Storage Providers

NFTs are meant to live forever, being bought, sold, held and enjoyed for the rest of time. As such, the storage on which your assets are written should be permanent. NFTs created through Metaplex are written to scalable, durable, permanent, censorship resistant storage by default, but there are other options available too. Let's take a look.

Storage options


Arweave is a decentralized, trust-minimized, censorship-resistant data storage network designed to retain data permanently, making it a great fit for NFTs. To cover the cost of storing your media forever, storage and mining fees are paid at the time of upload and distributed to storage providers participating in the network.

Arweave storage fees

Storage fees are based on the total size of the files you upload to the network during NFT creation. Each NFT consists of three files:

  1. The asset itself (image, video, audio, etc)
  2. The accompanying metadata file (attributes etc.)
  3. A generated manifest which creates a logical grouping or relationship between your files

The cumulative size of these files (in bytes) is submitted to the Arweave storage cost estimation service which returns the real time estimated fee for storage, priced in winstons. We then convert the winstons to SOL for payment.


Amazon Web Services S3 is a global, affordable but centralized storage provider. Because S3 is centralized, NFTs stored there are not censorship resistant. If AWS receives legal threats, decides they no longer support NFTs, goes out of business, or you stop making payments, they can remove your assets from their service, potentially leaving holders of your NFTs without their media. For NFTs which are meant to be censorship resistant and permanent, we do not recommend using S3. However, it is an affordable option so depending on your needs may be what you need.

S3 storage fees

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The InterPlanetary File System, or IPFS, is a decentralized, trust-minimized, censorship-resistant, peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol designed to preserve and grow humanity's knowledge by making the web upgradeable, resilient, and more open. It's P2P design allows for file deduplication and other efficiencies. IPFS is not designed to store files permanently and so is therefore not the default storage option.

IPFS storage fees

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The NFT.Storage flagship product focuses on the enduring preservation of NFTs with a low one-time fee per. First mint your NFTs, then send NFT.Storage the NFT data that they preserve in endowment-backed long-term Filecoin storage. As an NFT.Storage user, you support the platform when you choose Pinata and Lighthouse for hot storage and use the NFT.Storage referral links here, helping to sustain NFT.Storage. Your NFTs will also be included in the NFT Token Checker, a tool for block explorers, marketplaces and wallets to show verification that NFT collections, tokens, and CIDs are preserved by NFT.Storage.

NFT.Storage Classic is a free service that provides hot data storage on the decentralized Filecoin network with fast retrieval through IPFS. As of June 30, 2024, NFT.Storage have officially decommissioned the NFT.Storage Classic uploads, however retrieval of existing data remains operational. For NFT data already uploaded through NFT.Storage Classic, the NFT.Storage Gateway makes the data retrievable on block explorers, marketplaces and dapps.

Shadow Drive

The GenesysGo Shadow Drive is a decentralized storage network designed to run in parallel to, and integrate seamlessly with, Solana. Storage fees are paid in the SPL token, SHDW, and allow immutable or mutable storage of data.

RPC Providers