I gave a very simple description of P2P in my previous blog which gave simple definitions of the main components in a P2P system. In this blog I will continue to discuss this type of system and go into more detail 🙂
The only requirements for a computer to join a peer-to-peer network are an Internet connection and P2P software. Common P2P software programs include Kazaa, Limewire, BearShare, Morpheus, and Acquisition. These programs connect to a P2P network, such as “Gnutella,” which allows the computer to access thousands of other systems on the network.
Once connected to the network, P2P software allows you to search for files on other people’s computers. Meanwhile, other users on the network can search for files on your computer, but typically only within a single folder that you have designated to share. While P2P networking makes file sharing easy and convenient, is also has led to a lot of software piracy and illegal music downloads. Therefore, it is best to be on the safe side and only download software and music from legitimate websites.
P2P can be found in many places. For Example Microsoft Windows XP contains a component called “Windows Peer-to-Peer Networking.” P2P is especially popular in homes where an expensive, decidated server computer is neither necessary nor practical.