The Peer-to-Peer Network

The Peer-to-Peer Network

The peer-to-peer network is a group of user-oriented computers and each computer connected in this network is called a peer. Peers share resources, such as files and printers; however, no specialized server exists. Each peer is responsible for its own security, and in a sense, each peer is both a client (because it requests services from other peers) and a server (because it offers services to other peers). Small networks, usually fewer than 10 computers, may work well in this type of network.

All computers in the peer-to-peer network are equal in terms of authority and usage. In other words, there is no central authority to determine the resource sharing policy. Each user has the right to decide what he would or would not like to share. For instance, a user decides not to share his expensive color laser printer with other users on a network, then the user can choose not to share the printer and no user can reverse that decision or use the printer forcibly. A good reason to restrict access to a device is that it can affect the performance of a network system. With the peer-to-peer network model, all computers can access public files and printers connected to other computers in the network. No computer individually is in charge of the network; all computers share network management tasks. The peer-to-peer network tends to slow down due to heavy usage; as a result, keeping track of the information on each computer becomes difficult. Therefore, this network model is used with small networks only.


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