Client-Server vs Peer to Peer


Client / Server Model

This is the most common type of network used by most businesses, universities, schools and other organisations. Access to the network and its resources are controlled centrally.


The job of a server is to provide services to the clients on the network.

The services that a server might provide include:

  • User Authentication
  • File Storage
  • Internet Access
  • Hardware sharing ( printers, scanners,etc)


The job of the client is to provide a workstation for networks users to use.

When a user logs in to a client they are usually provided with access to:

  • a private files storage area
  • a shared file storage
  • the internet and the organisation’s intranet.
  • Network hardware resources, such as printers and scanners.

The Client Server Model. Source: Wikipedia


Peer to Peer Networking


Decentralised networks are harder to take down as each node operates independently. If one point of access or a service goes down, others still function independently.


It’s harder to control the access to and use of decentralised networks(often deliberately so), so illegal or unwanted activity often occurs.

Examples of peer to peer networks

  • The Internet
  • Ad-hoc Networks