P2P NETWORKS  What are they? + Peer to Peer Tricks ▷ 2020

Maybe mentioning you the P2P concept you stay the same. It is common for anyone who makes use of this system at the user level but does not have knowledge of advanced computing and the operation of the transfer of information through the network.

And this is precisely what it is about P2P or Peer to Peer, since it is a network with a communication method in which all users fulfill the same role, that is, horizontal.

Find out what it is and how you can take advantage of this type of network to download software and applications in a much faster and safer way, Let’s go there!

What is a Peer to Peer network and what is it for? Definition

Server and P2P network differences

The Peer to Peer or P2P network is a client-client communication method that allows us to enjoy information from the network coming from a peer, who, like us, acts as both a client and a server. This means that we are not provided with a superior, but someone who has characteristics similar to ours.

The information transmission aspect works no fixed clients or serversWe are ourselves, one and the other, who supply content to other users and at the same time receive it.

Other aspects can be defined in client-server relationships, but this one, which is what gives the meaning to the network, is horizontal or parallel, given, as its name indicates when translating it into Spanish, between pairs, between nodes that work in the same way.

The first application of the kind was Napster, launched in 1999, being sold as a software in which users establish a virtual network independent of the physical one, so that there is no administrative authority or other restriction.

Even though it is usually to designate this concept to content download programs, the truth is that, due to its characteristics, the exchange that can occur is not limited to this aspect but we have to the peer network it is also used by telephony systems in the network as well as the manipulation of huge virtual information.

How does a P2P peer network work?

The contents of our computer (music, documents, videos, software …) are available to be shared and that another user, like us, download and run them at will.

In the same way, when we search and find content, this does not belong to a company or is on a server but the results that are reflected correspond to the content that other users have on their computers, proceeding to download them, if we wish, from them.

Any computer interconnected on the same network offers and at the same time receives information in all formats. The implementation of networks is overlapping, being built based on nodes and on others. The flow of information occurs thanks to the bandwidth of the connected users.

What are the characteristics of Peer to Peer networks? Advantages and disadvantages

characteristics of Peer to Peer networks advantages disadvantages

To consider a network of peers as adequate, it is interesting that it has the following characteristics.


  • Scalability: Its reach is global and, therefore, the potential user can be counted in the hundreds of millions. The higher the demand, the greater the need for nodes or points, something that is automatically solved because with our presence as a user we provide a unit for it. The addition of a new user does not delay the functionality of the services, as it does in server-client communications.
  • Sturdiness: The distribution of the networks makes it more robust, essential when data replication failures occur.
  • Decentralization: They are decentralized by definition, an intrinsic feature of the concept. Nodes have no special functions and therefore are not essential. Interestingly, some of the networks that we know as P2P do not have this feature.
  • Cost distribution: Resources are exchanged for resources, the costs being divided among all the users that are part of the network.
  • Anonymity: Anonymity is desired not only for those who have a file to share but also for those who wish to download it, for the server where it is located and even for the request that has been made to access it. However, this concept clashes squarely with copyright, bringing digital rights management into play, an intermediate point for which everyone is satisfied but, unfortunately, it does not usually work.
  • Security: Desirable but difficult to get, really. What is most demanded is the identification of malicious nodes to avoid content with embedded malware, espionage and other aspects that put all users at risk. For this, some networks have sandboxes, multi-key encryption, file comments, reputation systems for users …


  • Reduced costs: The ability to function by sharing resources means that these networks can even be free. Another issue would be that a free service is compatible with the law when it comes to sharing files. In any case, those that work by subscription are very cheap, much more than purchasing the content separately.
  • Great efficiency: The way to share files is simple and fast.


  • Legality: On many occasions, content is shared that is copyrighted, which turns out to be, in effect, illegal. The law penalizes this practice in many countries, among which is Spain.
  • Risk: Many of these programs that allow Peer to Peer file transfers are a gateway to malware, especially spyware. Thus, it is necessary that you have protection and that, if possible, you look for a service with preview, user comments and other methods of detecting inappropriate and risky content.

What types of peer-to-peer networks are there?

The most common and interesting classification that we can do is related to the degree of centralization of the networks, having that these can be centralized, mixed or pure.


  • Its architecture is monolithic, with transactions carried out through a single server that serves to link all the nodes at the same time that it makes a distribution of the nodes that will store the contents.
  • Its administration is very dynamic, the content being permanently available.
  • Privacy of users is limited.
  • There is a strong lack of scalability.
  • There are problems of single points of failure, related to legality and maintenance costs and band consumption.


  • There is a central server that acts as hub centralizing the resources and managing them that is waiting for the requests.
  • There is an index system that offers an absolute address that will act as routing terminal.
  • In addition, the inclusion of more than one server.
  • The identity of the nodes is not known nor is their information stored, not giving the share between server and clients.
  • These are the ones they save the information, which will be recognized by the server.
  • Even so, with the server down, the relationship between the nodes can be maintained and its communication and file transfer.


  • It does not have central management nor the precise one.
  • They are the users, the nodes, all of them clients and servers, requesting information, receiving requests and, in turn, storing files.
  • Lacks central router.

Legal issues with copyright and copyright and the use of P2P services

Legal problems P2P networks

If you’ve ever seen how popular programs we’ve seen before work, you will have verified that content abounds that, obviously, should not be distributed because it has rights. In other words, a constant crime is incurred both by the party that distributes without permission and by the party that downloads it knowing its nature.

However, these are also given a legal use, which includes the exchange of public content or with various licenses that allow this information transfer, free programs, self-created content …

So, The UN speaks of the exchange of files indicating that it is very serious that citizens are denied access to the network (whatever the motivation), a totalitarian measure but which is taking place in some countries precisely because of the infringement of the regulations regarding copyright.

Regarding the situation in our country, there is a certain cloud that makes the content download It is considered legal or illegal depending on, said of course, who represents you and who judges you for it.

It turns out that there is a right to private copying of content if it is not done for profit, as it is supposed to be done when downloading files on peer networks, assuming own and private consumption. This allows that a request is not necessary for the author to authorize the copy of the content.

In Spain it is allowed to use these networksTherefore, as we have indicated, they facilitate access to free content to be distributed. It is up to each individual to make responsible or illegal use of these, downloading and helping to distribute free or rights-based content.

In 2008 the government of Spain indicated that linking to these networks is not a criminal activity. Yes we have a reform of the Penal Code in 2015 that tells us about a new crime that is committed by someone who seeks an economic benefit, harming a third party, facilitating, without neutrality, access or easy location of content that has intellectual property if its owners do not authorize it.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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