Decentralized Archive Transport

The Dat Protocol

Dat is a new p2p hypermedia protocol. It provides public-key- & sha256-addressed file archives which can be synced securely and browsed on-demand. Dat supports streaming updates and partial on-demand replication, and has plans for versioned URLs and efficient compaction.

FastArchives sync from multiple sources at once.
SecureUpdates are signed, SHAed, and forced to be distributed uniformly.
ResilientArchives can change hosts without changing their URLs.
VersionedChanges are written to an append-only log.
DecentralizedAny device can host any archive.

Dat is funded by grants by the Knight and Sloan Foundations. Learn more at the Dat Project.

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Dat Specification

Draft, in progress. A complete specification of the Dat protocol.

Dat Whitepaper

May, 2017. A whitepaper on Dat.

Guide: Using Dat from the command-line

How to create and download Dats using the shell.

Guide: Hosting Archives from a Server

Use the Dat CLI and a process-manager to rehost archives from a VPS.


Dat Command-line

Sync and share folders from the command-line.

Dat Desktop

A simple, GUI-based client for dat archives.

Beaker Browser

An experimental P2P browser, which uses Dat as an alternative to HTTP.


Dat uses append-only feeds verified by merkle trees to securely distribute mutable files with "live" update-pushing through a peer-to-peer network. Peers are discovered using multiple overlapping networks (DHT, DNS, mUDP) and data transfered via encrypted TCP or UTP connections.

Archives are identified by ed25519 public-keys or sha256 hashes encoded as 64-character hex strings, making the URLs hostless and globally unique. The site you are currently viewing is served at dat://ad6cae123c812257eea2c20c92fbb06f6e774f73af671a9b306971a3d77efc5f/.

Dat generalizes concepts from certificate transparency to provide its security guarantees. All updates are written to a flattened merkle-tree (the feed) which is signed by the identifying public-key. Data-feeds are distributed uniformly to all peers, and authors are unable to split the change history or serve alternative versions of an archive without detection.


Dat is authored in Javascript, and is split into reusable, self-contained modules. The main modules are:

There are many submodules which comprise Dat:

There are also some handy community or high-level modules for handling common Dat tasks:

Why javascript? Portability and a rich ecosystem. As new implementations are written, they will be included on this page. (Some community members have started writing a Rust port.)