Peer-to-peer network; Peer-to-peer overlay
A peer-to-peer system is a computer network which enables peers to share the network resources, computational power and data storage, without relying on a central authority. Most commonly, peer-to-peer systems form overlay networks deployed in the Internet and are used for file sharing, realtime data streaming and computationally intensive tasks.
In contrast to client-server systems, peer-to-peer systems consist of interconnected peers of similar capabilities and responsibilities, where the peers can act as both servers and clients. Most commonly, the architecture of the peer-to-peer systems is flat and all peers are assumed to be functionally equal. However, a number of peer-to-peer systems employ hierarchical architecture where some peers (superpeers) act as local servers for the subsets of regular peers. It is also widely accepted in peer-to-peer systems, where some services can be provided by a centralized...