7 Advantages and Disadvantages of Peer to Peer Network | Drawbacks & Benefits of Peer to Peer Network

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7 Advantages and Disadvantages of Peer to Peer Network | Drawbacks & Benefits of Peer to Peer Network

7 Advantages and Disadvantages of Peer to Peer Network | Drawbacks & Benefits of Peer to Peer Network
What is Peer to Peer Network ?

Peer to Peer (P2P) is a kind of computer network where two or more computer systems are connected together without using a separate server. Computers in this network can be arranged in such a way that they are clients and servers. 

How is Peer to Peer Network connected ?

Each computer connected through the peer to peer network contributes to the function of the network. Either a USB cable or a Copper wire can be used for the connection purpose. Any of the computers are not benefited, all of them are equal peers working together for the desired result. 
During recent times, peer to peer is been very popular due to their ability to share copyrighted contents such as musics and videos. Especially businesses are benefited from peer to peer network due to their connectivity and sharing of resources. However as in all networking models, peer to peer networks too posses advantages as well as disadvantages. By looking at the pros and cons, the users can decide how beneficial are the P2P network.

In this article, I will be illustrating about 7 Advantages and Disadvantages of Peer to Peer Network | Drawbacks & Benefits of Peer to Peer Network. Through this post, you will know the pros and cons of using P2P network. 
Let's get started,

Advantages of Peer to Peer Network

1. Cost
The overall cost of building and maintaining a peer to peer network is relatively inexpensive. The setup cost has been greatly reduced due to the fact that there is no central configuration. Moreover for the windows server, there is no payment required for each of the users on the network. The payment should be done only once.
2. Reliability
Peer to Peer network is not dependent on a centralized system. Which means that the connected computers can function independently with each other. Even if one part of the network fails, it will not disrupt other parts. Only the user will not be able to access those files.
3. Implementation
It is generally easy to setup a peer to peer network requiring no advanced knowledge. Only a hub or a switch is needed for the connection. And also since all the connected computers can manage themselves, there should be no much configurations. However it needs some specialized software.
4. Scalability
P2P networking has one of the best scalability features. Even if there are extra clients added, the performance of the network will remain the same. Sometimes more users tends to share a single file. For this case, the network will increase the availability of bandwidth. 
5. Administration
There is no need for any specialized network administrator since all the users are given the right to manage their own system. They can choose what type of files they are willing to share.
6. Server Requirement
In peer to peer networking, each connected computers acts as a server and a workstation. Therefore, there is no need to use a dedicated server. All the authorized users can use their respective client computer to access the required files. This can lead to saving more overhead costs.
7. Resource Sharing
In P2P networking, the resources are shared equally among all the users. The connected devices can provide and consume resources at the same time. And also this peer to peer networking can be used for locating and downloading online files easily.

Disadvantages of Peer to Peer Networking

1. Decentralization
Peer to Peer networking lacks the feature of centralization. There is no central server, thus files are stored on individual machines. The entire network accessibility is not in the hands of a single person. This makes it more challenging for the users to locate and find files. If the search is done through each database, the users could waste a lot of time. 
2. Performance
Performance is another issue faced by a peer to peer network. Once the number of devices connecting the network increases, there will be a performance degrade since each computer is being accessed by other users. Hence, P2P network doesn't work well with growing networks.
3. Security
Security for individual files are comparatively less in peer to peer networking. There is no security other than assigning permissions. Even if the permissions are assigned, any person with the access to it will be able to log on. Some users don't even require to log on from their respective workstation.
4. Remote Access
In some cases, there can be unsecured types of codes present on a particular terminal. If this is the case, there are possibilities where files on a network will be accessed by remote users without proper permissions. This can lead to a compromised network.
5. Backup Recovery
Backup is made way difficult in P2P networks, since the data is not centralized. It is saved on various systems. Therefore, backup needs to be done separately on each computer. Or else there should be a backup system for every computer.
6. Virus Attacks
Peer to peer networks are more prone to malware and virus attacks since each connected computers are independent to each other. If one of the computers tends to get virus infected, it could easily spread to the remaining computers even if they are protected through an antivirus or a firewall software. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each user to make sure that their system is protected against viruses.
7. Illegal Content
Most often peer to peer networks are used to transfer copyrighted contents like movies and music by implementing into torrents. Due to this there is a possibility of internet ban, notice from content writers or even arrest. That is the reason why P2P networks are less preferred among some companies and service providers.


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