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asked Oct 19 by sonn2019 (20,400 points)

While most people connect P2P file sharing with a certain maritime profession, this sort of communication has a lot of legitimate advantages. From academics to business, P2P sharing can be a safe and reliable way to spread your content worldwide without a need for a dedicated platform. Qwer432
Peer-to-Peer, or P2P, sharing is a useful and ingenious technology, and it will probably be used for a long time in some form, but there are two main issues for all users, regardless of their reasons. The first and primary issue is the national governments worldwide, most of which don’t look fondly on P2P file sharing.
The second reason is security. Both when using a direct P2P link and a torrent, your IP address is visible to all other users sharing the same file. In private communication with people, you trust this wouldn’t be an issue, but this is rarely the case.
Thankfully, premium VPN providers can both mask your IP address for the one on the servers, and provide you with military-grade encryption to protect your device while sharing.
What is a Peer to Peer Network?
A P2P connection is quite a simple technology, but one with incredible significance and potential. It wasn’t so much invented as discovered, as early internet developers noticed that server computers could send data as well as receive. This made it possible for each device in the network to become both a client and a server simultaneously.
Technically speaking, a P2P network predates the Internet, with ARPANET having a similar system of participating nodes, but without any means of context or content-based routing.
First modern P2P networks emerged in the last years of the 2nd millennia, with Napster being the first file sharing system, widely used around the world.
While the systems and protocols change and develop through the years, the core idea of P2P networks remains the same. Each user is both sending and receiving information from one or more sources.
Solutions to faster and more reliable sharing can become quite technical and rely heavily on the relationship between the internet overlay network on top of the existing physical topology. To have good software, you need to imagine and execute a very complex set of commands.
The good thing is that to use this system, regardless of the platform, you just need to have an internet connection, preferably through a proxy, or better a VPN service.

The technology behind P2P File Sharing
Although the P2P technology itself is quite simple, to share specific files and data, there needs to be a stable platform shared by all parties, as well as a system of nomenclature in place so that everybody knows how the files are marked.
There are three types of networks when it comes to P2P, and they describe how the network is structured. Wheatear, a user, will choose a structured or an unstructured network, or a mix of both, will depend on their needs, as well as on accessibility.
Finally, the technology used will depend on the type of files being shared, and if there is a dedicated platform, or maybe a primary source of content.
Structured Networks
Different to most things, too much order on the Internet is not viable when you need to create large systems. While current bandwidths can sustain a relatively large P2P node network, it pales in comparison to its unstructured counterpart.
A structured P2P network is placed in a hierarchy using a distributed hash table, or a DHT.
This type of network is best used in academia or large organizations where most user devices are constantly online. This way, it is easy to find any data that you need on the network and download it quickly and efficiently, and the system itself will not suffer from a lot of devices opting in and out of the system, which is also called churn.
Unstructured Networks
Unstructured networks are much more common, with both early and current P2P protocols using it to bring their users together. Protocols like Gnutella and Kazaa are one of the first that used this type in an official capacity.
Unstructured networks don’t have a hierarchy, but rather every computer connects itself to the closest peers that have the data that they need by flooding the networks with a request and connecting to only those who answer.
The inefficient system used to search for data is the biggest downside of this type of P2P file sharing system, but it also makes it very robust and quite anonymous.

As the size of the torrent is exceptionally small, a user can hold a whole Library of Congress worth of data on something equivalent of a floppy disk, which ironically fell out of use roughly at the same time this type of sharing became popular.
Reasons to use a VPN for File Sharing
There are several reasons why everyone should be using a VPN in general, but when it comes to P2P file sharing, these become even more prominent.
Thankfully, using a premium VPN provider all but annuls all of the downsides that come with using a P2P VPN creating a superior experience for anyone. Companies use AES-256 algorithm to place an encryption that would require whole regional systems to break, and it’s being updated and upgraded all of the time.
Increased Protection
Primarily, we should always try to keep our IP address as private as possible as that makes us less susceptible to hacks and other types of attack. This becomes quite hard when using a torrent, or any other type of P2P connection as your IP address will be blasted through the network.
Additionally, since the files shared might conceal a tracker or some other type of spyware, you might be under a direct attack is you are uncertain of the sender, or it someone else is pretending to be the sender. This is quite frequent in peer to peer networks, especially in unstructured ones.


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