VPN-UPLINK - Encyclopedia: Peer-To-Peer
A peer-to-peer (or P2P) computer network is a network that relies on the computing power and bandwidth of the participants in the network rather than concentrating it in a relatively few servers. P2P networks are typically used for connecting nodes via largely ad hoc connections. Such networks are useful for many purposes. Sharing content files (see file sharing) containing audio, video, data or anything in digital format is very common, and realtime data, such as telephony traffic, is also passed using P2P technology.
The term "P2P network" can also mean grid computing.
A pure peer-to-peer file transfer network does not have the notion of clients or servers, but only equal peer nodes that simultaneously function as both "clients" and "servers" to the other nodes on the network. This model of network arrangement differs from the client-server model where communication is usually to and from a central server. A typical example for a non peer-to-peer file transfer is an FTP server. One user uploads a file to the FTP server, then many others download it, with no need for the uploader and downloader to be connected at the same time.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Peer To Peer".