peer-to-peer network

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Wikipedia.

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, dark Web and P2P TV.

References in periodicals archive ?
A lot of work has been done in the field of mobile ad hoc network and peer-to-peer network. There are a number of protocols that have been proposed and used in these fields.
Server-client networks cost more up front (usually a minimum of $5,000), but this configuration improves drastically on the functionality and security of a peer-to-peer network. Using the server as a data-traffic controller, a network administrator (available on a paid by the hour, as-needed basis) can efficiently manage each workstation, creating individual preferences and security settings.
Municipal officials and staff interested in participating in the peer-to-peer network should contact Katie Seeger at or (202) 626-3131 for more details.
The worm also can spread over Internet relay chat and the Kazaa peer-to-peer network, as well as copy itself over shared networks.
Millions of Internet users around the globe regularly log on toEminem the peer-to-peer network to obtain all manner of copyright-protected materials from Eminem songs to films.
In a peer-to-peer network, each workstation has equivalent capabilities and responsibilities.
If you are the do-it-yourself type and have decided on a peer-to-peer network, you may want to tackle this job yourself A peer-to-peer network is the easiest to implement--especially if you're connecting only two computers.
Exhibit 3, page 79, compares the costs of configuring four types of multiuser computing environments: a VM/386 DOS-based shared-processor system (see the sidebar titled "A Gaggle of Operating Systems," below), a Unix shared processor, a LANtastic DOS-based peer-to-peer network and a Novell DOS-based dedicated-server local area network (LAN).
However, the peer-to-peer network software has had a mixed reception.
Bitcoins are not tied to any exchange rate and are exchanged between users on a peer-to-peer network which regulates Bitcoins' balances, transactions and issuance according to consensus in network software.
In the case of the peer-to-peer network, the team found that if the number of users doubled, their activity rose by a factor of 3.16.
It works as a peer-to-peer network that is similar to Kazaa, but is not dependent on a particular carrier and is entirely legal.

Full browser ?