Fast Encrypted File Search

Published: Tue 22 December 2020

A much requested feature in Peergos has been the ability to search your whole Peergos space for files. This is more difficult than it sounds in an end-to-end encrypted setting.

A normal web app like, say, Facebook, would implement search by just sending the query to the server, which would then do the search for you, and return back the results. This is only possible because in websites like Facebook the server can read all your data. We don't have that luxury and so we had to take a different approach to search. First, let's see it in action.

Search for files by name, type, size or modification time.

To implement search in Peergos we have to do it all client side, without exposing anything to the server (remember, our servers are trustless). Luckily, our systems are designed with this in mind, so you are able to search all the properties of files like name etc. without downloading and decrypting the entire file, just a small amount of encrypted metadata. In the future we might consider constructing an encrypted index of your files to speed things up further but it's plenty fast enough now for many use cases. You can search by name, modification time, file type or file size. If you want to limit your search to a particular directory you can right click on the directory and select search.

Want to be part of the future? Create an account on or self-host your own private personal datastore.

NGI Pointer NGI Pointer

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme within the framework of the NGI-POINTER Project funded under grant agreement No 871528


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