Perceptions of P2P


While there are many different groups of people who can use P2P systems, one of those that can truly benefit from it is the business sector. Within this are many different industries.

Businesses communicate with each other in different ways. For example, if a company wants to share information with another party it can do this by using a common platform like Google Docs. This is a way of sharing information between associates of a company. This is not P2P. However, if that same information were sent through an email as an attachment then is using a P2P process.

While it is true that mail servers are used in the emailing process, email attachments are considered a serverless form of communication. It is a splitting of hairs, technically speaking, which refers to the communication itself being serverless. It can be equated to instant messaging, which is considered a P2P system. Though there are servers that are used in this process, there is no actual uploading of information to a specific location. So, the servers are used but they are behind the scenes.

What is happening here is a perception of P2P and how some that use it, like business clients, view it. It is not in reference to the real-world technical aspects of it. One can look at P2P as being a group of equal devices, whereas servers are seen as clusters that clients use. True P2P is a system that does not use a server. Perceived P2P is where communication data can be relayed but the server is not at the forefront.

When businesses choose to rely on P2P systems, they have to decide whether to truly rely on the technical P2P which requires the right software. Or do they go with something they perceive as P2P.

Also, the bad rap that P2P has been getting is something that must be overcome. True P2P that uses software is often perceived as being just a resource for ‘black-hat purposes’. This means it is used for sharing information that may be considered illegal in nature. It refers to the pirating of games, movies, music, or software that is copyrighted. In some countries, internet service providers (ISPs) send out emails to customers that have downloaded such materials—wittingly or otherwise—to warn them of the legal implications.