A peer-to-peer (P2P) network is a communications model in which each computing device on the network can function as either a server or a client.
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In a P2P network, computing devices use software to connect with each other over a private network, such as a home local area network (LAN) or a public network, such as the Internet. This direct connection allows each device to share files without requiring the assistance of a remote server. The device that supplies the file plays the role of the server and the device that requests the file plays the role of the client. The roles simply reverse when necessary.
See also: ad hoc network