What is peer-to-peer applications?

A P2P is a network built between autonomous and cooperative nodes that self organise on a peer basis sharing resources of nodes, rather than centralized servers functioning on a client-server basis. The peer-to-peer model is the norm on the Internet for various protocols and telephone calls; the best-known implementations are Freenet, eMule, and Skype.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) is a decentralized communications approach in which each participant has the same capabilities and either side can commence a communication session. Unlike the client/server paradigm, in which the client makes a service request and the server performs the request, the P2P network architecture allows each node to behave as both a client and server. P2P systems can be used to offer anonymous routing of network traffic, enormous parallel computing environments, distributed storage, and other purposes.

Most P2P apps are focused on media sharing and P2P is consequently typically connected with software piracy and copyright violation. Typically, peer-to-peer programs enable users to manage several aspects of operation: how many member connections to seek or allow at one time; whose systems to connect to or avoid; what services to offer; and how many system resources to commit to the network. A merely connects to some subset of active nodes in the network with little user control, though.

Although uses for the P2P networking topologies have been researched since the days of ARPANET, the advantages of the P2P communications paradigm didn’t become clear to the general public until the late 1990s, when music-sharing P2P programs like Napster surfaced. Napster and its descendants, notably Gnutella and BitTorrent, sliced into music and movie business earnings and transformed how consumers thought about purchasing and consuming material.

System administrators prefer to discourage the usage of P2P applications. In addition to tying up bandwidth and may be exposing the administrator’s business legally, P2P apps can be used to bypass firewalls and disseminate malware. Networks are typically set up to avoid peer-to-peer “side talk” by PCs.

List of Peer-to-Peer (P2P) File Sharing Applications (Examples):

  • Xunlei
  • BitTorrent, uTorrent, BitComet, Vuze and Transmission
  • Azureus
  • Emule and eDonkey
  • Gnutella, LimeWire and Cabos
  • WinMX
  • Share
  • Winny

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