Peer to Peer

Learn about the basics of peer-to-peer architecture and its pros and cons.


In a usual client-server architecture, multiple clients can communicate with servers that are usually centralized. On the other hand, in the case of a decentralized network, the nodes can work as both clients and servers at the same time. Such an architecture is known as peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture.

In a P2P network, the workload is distributed (not necessarily equally) among various peers within the system. As mentioned above, there’s no need for a centralized server. Nearly all of the nodes both contribute and consume resources within a network, the exception being the edge peers, which don’t contribute any resources and only consume.

There are several different types of P2P architecture:

  • Pure: All nodes are equal and there’s no central server or authority.
  • Hybrid: Some nodes might have special roles or responsibilities, such as indexing resources or managing communication between nodes.
  • Structured: Nodes are organized into a specific structure to facilitate resource discovery and communication.

Get hands-on with 1200+ tech skills courses.