A network of personal computers, each of which acts as both client and sever, so that each can exchange files and email directly with every other computer on the network. Each computer can access any of the others, although access can be restricted to those files that a computer's user chooses to make available. Peer-to-peer networks are less expensive than client/server networks but less efficient when large amounts of data need to be exchanged.
(1) A network of computers configured to allow certain files and folders to be shared with everyone or with selected users. Peer-to-peer networks are quite common in small offices that do not use a dedicated file server. All client versions of Windows, Mac and Linux can function as nodes in a peer-to-peer network and allow their files to be shared.Files and folders can be configured to allow network users to copy them, but not alter them in their original location, which is a common safety precaution. However, files and folders can also be assigned a "read/write" status that allows either selected users or all users on the network to change them. See share. See also grid computing.
A computer network in which every computer acts as both a client and server, allowing every computer to exchange data and services with every other computer in the network.