Peer to Peer Network – Characteristics, Advantages, Disadvantages

Peer to Peer Network – Characteristics, Advantages, Disadvantages

In peer-to-peer network two or more computers connected with each other to share the resources and files directly without any server. A peer-to-peer network contains different nodes that equally performed in a network. All the work is divided between all nodes. Here the term node is used for the computer. These all nodes interact with each other to share resources like hard disk and printer etc.

Peer-to-Peer application allows users to manage many operations. Like how many user connections allow at one time. How many resources will be shared among users?

Characteristics of the Peer-to-Peer network

The different characteristics of peer to peer networks are as follows:

  • In a peer-to-peer network, fewer nodes is connected. All computers store their own data using individual security and also data is shared among all computers.\
  • The entire computer shares resources like drive and printer etc. When a number of computers are increased the resources sharing capacity of the peer-to-peer network also increases.
  • The main problem in a peer-to-peer network is security because nodes act as a server and as well as a server.
  • Much modern operating systems like Windows and Mac OS used a peer-to-peer network.

How peer-to-peer networks work

  • When someone wants to download some files from the internet firstly the user access the web browser checks its relevant website and searches the file and downloads it.
  • In this situation, the user is a client computer and website acts as a server.
  • In another case, if the user wants to download the file through the peer-to-peer network it’s really difficult for him because first of all, he needs to install peer-to-peer software on his system and also need to the established virtual peer-to-peer network. When the user downloads the file it also received some bits from many computers that already have the same file. The data from the client computer also send to all who request that file this situation is the same as a two-way street. The file transfer load is distributed between all peer computers.

The architecture of Peer-to-Peer Network

In a peer-to-peer network, all computer has the same access. All computers have the same responsibilities and abilities.

All computers connect with each other because there is no server computer. All computers are connecting in a group to share files and other resources as well. The maximum number of computers is 12 or less than 12. It mostly used at home and in a small office where every computer works as a workstation, each computer-stored data on its own hard drive and also has the ability to share its resources and data with all other computers connected in a network.

Advantages of a peer-to-peer network

There are many advantages of the peer-to-peer network

  1. There is no need for a server because sever are more expensive.
  2. It is very easy to install or set user needs no technical knowledge.
  3. It is less expensive.
  4. Each user has to manage its own PC so there is no need for a network manager.
  5. Peer-to-peer networks mostly used at home and in small offices.
  6. There is less traffic than another network.

Disadvantages of the peer-to-peer network

  1. Every computer has access to share the data from every computer it slow down overall performance.
  2. There is a security issue because each computer in the network shares resources and data.
  3. There is no centrally backup for files and folders.
  4. Each user is responsible for ensuring viruses that are not properly introduced in the network.
  5. All files and folders are nor logically organized, did they all store I-on individual computers.

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Prof. Fazal Rehman Shamil
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