Vaults (What it is)
The SAFE Network consists of software processes (nodes) which are known as Vaults. Each Vault runs on the user's computer and fulfils multiple functions, specialising and adapting to the needs of the network. One of their main roles is the storage of encrypted data that has been passed to them from other Vaults around the network.
Another function, or persona, of a Vault is to manage other Vaults. As chunks of data are passed between Vaults, the manager part of the Vault detects and monitors data integrity.
Vaults know nothing of the data they have been asked to store (it can only be decrypted by the Client) and because the data is only a small chunk, it is not possible to decipher what the original source data was, for example, a document or communication.
For every Vault holding a specific data chunk, there are another three Vaults holding the same chunk. This means that if a Vault goes offline or a data chunk becomes corrupted, that data is not lost. The remaining Vaults responsible for that data chunk ensure that another copy is created and stored, so that there are always at least four good copies of that chunk available on the network.
Vaults are not visible to the Users of the SAFE Network. Instead the User only sees a virtual mounted drive on their computer. With the Vaults constantly talking to and monitoring each other, a User accesses data instantaneously from the mounted drive.