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 ?
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service Skype should receive a significant boost in the Japanese market with Sony providing PSP (their handheld games console) users with a software update to allow users to run the popular peer-to-peer software.
It blocks predatory language in chat rooms, issues e-mail notifications to parents when certain events occur and allows parents to determine access to newsgroups, e-mail, chats and peer-to-peer software.
The Supreme Court's decision overturned a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that peer-to-peer software developers were not liable for any copyright infringement committed by people using their products on the grounds that the products could also be used for legitimate purposes and the developers had no direct ability to stop the illegal acts.
The advice follows the announcement this week that worm attacks on IM clients and peer-to-peer software have increased since the beginning of 2005.
The Inducement Act is a federal anti-piracy bill aimed at the makers of peer-to-peer software, which enables the illegal downloading of music.
With traditional peer-to-peer software, downloading films or TV programs takes prohibitively long even for broadband users, because the average user can upload a file at only a fraction of the speed at which it can be downloaded.
enables consumers around the world to make free, unlimited voice calls via peer-to-peer software available in 20 languages.
The ability of peer-to-peer software vendors to track or regulate the use of their software depends on whether the peer-to-peer network is based on a centralized model, where it is possible for the administrators of the central server to track some of the individuals' activities by monitoring their interactions with the central server or database, or a decentralized model, in which individuals find and interact directly with each other, the ability of peer-to-peer software vendors to track individuals who use their software is greatly diminished.
Web services and peer-to-peer software both enable administrators to maintain central control of distributed desktops The web services-based components in such a set up would be drawn 'on-the-fly' from servers, and P2P provides mechanisms for 'synchronising' the objects held on different desktops.
JXTA is a set of open, peer-to-peer software protocols that allows any connected device to communicate and collaborate.
In July 2001, he successfully merged OpenWebs with BTN to create a leading provider of peer-to-peer software for private networks and industry exchanges.
Employing 92,000 worldwide, Raytheon is an example of how enterprises are evaluating peer-to-peer software solutions to provide collaboration that minimizes the security issues associated with the ad-hoc approaches of individuals.