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The Difference Between a Peer to Peer & a Client Server

Updated July 19, 2017

A peer-to-peer network does not have a centralised system. Each computer stands and manages its own. A client server system has servers that perform specific functions within the network. Applications, e-mails and security policies are all in the servers that manage user computers called workstations.

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Component Differences

A peer-to-peer network essentially has all workstations, the kind of computers that users normally have. They are connected physically through network cables, and each computer can choose to share its resources to the others. A client server system not only has workstations, but servers as well. Servers have higher system requirements like disk space and memory because they are tasked to manage the network. Server applications have specific functions for mails, databases and securities.

Peer-to-Peer Advantages

A peer-to-peer network is easy to set up and inexpensive, because there are no servers to maintain. All it needs is for computers to be connected to be able to communicate to each other. Each computer is left on its own to run. Peer-to-peer network is advantageous for small networks because servers and server applications are generally expensive, and small networks do not need as much maintenance and monitoring all the time.

Client Server Advantages

For medium-sized to large networks with 50 computers or more, client server is a better alternative despite being more expensive. In a larger network, it is best to have a centralised management system to oversee smooth network operations and keep it secure. With more computers in the network, there are more points of entry for viruses and hackers. Without servers working to protect all points of entry, it is very easy for a network to be infiltrated.

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About the Author

Chris Loza has published essays and book reviews in major Philippine newspapers since 2005. His work has appeared in the "Philippine Daily Inquirer" and "Philippine Star." Loza also worked as a technical writer for LWS Media. He has a Bachelor of Science in electronics and communications engineering from the Ateneo de Manila University.

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