Although it has been around for many years – especially for the old ones who “shared” media files –, the format is safer because it doesn’t need an intermediary, such as a server. See below, what is P2P or Peer-to-peer and understand how this form of network communication is being used today.
Rede P2P or Peer-to-peer
A P2P network connects approximately equivalent computers on an equal basis, without the mediation of a third computer. P2P differs from client/server networks, where many computers connect to a single, larger server that directs communication within the network.
Computers on a peer-to-peer network are typically located physically close to each other and run similar network protocols and software. Before home networks became popular, only small businesses and schools built peer-to-peer networks.
Home P2P networks
Most home computer networks today are peer-to-peer networks. Home users set up their computers in workgroups to allow sharing of files, printers and other resources equally among all devices.
While one computer can act as a file server at any time, other home computers often have the equivalent capacity to handle the responsibilities.
Wired and wireless home networks qualify as peer-to-peer environments. A router connects the home network to the Internet, which does not change the way network resources are shared.
When most people hear the term P2P, they think of peer-to-peer file sharing over the Internet. P2P file sharing systems like Napster, Kazaa, eMule, BitTorrent have become the most popular type of internet application in the first decade of this century.
A P2P network implements polling and data transfer protocols on top of the Internet protocol. To access a P2P network, it is necessary to download and install a suitable client application. Some apps only work with a P2P network, while others operate on cross-networks.
P2P network features
In the modern view of peer-to-peer computing, networks span the Internet, not just a home LAN. Easy-to-use software applications allow technology professionals and lay people to participate. The 7 main features are:
- The UI runs outside of a web browser;
- System computers can act as both clients and servers;
- The software is easy to use and well integrated;
- The application includes tools to support users who want to create content or add functionality;
- The application makes connections with other users;
- The app does something new or exciting;
- The software supports cross-network protocols like SOAP or XML-RPC.