P2P is an abbreviated form meaning peer-to-peer. This is a model where peers(Computers/Users) are connected together so that they can share resources and information.

There are two types of P2P Networks


In this type, overlay links are established arbitrarily. This causes flooding which creates a large amount of signal flooding thus, very poor search efficiency. It has no algorithm for organization and optimization because of the arbitrary creation of connections.

There are different types of this model;

  • Pure P2P- All nodes(a point in a network or diagram at which lines or pathways intersect or branch) are of equal ability
  • Hybrid P2P- Infrastructure nodes are allowed to exist and are often a type of central directory server meaning all clients must connect to one of the servers which maintain a table of all registered users
  • Centralized P2P- Similar to pure P2P but it has super nodes added. These are nodes that are tasked with servicing a small subpart of the peer network by indexing and caching files


The most common form is the Distributed Hash tables(DHT). They employ global consistent protocols to ensure that any node effectively routes a search to some peer that has the desired file.

Common Applications of P2P Networks

  • For file sharing eg BitTorrent
  • Streaming media online
  • For instant messaging
  • For Voice over Internet protocol(VOIP).eg Google hangouts, skype

What are the advantages of P2P

  1. P2P network is cheap because of its use of less expensive computer hardware
  2. It is easier to set up
  3. It's simple to configure
  4. In P2p networks, the user has the full accessibility of the computer.