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Chapter 17. Windows Networking 101 > How Peer-to-Peer Networks Work

How Peer-to-Peer Networks Work

Networks can be organized either as peer-to-peer or server-based. In a peer-to-peer network, each computer acts as both a server and a client. One system has the dual capability to act as a server and to share—or provide—resources and to connect to server-side components as a client to access resources. All information is stored on each computer. When a computer is playing the server role, it provides access to files contained on its local hard drive and on peripherals attached to the computer (such as printers, fax modems, scanners, and CD-ROM drives).

Each computer can share its resources without the need for centralized administration of these resources. Each user in a peer-to-peer network can be an administrator of that computer's resources. This approach alleviates the need for one person to be responsible for various network administrative tasks.


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