Peer-to-peer is a type of Internet network that allows users of the same networking program to connect with each other and directly access shared files. This negates the need for a central point of management, making possible the trading and/or sharing of files across a network of users, each equal in their access to the network.

The most commonly used Peer-to-peer networks operating on the internet deal in the illegal distribution of copy written material. Illegal file sharing has drawn ire from watch-dog groups as well as by corporations complaining of losses due to Peer-to-peer distribution.

Some corporations are looking at the advantages of using P2P as a way for employees to share files without the expense involved in maintaining a centralized server and as a way for businesses to exchange information with each other directly.

Peer-to-peer is a communications model in which each party has the same capabilities and either party can initiate a communication session. Other models with which it might be contrasted include the client/server model and the master/slave model. In some cases, peer-to-peer communications is implemented by giving each communication node both server and client capabilities. In recent usage, peer-to-peer has come to describe applications in which users can use the Internet to exchange files with each other directly or through a mediating server. 

Web definitionsEdit


Commons Based Peer Production and Virtue , YOCHAI BENKLER

The Impact of P2P and Peer Production on our Economy, Society and our Digital Media Future

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