According to abbreviationfinder, the abbreviation P2P stands for “Peer-to-Peer”. “Peer” means something like “equal” or “equal” in English. Consequently, P2P networks are computer networks with any number of participants (mostly PCs), all of which have equal rights. Every computer has the option of offering content and services itself or of using the information provided by other members of the network.
- A pure peer-to-peer network enables equal data exchange between different computers without the need for a server.
- File sharing via P2P is permitted in and of itself, but not copying of copyrighted works such as music, films or series.
How does a peer-to-peer network work?
Ordinary peer-to-peer networks are self-organizing networks. They work in a decentralized manner so that no server is required. Instead, the interconnected computers provide each other with resources and resources. Such networks are sometimes made up of hundreds of computers. In contrast to traditional server-client networks, peer-to-peer is less prone to hacker attacks and total failures.
The so-called super-peer networks represent a further development of conventional P2P networks. In these, the computers are divided into individual groups with different authorizations. Particularly powerful peers combine to form super peers, on the one hand to provide server services and on the other hand to take over the organization of the network.
Application areas of P2P
Peer-to-peer networks are enjoying increasing popularity with users. There are now numerous web applications that use this technology. The main areas of application include the following:
- File sharing: Platforms used for the exchange of music and videos are the best-known example of P2P networks. On such exchanges, data is not downloaded via a server, but via the participating PCs.
- Instant messaging: Messenger services such as Skype also work with peer-to-peer. The data is managed by computers that act as nodes (supernodes) between the individual Skype users.
- Distributed Computing: In order to implement complex arithmetic operations, a task is broken down into sub-processes; these in turn are distributed over several computers in a network. Such a procedure is common in research and makes it possible to evaluate large amounts of data.
- Peer-to-peer encryption: The network of two computers allows data to be encrypted before it is transmitted and only to be decrypted after it has been received. Secure communication is therefore based on the P2P principle.
- Peer-to-Peer Loans: There are usually fewer expenses involved in arranging personal loans over the Internet than with a traditional financial institution.
What is a P2P camera?
P2P cameras act as a network device and make it possible to receive images that were recorded on another terminal device that is located in the network. Baby cams or surveillance cameras, for example, often work with this form of P2P technology. In most cases, the corresponding models offer the full range of services of a normal surveillance camera.
Setting up a connection between the P2P camera and the end device sometimes requires some technical knowledge. However, many providers provide special apps or a P2P cloud that make the configuration of the camera and router much easier.
File sharing via P2P: the legal problem
P2P technology has become known in particular through the exchange of music tracks and videos. And file sharing is basically also legal. Legal difficulties often only arise because the exchanged content is protected by copyright. And copying of copyright works is prohibited in Germany and most other countries. This applies to almost all commercial pieces of music, films and series as well as e-books, computer games and other software.
Anyone who nevertheless copies such data is committing a criminal offense and risks receiving a warning. The lawyers’ complaint is usually less of downloading copyrighted works than of uploading them and thus distributing them. Even those who only download files run this risk. In many networks, users automatically provide other users with already received file sections – even before they have downloaded the complete work. As a result, they themselves become “file sharers” who illegally distribute data.
Basically, every computer can be identified by its IP address . If the rights holder can determine this, there is a risk of warning costs and compensation payments. Even with just one copyright infringement, amounts of several hundred euros are often requested. Laypeople should then consult a legal adviser who can assess whether an objection is advisable in an individual case.