Peer-to-Peer Networks

In a peer-to-peer network, there are no dedicated servers. All the computers are equal and, therefore, are termed as peers. Normally, each computer functions as both a client and a server.

A peer-to-peer network has the advantage of simplicity in design and maintenance. It is usually less expensive to set up as compared to server-based networks. Peer-to-peer networks are also called workgroups. The term workgroup implies a small group of users.

Peer-to-peer networks are suitable for environments where:

  • There are limited users (usually 10 or less).
  • The users are located in the same area.
  • Security is not an important issue.
  • The organization and the network have limited growth.
  • Users need to freely access data and programs that reside on other computers across the network

In a peer-to-peer network, there is no one assigned to be an administrator responsible for the entire network. Users administer their own computers. All users can share any of their resources.

Note: Network administration involves tasks like managing users and security, making resource available, installing and upgrading software.