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In the simplest sense, client server network and peer-to-peer network can be understood as telecommunication networks that transfer information from a source to the destination. One of the significant reasons for the popularity of these two networking models is that they induce minimal loss in the transmission of data over a network.
In both networks, a path is used for the transmission of data or information. However, one of the significant differences between peer-to-peer network and client server network is that the former does not have a dedicated path for transferring data, whereas the latter does have a dedicated path for transferring data.
Before we go about comparing the architectures of the two networks, let us first understand them individually.
What is Client Server Network?
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A client server architecture is a computing model wherein the server hosts, delivers, and manages most of the resources and services requested by the client. It is also known as the networking computing model or client server network as all requests and services are delivered over a network. The client server architecture or model has another(other) system(s) connected over a network where resources are shared among the different computers.
Recognized as one of the most weirdly used networking models, the client server network model, generally, includes many clients or workstations interconnected in a network with a central server. While the server acts as a powerful system that stores all the data on it, the client functions as a machine that requests specific information from the server.
Client Server Network Example
One of the most popular examples of the client server architecture is the World Wide Web consortium. In this, internet users, people like us, act as clients requesting information from the servers, and the servers respond with the specifically requested information.
Some of the advantages of the client server network are as follows:
- As a centralized network, the client-server network has complete leverage to control the processes and activities within the network.
- It gives flexibility to users to access files residing in the central storage from anywhere.
- It provides a good user interface and ease of handling files.
- Resources can be easily shared over the client-server network.
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What is Peer-to-Peer network?
Peer-to-peer network involves two or more computers that pool various peripheral resources such as printers and DVD players. Such shared resources are available on every computer in the network. In a peer-to-peer network, each computer behaves as the client as well as the server, and it communicates with the other computers directly.
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This type of network is preferably used by SMBs that work without the need of a central server. All connected computers of the system work as nodes and allow seamless file sharing. Such a network is easy to set up and only needs a Wi-Fi connection or an Ethernet cable for its setup.
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Peer-to-Peer Network Example
Torrent is one of the most popular examples of peer-to-peer networks. In this type of network, all computers are connected to the internet where resources shared by any one computer can be downloaded by others.
Another widely used example of peer-to-peer network is the local area network (LAN,) which is usually preferred by small offices for the purpose of resource sharing.
Some of the major advantages of peer-to-peer network are as follows:
- Each device connected to the peer-to-peer network provides and receives resources from other nodes in the network.
- Resources are shared seamlessly between different devices.
- Being a part of a peer-to-peer network, resources, such as printers, are easily shared between the nodes in the network.
- The setup of a peer-to-peer network is easily established with the help of specialized software.
- Peer-to-peer network has high reliability as even in case of a server malfunction, other systems continue to operate.
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Difference Between Peer-to-Peer Network and Client Server Network
Now that you have a good understanding of both the topics, let us now learn some of the key differences between peer-to-peer network and client server network.
|Parameters||Client Server Network||Peer-to-Peer Network|
|Data||It has a centralized server to store all data.||Each peer in the network has its own data.|
|Service||When the client sends a request asking for specific information, the server responds with a service.||Each node in this network can make a request and also respond for the services.|
|Focus||It primarily focuses on information sharing.||Its primary focus is on connectivity.|
|Differentiation||This network has a dedicated server and a specific client.||There is no differentiation between client and server. Each node acts as a client as well as a server.|
|Stability||It is a more stable network and is easily scalable. Hence, it is preferred by large organizations.||The stability of this network is reduced if more peers are added. Hence, it is generally preferred by SMBs.|
|Security||It is a secured network because the server can authenticate a client’s access to any part of the network.||As the number of peers increases, the network becomes less secure and the vulnerability of the network increases.|
|Performance||The performance remains unaffected with the increase in clients because the server does the heavy lifting.||In case of a large peer-to-peer network, performance is likely to reduce because the resources are shared.|
|Cost||It is costlier to set up as compared to a peer-to-peer network.||It is not very expensive to set up.|
Given the differentiating parameters of both types of networks, it can be inferred that both networks have their own advantages and disadvantages. While client server network is largely preferred by enterprises, peer-to-peer network is best fit for SMBs. Individuals and companies can choose any type of network depending on their plans to scale, implementation cost, and several other factors. Hope this blog helped you understand the difference between peer-to-peer network and client server network.
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