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Peer to Peer Computing

The term peer-to-peer (P2P) became fashionable in the computing field around the middle of the year 2000. A P2P network differs from conventional client/server or multitiered server's networks. A P2P architecture provides direct communication between peers without the reliance on centralized servers or resources. The claim for P2P architecture is that enables true distributed computing, creating networks of computing resources. Computers that have traditionally been used as clients can act as both clients and servers. P2P allows systems to have temporary associations with one other for a while, and then separate. P2P is an umbrella term for a rather diverse set of projects and systems including Napster, Freenet, and SETI@home. Here we discuss a select few that are more relevant to our interests.


Bryan Carpenter 2004-06-09