peer-to-peer network

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peer-to-peer network

[¦pir tə ¦pir ′net‚wərk]
A local-area network in which there is no central controller and all the nodes have equal access to the resources of the network.

peer-to-peer network

(1) A network of computers configured to allow certain files and folders to be shared with everyone or with selected users. Peer-to-peer networks are quite common in small offices that do not use a dedicated file server. All client versions of Windows, Mac and Linux can function as nodes in a peer-to-peer network and allow their files to be shared.

Files and folders can be configured to allow network users to copy them, but not alter them in their original location, which is a common safety precaution. However, files and folders can also be assigned a "read/write" status that allows either selected users or all users on the network to change them. See share. See also grid computing.

(2) Using the Internet as the world's largest file sharing network. Originally for music files, and subsequently for videos, this type of sharing was popularized by the famous Napster service as well as Gnutella (, Grokster (, KaZaA ( and others. Users upload copyrighted songs to a central server, a group of servers or to selected user computers, and people download the files that are available. Almost every song ever recorded has been uploaded to some music sharing venue.

In 2003, Napster was resurrected into a legitimate service competing with other online music stores such as iTunes ( and Yahoo Music Jukebox (formerly MusicMatch) ( Although Apple legally sold more than a billion songs from its iTunes music service in 2006, it was estimated that more than 15 billion copyrighted songs were illegally shared or downloaded from websites in that same year.

File sharing systems are architected in different ways as outlined in the following illustrations. See Napster, KaZaA, BitTorrent and P2P TV.

References in periodicals archive ?
There is also a lower cost associated with duplicating applications across a client/server-based LAN versus a peer-to-peer network, which requires checking RAM and system resources on each individual PC.
It examines and compares the three most popular network types: local area networks (LANs), peer-to-peer networks and shared-processor networks.
The book, Social Networks and Popular Understanding of Science and Health: Sharing Disparities, illustrates how systematic reliance on social networks and peer-to-peer networks to disseminate information could be a recipe for inequity.
For developers in telecommunications and graduate students, Wu (computer science and engineering, Florida Atlantic University) compiles 47 essays on new methods and common issues in three connected, yet not often linked, fields: sensor networks, ad hoc wireless networks, and peer-to-peer networks, which combined are called SAP networks.
FBI investigators hunted down hundreds of paedophiles using peer-to-peer networks in the US.
Now that it's easier for the average consumer to buy complete albums online or to rip their own CDs onto a digital player, John Haynes, product manager for Van Nuys-based Al & Ed's Autosound, said peer-to-peer networks have become less relevant.
A 2004 study by researchers at Harvard and the University of North Carolina found that online music downloads have no net effect on CD sales, but both boosters and bashers of peer-to-peer networks can cite other studies purporting to show positive and negative effects.
5 supports all major database formats and works with Microsoft(R) Windows(TM) operating systems and Windows-compatible networks including Windows NT(TM), Novell(R) and peer-to-peer networks.
Comprehensive Solution in Europe for Protecting Content Owners Assets on World's Peer-to-Peer Networks
Peer-to-peer networks eliminate the spoke-and-hub weakness of cellular architectures, because the elimination of a single node does not disable the network--just as the loss of a single router does not disable the wired Internet.
GAO was requested to determine the ease of access to child pornography on peer-to-peer networks; the risk of inadvertent exposure of juvenile users of peerto- peer networks to pornography, including child pornography; and the extent of federal law enforcement resources available for combating child pornography on peer-to-peer networks.

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