What is a P2P network?

Computers are a fundamental part of our quotidian lives, but if they were not connected, they wouldn’t serve as much as a convenience to us. There are several reasons why computer networks are so widely required. E.g., Communication, Resource sharing, and hardware. They make communication more accessible by providing access to email and VoIP (Voice over Internet protocol).

The old days are gone when data transfer was limited to a maximum of 1 Mbps or even fewer than a few Kbps. The transfer of data from one device to another takes hours to complete. But now, with the advancement in the computer network, this problem stands no more.

The calling, the online chat service, wasn’t the first to allow people to make voice calls over the Internet. The entry of Skype made it possible for us to call using the Internet, and the root of the technology responsible for this is the P2P network.

In this technological life, we always use the term “Network,” so what is Network? Communication is developed by connecting various Output devices such as printers, servers, etc.

In Today’s world, sharing information and resources is becoming a vital part of our daily routine. The same goes for our IT Industry, where the P2P network helps run a business more efficiently by improving connectivity and access to shared resources (files or folders over a network).

What is a Peer to Peer (P2P) Network?

P2P Network is an infrastructure or technology in which two or more computers are connected to share resources. An independent network system that does not require a system administrator to manage the Network. This type of Network is based on Peer-to-Peer architecture. Peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture is implemented chiefly over the computer network architecture because, in this system, every workstation and other nodes also have equal abilities and responsibilities.

Peer-to-peer architecture is designed using a software program where every piece of the program performs all instructions as both client and server, along with similar responsibilities and capabilities. In other words, every peer plays the client and server roles.

There are three methods for establishing connectivity through a P2P network. Firstly, we can use a primary method, i.e., to connect a USB to make connections b/w two peers. Either we are using copper wires to make connections and implementing Protocols that help to control all connections between terminals of an intranet.

What makes peer-to-peer networks useful in the networking Domains? There can be many use cases where they are helpful. Like e.g.

  • Powerful Protection b/w computers with robust Network Security Software.
  • Each peer or computer in a P2P network shares some of its resources with other networked computers in that intranet. These resources may contain storage, bandwidth, and processing power.
  • Monitor your entire Network continuously and protect it from attacks of malware.
  • Regarding file-sharing, the immense peer-to-peer Network is, the faster it is.
  • It’s hard to take them down. Even if one of the peers collapses, the others are still operating and working.

P2P (peer-to-peer) network examples:

 Daily, we share some resources and content in Terabytes. Acquiring a Server doesn’t fit everyone’s pocket, so a less expensive solution is peer-to-peer networks which one can use to connect computers and devices without the need to configure a server. Having to create a server

Everything is expensive and difficult to control, so it’s easier and more budget-friendly to use P2P networks in some situations. Here are some examples of everyday use cases for peer-to-peer networks.

  • Torrents: – where all main contents are shared, such as movies, games, software, etc.•, Microsoft delivers updates from its servers and P2P networks.
  • Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or a Windows 10 version before Version 18 provides an option by which we can connect the computers in your home to a Homegroup, thus, creating a peer-to-peer network between them.
  • Earlier Operating Systems, Such as Windows 7 or 8 provided the option to create an ad hoc network between two computers, establishing a peer-to-peer network between them.
  • Some of the Applications can be Instant messaging, High-Performance Computing.• Multicasting streams can provide demand for content to various peers.

However, as in all networking models, peer-to-peer networks possess advantages and disadvantages. By looking at the pros and cons, the users can decide how beneficial the P2P network is.

What are the Advantages of a P2P network?

  • Easy file sharing: A P2P network can share files quickly over large distances.• Cost: building and maintaining a peer-to-peer network is relatively inexpensive. The setup cost has been greatly reduced because there is no need for central configuration compared to other networks.
  • Performance: Due to the best scalability, it offers better performance because whenever a user wants to add new peers, it will not degrade the Network’s performance.
  • 24*7: Users can find all files at any time because its collection of all files is available 24*7 times.
  • If any peer of this Network stops working, then the entire Network will not be affected.
  • You can easily configure this P2P network without proper knowledge of this Network.

What are the Disadvantages of a P2P Network?

  • Security: -Security for resources is comparatively less in peer-to-peer networking. The only option we have is that we can assign some permissions to users.
  • Every peer will have a unique password throughout the whole Network.
  • No Central storage of data will be there. Some files can be on one peer and another on different computers, which will disturb database collection.
  • Backup is challenging to recover in P2P networks since the data is not centralized. It is saved on various systems. There should be a policy that backup must be done separately on each computer. Or else there should be a backup reserve for every computer.
  • The performance will be slowed as many peers are accessing it simultaneously.
  • We have often seen that p2p networks play a role in transferring copyrighted content like movies and music by implementing torrents.
  • The speed of the Internet connection can affect uploading and downloading simultaneously.

As addressed in my analysis of the above article, the advantage of a peer-to-peer network is ideal for home users or small businesses—a cheaper model rather than setting up client-server networks. An unexceptional advantage given by this type of Network is that all group members maintain a replicated store containing all shared data of the group.