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Introduction to Peer-To-Peer Computer Network

Computer networking is something that hardly needs an introduction today- it is being used by all-size businesses to share common resources, features and functions to facilitate communication among multiple users. However, the knowledge about peer-to-peer computer network is not exactly known to wide number of people. Today we’ll try to familiarize you with this popular computer networking model.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) is a decentralized communication model where two or more computers are connected to share devices and information without going through a separate central server computer. All nodes (computers/ devices) are connected via a Universal Serial Bus to transmit files and every connected PC is at once a server and a client. Several small businesses where there are less than 10 computers and a frequent need of data transmission employ P2P model to exploit following benefits-

  • Peer-to-peer computing model is easy to setup and maintain- does not need specialist knowledge.
  • In P2P model, nodes act as a network server as well as user workstation, eliminating the need of a dedicated server.
  • P2P computer networking model is cost-effective, as there is no extra cost in setting up the server.
  • Cost of maintaining the overall network infrastructure is also comparatively less.
  • Each device in P2P is independent of others. As there is no central dependency, so the failure of one peer won’t affect the whole network. It simply means that users won’t be able to access the files available on that system for some time.
  • Users can control their own shared resources.

However, every flip coin has two sides. There are certain disadvantages of the P2P computer networking model as well. Here are the drawbacks associated with peer-to-peer architecture-

  • In the P2P model, security is weak. P2P applications can be used to bypass firewalls and distribute malware. Viruses, spyware, trojans, keylogger programs, Worms, etc. can easily transmit over the peer-to-peer network.
  • Backup and data recovery is very difficult due to the absence of a centralized server. One must back up the files and folders separately on each computer.
  • It is to be noted that P2P is the technology used in torrents. Due to this, a large number of music files, movies, and more copyrighted files are transferred using a peer-to-peer network.
  • Users may notice performance slowdown of computers at times.

So, this is all about the P2P model. Considering all the pros and cons, you can make an informed choice regarding configuring the P2P computer networking model in your organization.

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