditional cloud storage providers, the Hyperspace protocol is blind to what data is stored on it, and the design of Hyperspace contracts mean that price and duration of your storage agreement cannot change once locked in. You don't risk losing your data because a company decides it's objectionable, or because of an increase in price halfway through the storage term.
To date, Hyperspace is one of only a few storage platforms that is truly decentralized - there is no third party that has the ability to modify storage contracts or erase your data. All agreements are controlled between the renter, the host(s), the decentralized autonomous network, and the blockchain. Another benefit of Hyperspace is that it's significantly cheaper than traditional cloud-based storage solutions, but with comparable uptime and fault tolerance characteristics.
Hyperspace allows anyone with spare hard drive space to rent it out on the Hyperspace network. Anybody anywhere in the world can add their storage to the Hyperspace network, and get paid to do so. On the renter end, Hyperspace aims to be more consumer friendly than Sia, though the project is still in relatively early stages today.
The Hyperspace network is comprised of the Hyperspace app running on several computers. The client is available in a UI version, as well as via command line or API access. The client serves several functions: a wallet for Space Cash, and an interface for renters and hosts to buy and sell data and upload or download files. A renter is someone who is paying to rent storage; a host is someone with excess storage space who elects to rent it out on the Hyperspace network. You can be a renter, a host, or both at the same time on the Hyperspace network. You can also simply use the Hyperspace client as a wallet if you don't want to rent or host.
The Hyperspace client allows renters and hosts to interact with each other by creating storage contracts. Renters can specify how much money, in Space Cash, they wish to spend on storage; hosts can specify storage prices and a number of other values that affect their probability of being selected for a contract. More information on renting and hosting can be found in the Renting and Hosting sections of this site.
Another large component of the Hyperspace network is the Hyperspace blockchain and cryptocurrency (Space Cash), which is further discussed in Space Cash. The blockchain is responsible for managing storage contracts, as well as providing a means by which transactions between users can occur. The blockchain does not store renter data - if you rent storage space on Hyperspace, it will be space on host computers. In regards to storing data, the blockchain is only used to manage the contracts and payments for the agreement of storing renter data on host machines.
When a renter creates a storage contract and begins to upload their data, Hyperspace encrypts and breaks apart the data into pieces and distributes it to multiple hosts (currently 30). The data is broken apart with the use of an algorithm called Reed-Solomon codes, to a level of 3x redundancy. This means that only 10 pieces of the original 30 are needed in order to reconstruct the data. This allows up to 20 of the 30 hosts to go offline or lose the data, and the data will still be accessible. If your hosts are online 90% of the time, this results in over 99.99% overall uptime of data stored on the Hyperspace network.
Since the data is encrypted and split into pieces, hosts have no way of accessing the data, or even being able to determine what type of data they're storing. The renter can feel secure in knowing that only they have access to their data, and the host is protected from liability for any data they store because it is impossible for the host to know anything about the data. Hosts are also incentiviced to stay online and retain data via a number of host scoring metrics.
Hyperspace plans to make renting even easier with a simple user interface, the ability to buy storage with fiat (i.e. USD), and even a free storage tier.