With the advent of peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, it is now possible to share information without any third party in between. The most popular P2P network is BitTorrent, which enables its users to download files from each other’s computers.
What is P2P?
P2P stands for Peer-to-Peer and is a way of sharing files with others. P2P networks offer several benefits to users, including fast download speeds, no waiting time in line or cost of downloads.
P2P networks are made up of a group of interconnected computers, or “peers”. For a computer to join P2P network, it needs internet connection and a P2P client.
The first benefit of P2P networks is that they offer faster download speeds than centralized file-sharing services. The reason for this is because the more people who are downloading a particular file, the greater number of “seeds” it will have.
A seed in P2P terms means someone with an entire copy of the downloaded file and has made their hard drive available to everyone else on the network so that downloads can take place from them. As long as there are enough seeds – or simply enough people sharing files at any given time – then those using peer-to-peer networks get very fast access indeed!
What’s more, there’s no waiting around either. You don’t need to wait your turn before you start downloading.
What is P2P client?
Pioneering the way in which data is shared online, peer-to-peer software has played a huge part in today’s digital world. Uploading and downloading files from other people on your computer or through an internet connection, P2P works by building up networks of computers to share information directly with each other instead of going via a single server.
This means that because every user becomes both downloader and uploader they can enjoy much faster speeds than would be possible with centralized file sharing services like torrents for example.
Additionally, this also makes it very difficult (although not impossible) for authorities to regulate content – so you’re free to view/share anything without worrying about getting banned!
BitTorrent is the most popular form of P2P that involves downloading files from other users on the internet.
The client software (which is free and open source) scans your computer for content, then connects to a torrent tracker site which provides an index of all available downloads – showing what percentage has been downloaded by others in order to download anything you need with minimal effort.