What Does Peer-To-Peer Mean?

Peer-to-peer is a network model in which computers or hardware devices exchange files. Some experts describe it as an “equal client” system where instead of accessing files from a server, the “peer” computers just swap them amongst each other.


Techopedia Explains Peer-To-Peer

Peer-to-peer has been a networking standard for some interesting apps and platforms. Some of the most high-profile peer-to-peer systems developed around the trading of media files, including music files, digital movies and television shows, and other audiovisual content, through platforms like Napster, Kazaa, and others. Eventually, these platforms were shut down by industries with an interest in digital intellectual property, but peer-to-peer is still a useful model for many other kinds of file sharing. For example, peer-to-peer systems have been integral in setting up microfinance programs where individual small lenders can contribute to individual borrowers.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.