If you are interested in a peer-to-peer system then you really need to understand what it is not. Otherwise, it can get confusing. Plus, its benefits can be missed.
When one is using the internet in the traditional sense it is seen as clients using servers. Many of the different web services are accessed through the server that these services reside on. You, as a client wanting to use any of the web services, basically makes a request through your computer which in turn requests the information from the server. The web services are comprised of thousands of different files and they can all be hosted on one massive server.
There is no doubt that this is an amazing resource for the internet but it does have its own challenges. The computation of the files can be extremely difficult. It takes a large amount of memory and sometimes one single server cannot meet the needs, so additional servers have to be utilized.
Then, on top of this, there is the usage by many different clients such as yourself. When many users are trying to access the same files, the speed in which the server is able to provide the required information can be slowed down.
Added to this is the requirement for the transfer of data which can be expensive for you as the client. All of this depends on the amount of data that you are trying to access and download.
Using a Peer-to-peer System
In a peer-to-peer system, each person becomes a server. The user is able to take a file but at the same time the user can give back files. This is technically known as seeding.
Aspects that are sometimes a challenge in a traditional system can actually become assets in a peer-to-peer systems network. The more users there are in the network, the better the system works. Because more users are sharing the information, others in the P2P network can find and access it faster. Of course, in other areas of networking, too many users would be seen as an overload.
Just based on this basic information it is worth educating yourself further as to the many other benefits that peer-to-peer systems offer. Keep in mind there are many wonderful and totally legal uses for peer-to-peer systems. However, these systems are often abused and used for illegal purposes like the stealing of copyrighted material and the pirating of movies.