We usually submit HTTP GET request to a website for downloading a file from a centralized server. In this procedure the expected file uses single TCP socket connecting with the host server, which transfers the desired file. On the other hand in Peer-to-Peer network or connection Peer-to-Peer or P2P protocol uses TCP connections to multiple file hosts to make small data requests to every host. In this process the client machine combines the small parts of file to form the complete file. There are various softwares available to establish P2P communication. Using P2P software one can communicate through intranet or Internet networking. In a simple word in P2P connection using P2P software one can communicate with another directly, as there is no centralized server and each computer in this network acts as both server and client. P2P softwares are also designed to protect the files, which are confidential from the illegal exposure during sharing. On the contrary it is being also used for illegal file sharing.
In this decade P2P file sharing systems have become the most popular computer applications. P2P softwares have managed to find popularity due to their ability of sharing wide range of file types. P2P softwares also allow using Internet telephony, which enable people to establish an audio or videoconference with a remote place. When people exchange files via P2P software, they actually act as facilitator and the legal liabilities lie with the file share. On the other hand, when the illegal file is stored in a centralized server, the liabilities go upon the host. That is why people tend to use P2P software for downloading pirated music, videos or other files. It is recommended not to use P2P softwares for serving illegal purposes or sharing copyrighted files. Before downloading or sharing one should educate oneself about the copyright laws to avoid copyright violation.
The utilization of bandwidth has become the prime concern to the P2P users. In P2P network a machine acts as a server and client at the same time and that is why it uploads and downloads ate the same time with multiple machines in the network. P2P softwares are designed to maximize the available bandwidth to allocate most uses. Maximum of free P2P softwares do not allow user to change the allocation of bandwidth. If it is licensed or purchased version then one may control the uploading and downloading bandwidth limit.
One should go through the terms and website thoroughly before downloading any P2P software to be informed about copyright infringement. If there is no data about the copyright then that software should be avoided. Some times few P2P softwares come with many attached malwares and viruses, which may harm your computer. One should use a strong and updated anti-virus or firewall to protect the computer, as in P2P network the computer may be exposed to the virus in the network. So, one must be vary careful about using the Peer-to-Peer software.