Peer-to-Peer (P2P) : Advantages and Disadvantages

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a peer-to-peer network?

Earlier we saw What is Peer-to-Peer ?, "A peer-to-peer (P2P) network is created when two or more PCs are connected and share resources without going through a separate server computer" Now let us now discuss the advantages and disadvantages of P2P network architecture.

Advantages of Peer-to-peer networking over Client –Server networking are :-

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P2P technology behind torrents
1)  It is easy to install and so is the configuration of computers on this network,
2)  All the resources and contents are shared by all the peers, unlike server-client architecture where Server shares all the contents and resources.
3)  P2P is more reliable as central dependency is eliminated. Failure of one peer doesn’t affect the functioning of other peers. In case of Client –Server network, if server goes down whole network gets affected.
4)  There is no need for full-time System Administrator. Every user is the administrator of his machine. User can control their shared resources.
5)  The over-all cost of building and maintaining this type of network is comparatively very less.

Disadvantages(drawbacks) of Peer to peer architecture over Client Server are:-

1) In this network, the whole system is decentralized thus it is difficult to administer. That is one person cannot determine the whole accessibility setting of whole network.
2) Security in this system is very less viruses, spywares,trojans, etc malwares can easily transmitted over this P-2-P architecture.
3) Data recovery or backup is very difficult. Each computer should have its own back-up system
4) Lot of movies, music and other copyrighted files are transferred using this type of file transfer. P2P is the technology used in torrents.

Peer to peer networks are good to connect small number (around 10) of computer and places where high level of security is not required. In case of business network where sensitive data can be present this type of architecture is not advisable or preferred.

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Also Read :- Client Server Architectures
Advantages and Disadvantages of Client and Server Network
Network Topology And Their Types
Characteristics of a Good Software
Advantages and Disadvantages of Waterfall Model

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