In the future several wired and wireless networking technologies,
different fixed and mobile terminals, and a variety of software and middleware technologies
are applied when implementing secure and reliable telecommunication services for the end users.
The main challenge in P2P computing is to design and implement a robust and scalable distributed system composed of inexpensive, individually unreliable computers in unrelated administrative domains. The participants in a typical P2P system might include computers at homes, schools, and businesses, and can grow to several million concurrent participants.
The peer-to-peer (P2P) paradigm is based on the principle that every component of the system has the same responsibilities acting simultaneously as a client and as a server, as opposed to traditional client-server systems. P2P systems are divided into two main categories based on the connection protocol they employ and the way peers are organized, namely, structured and unstructured.
Structured P2P systems employ a rigid structure to interconnect the peers and to organize the file indices, while in unstructured systems each peer is randomly connected to a fixed number of other peers and there is no information about the location of files. The differences and the basic advantages and drawbacks of those two main categories of P2P systems are discussed below. Several hybrid approaches have been proposed to overcome the drawbacks of each approach while retaining the benefits.
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