DEV Community

Cover image for A Comparative Analysis of Storage Infrastructure in Arweave’s Web3 Ecosystem: Irys (Bundlr), ArDrive, and 4Everland

Posted on

A Comparative Analysis of Storage Infrastructure in Arweave’s Web3 Ecosystem: Irys (Bundlr), ArDrive, and 4Everland


As we navigate the modern digital landscape, we often hear that data is the “new oil.” Yet, in a world increasingly moving toward decentralization and Web3 technologies, the conventional storage solutions we’ve relied on are proving inadequate. Enter Arweave, a protocol designed for permanent, decentralized data storage. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Arweave’s ecosystem and explore how three unique storage solutions — Irys (previously Bundlr), ArDrive, and 4Everland — complement this pioneering protocol.

The Arweave Protocol: A Primer

Arweave isn’t just another storage provider; it offers a range of unique benefits, from permanence to a single upfront payment for lifetime storage. Its decentralized architecture ensures that once data is stored, it remains accessible for as long as the internet exists. Data on Arweave is distributed across multiple nodes, making the system robust against failures and censorship. The pay-once, store-forever model disrupts the ongoing fee structures that we’ve grown accustomed to with traditional cloud storage providers.

Arweave boasts an array of features that set it apart from traditional storage solutions:

Key Features of Arweave

Permanence: Once data is stored, it remains accessible forever.
Decentralization: Data is stored across multiple nodes, making it resistant to censorship and single points of failure.
Pay Once, Store Forever: Unlike traditional storage, which typically requires ongoing fees, Arweave allows users to make a one-time payment for perpetual storage.
The protocol functions by storing data across multiple decentralized nodes, allowing users to access their stored data from anywhere, at any time.

Understanding the Storage Infrastructure Landscape

For decentralized ecosystems like Arweave, specialized storage solutions are a necessity. This article aims to analyze three key players in this space:

  • Irys (previously Bundlr)

  • ArDrive

  • 4Everland

Irys (previously Bundlr): A Snapshot

Irys(Bundlr) positions itself as a go-to decentralized storage solution, specifically designed for Web3 applications. By integrating directly with various blockchain networks, Irys(Bundlr) adds a layer of simplicity that’s often missing in decentralized storage contracts. What’s intriguing about Irys(Bundlr)’s relationship with Arweave is how it leverages Arweave’s backend storage layer. This synergy lets users enjoy the best of both worlds — Arweave’s permanence and Bundlr’s ease of use.

ArDrive: An In-Depth Look

ArDrive takes a different approach by putting a strong emphasis on privacy and security. Its end-to-end encryption ensures that your data remains your own, a feature particularly appealing in a world increasingly concerned with data privacy. By providing both a Web-based and a command-line interface, ArDrive maintains a balance between user accessibility and functional richness.

All of this is powered by Arweave’s underlying decentralized infrastructure, making it a versatile choice for secure document storage, file sharing, and media storage. However, these added layers of security might come at a higher cost, which could be a drawback depending on your storage needs.

4Everland: An Overview

4Everland is designed primarily to lower the barrier to entry by offering Web2 compatibility. It serves as a comprehensive platform that provides front-end hosting and S3-compatible buckets, enabling users to experience Arweave with the familiarity of a Web2 environment.

Beyond these core services, 4Everland also offers a specialized Arweave gateway. This gateway delivers enhanced network access capabilities, including low-latency and global acceleration, making it easier and faster to retrieve stored data.

Comparative Analysis

Speed and Latency

Irys(Bundlr): Exhibits standard Arweave latency for data retrieval and uploads.
ArDrive: Similar to Bundlr, but the encryption process may introduce some additional latency.
4Everland: Utilizes globally distributed edge nodes to overcome the limitations of traditional Arweave gateways. Through its AR gateway, 4Everland offers features like instant access and data caching, which enable faster data retrieval and significantly reduces latency and speeds up downloads, providing a more reliable and efficient data service.

Security Measures

ArDrive: Utilizes military-grade AES-256-GCM encryption for all files in private drives. Each file is encrypted using a unique “File Key” derived from a master “Drive Key.”

Irys(Bundlr): Features Proof of Provenance that uses cryptographic techniques to establish a tamper-proof, transparent record of data’s origin and changes over time.

4Everland: Utilizes the Arseeding-provided Arweave light node technology to establish dispersed edge nodes globally, ensuring data is uploaded and broadcasted to the Arweave network both promptly and securely.

Usability and User Experience

When it comes to usability and user experience, Irys(Bundlr), ArDrive, and 4Everland each cater to different target audiences through unique interfaces and functionalities.

Irys(Bundlr) is primarily an API-focused platform tailored for developers. Its structure and services are designed to be leveraged programmatically, offering a robust toolkit for those who wish to integrate Arweave storage into their own applications or services.

ArDrive, on the other hand, is more akin to online drive services, similar to Google Drive. It presents itself as a user-friendly web drive, designed for individuals who might not possess technical expertise but still want to leverage Arweave’s decentralized storage.

4Everland is dedicated to delivering services that are Web2-friendly. It offers a rich set of APIs, including those that are S3-compatible, along with a Web2-like user interface. This ensures a seamless experience for a diverse range of users.

In summary, each platform has distinct advantages depending on the user’s needs and level of technical expertise. Irys(Bundlr) is geared towards developers, ArDrive is tailored for the general consumer, and 4Everland aims to offer the best of both worlds.

Storage Costs

Choosing a storage solution requires a keen look at cost implications. All three platforms — 4Everland, Irys(Bundlr), and ArDrive — utilize Arweave’s one-time fee model for perpetual storage. However, their pricing structures have nuanced variations, especially when handling smaller files.

Here is a quick overview:

(*Note: These prices are current values, as the price of AR fluctuates in real-time.)

Image description

4Everland: 4Everland extends a free tier starting at $0/month/user, gifting users with 100MB of initial storage space. They generously allow free storage for files up to 150KB through the “Unleash Arweave” initiative. For files surpassing the 150KB limit, a significant 90% cost reduction is available via the Unleash Arweave page.

Irys(Bundlr): Irys(Bundlr) offers complimentary uploads for files below 100KB on node2. Their pricing, though grounded on Arweave’s standard, is dynamic and features an added approximately 5% profit margin. For a deeper dive into their fee structure, prospective users can explore Irys(Bundlr)’s Fee documentation.

ArDrive: ArDrive’s pricing scheme also incorporates a free tier for sub-500KB files, provided users have the Turbo feature enabled. Their straightforward, one-time fee for permanent storage can be easily determined through the ArDrive Price Calculator. As an incentive, a Turbo Launch Discount is active, allowing users a hefty 45% savings on all Turbo-credited uploads until October 14, 2023.

Payment Method

ArDrive Turbo: This option allows users to purchase storage with credit or debit cards in local currencies, starting with USD. Credits obtained can then be used for uploads to ArDrive.

Arweave Tokens ($AR): ArDrive is based on the Arweave network, so $AR tokens can also be used for payment.

Multi-Chain and Multi-Asset Support: Irys(Bundlr) utilizes off-chain payment channels to handle transactions. For instance, if you’re using the Polygon network, you’ll send MATIC, and this transaction will be recorded off-chain to credit your MATIC account on Irys(Bundlr).

4Everland introduces a distinctive multi-chain payment system to simplify the traditionally complex process of using different assets for decentralized storage. Instead of requiring individual ‘AR’ purchases, the platform enables users to directly pay for Arweave storage using stablecoins from various chains, such as ETH, BSC, and Polygon.

In addition to simplifying payments across chains like ETH, BSC, and Polygon, 4Everland introduces a stablecoin-based ‘space pricing model.’ This innovation allows developers to lock in storage costs at current rates, shielding them from future price volatility in the Arweave ecosystem.

Case Studies: Diverse Applications Across Different Business Models

When examining real-world applications, the business models of Bundlr, ArDrive, and 4Everland reveal how they are tailored to suit different market needs.

Irys(Bundlr) primarily serves the Business-to-Business (B2B) segment by offering specialized storage solutions for developers. The platform is engineered to act as a robust backend service, enabling businesses to integrate decentralized storage into their existing systems effortlessly.

ArDrive is mainly focused on the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) market. It provides a straightforward cloud storage solution that mimics traditional web drives. This approach makes it highly user-friendly and an ideal choice for consumers looking for secure, decentralized storage without the need for technical expertise.

4Everland caters to both B2B and B2C markets with its Web2 compatibility, lowering the entry barrier for traditional users. The platform offers front-end hosting for quick permaweb deployment, developer-focused storage solutions, and enhanced gateway capabilities for optimized Arweave access. In summary, 4Everland serves diverse needs while offering Web2 familiarity and ease of use.

Community and Developer Support

All three platforms have active communities and extensive documentation for developers.


In the evolving landscape of decentralized storage, Arweave emerges as a robust foundation for various specialized solutions like Irys(Bundlr), ArDrive, and 4Everland. Each platform caters to different user needs — Irys(Bundlr) is tailor-made for developers, ArDrive focuses on end-user privacy and simplicity, while 4Everland aims to bridge the gap by offering features that appeal to both developers and general users. With unique pricing models, diverse security measures, and varied target audiences, these platforms show that the future of decentralized data storage is not a one-size-fits-all solution but a flexible ecosystem that can adapt to meet diverse storage needs.

References and Further Reading

For those interested in diving deeper, refer to Arweave’s official yellow-paper, Irys(Bundlr)’s documentation, ArDrive’s website, and 4Everland’s exhaustive documentation.

Top comments (0)