Peer-to-peer networks came alive during the internet evolution. They have found different applications over the years, with the most common ones being in messaging and file sharing. Innovators are continuously looking for more ways to enhance their use. P2P is reliable, efficient, and scalable, and these three qualities have made it suitable for various uses.
P2P and Instant Messaging
When online communication first became a thing, IRC and Gopher servers were the leading technologies in use. The two were, however, very limited. This was such that only a few people could be online simultaneously or the servers would hang. Once P2P bandwidth became sharable among users, messages became easier to share, thus enhancing communication.
File Sharing with P2P
Napster, as controversial as the music sharing service was in the beginning, played a huge role in enabling P2P file sharing. After it pioneered such possibilities, Kazaa and Gnutella came into the scene to advance the experience. File sharing using P2P has a lot of legal implications that slows down the industry. However, with the likes of Joost and other P2P apps, one can share files uninterrupted.
Have you ever wondered how people call from any place in the world using the Internet while mobile phone bandwidths have network issues? IP telephony, thanks to P2P, is the reason behind this. Skype offers quite a practical structure in making this possible. The founders built it on the Kazaa infrastructure, allowing people to share audio or video files across the world in real-time.
Building Collaborative Communities
Companies find documents and other file sharing capabilities quite necessary for daily functions. This was not entirely possible before, and collaborative servers tried to solve the problem. When P2P came to the rescue, it started using people’s computer resources to share documents instead of centralized servers with multiple issues. Groove by Microsoft, launched in 2005, is an excellent example of this application.
Large corporations use grid computing for scientific research. Disk space, network bandwidth, and computation power are not a problem when one uses P2P. This has highly enhanced high-performance computing. Similar techniques came into play with hive computing. Here, a massive number of computers connect through the Internet to build a supercomputer. This is not a problem when everything is well-managed.
Seeing how far P2P has revolutionized the Internet, it is likely that e-commerce and even education modules will start using the same principles to foster high performance. The future will be proof of this.