Understanding Web Application Layers and Risks of Centralization

PUBLISHED IN Developers, ON February 20th, 2023
Understanding Web Application Layers and Risks of Centralization

Web applications are intricate systems that require a harmonious collaboration of diverse components to provide a seamless user experience. These components consist of four primary layers: the client layer, storage, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), and the back-end.

Each layer is instrumental in fulfilling a specific function and holds a critical position in the overall success of a web application. A deep understanding of the function and interplay of these layers is a fundamental aspect of any successful web application project, with companies specializing in developing these components playing a vital role in delivering premium user experiences.

In a previous discourse, we delved into the CDN layer and its significance in efficiently delivering content. This article will discuss the remaining three layers, illuminating their functions and cooperation.

The Three Layers of Web Applications: Front-End, Storage, and Back-End


When you use a web app, the client layer is responsible for rendering the user interface and handling user interactions.

When you load a web app in your browser –Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Brave– the client layer retrieves the files needed to display the app’s interface and functionality from the CDN where the app is served. This includes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files, which the browser interprets and renders on the user’s device.

These files are stored in the storage layer, which is explained below.


In a web application, storage is a critical component that enables the app to store and access data over time. This is similar to how you store files on your personal computer, but web apps require a storage mechanism that can be accessed from any location.

The storage of a web app typically runs on a server, which is separate from the client layer that users interact with.

This layer is crucial to the operation of a web app, as it allows the app to remember data and perform its functions over time. The app will only be able to provide a useful and engaging user experience if the storage layer is reliable.


Lastly, the back-end layer of an application is responsible for executing the code that makes the application work. It does important things like processing your requests and getting data from storage. Without the back-end, the application wouldn’t function properly.

Additionally, it helps ensure the security and performance of the application by communicating with the client layer, which is part of the application you see and interacts with, and the storage layer, where data is stored. By doing this, the back-end helps protect your information and ensures that the application runs smoothly.

Companies and Protocols in Web Application Layers

Some big players offer their extensive services to developers across all layers of the web app infrastructure. These four titans are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Alibaba Cloud. They are well-known names and significantly impact the web development world.

Apart from these big names, other companies and Web3 protocols focus on each layer of the web app infrastructure.

Look at the graphic to learn more about these services and how they can help you build better web applications.

Exploring the Risks of Client, Storage, and Back-End Layers in Web Applications

In today’s digital age, companies offer a convenient solution for deploying web applications. Still, this ease of use comes at a cost — cyber vulnerability.

As centralized providers house all data on their servers, they hold power to control, censor, and deplatform the data at will, leaving it exposed to malicious actors and potential loss of sensitive information.

With the vast pool of data at their disposal, these companies hold the personal information of developers, a valuable commodity in the black market of cybercrime. Thus, the ease of deployment may lead to a dangerous game of digital roulette.

To mitigate these limitations, decentralized infrastructure protocols have emerged as a viable alternative. Unlike centralized solutions, these protocols ensure that data is encrypted and distributed across a peer-to-peer network, making it much harder for cyberattacks to succeed. The decentralized nature of these protocols affords a level of security and freedom unattainable in traditional centralized solutions.

About Media Network

Media Network is a decentralized hub for web services, connecting providers and clients through smart contracts. Anchored on Media Protocol.

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