One of the great advantages of the Internet is the level of collaboration it allows. You can get your computer repaired by a knowledgeable technician who may use an open source program like Tight VNC to remote right into your desk top. He may also use software like PuTTY which ensures secure connections. In this way you can have a professional or even a colleague who has some knowledge of computers remote into your computer at home and repair it for you without you having to take it into a repair shop.
Another example of this is the use of peer-to-peer networks. This involves sharing technical resources, including software, among a group. Each person in the network contributes something to the group in the form of disk space or bandwidth or in some other technical aspect.
This is considered more advantageous than using servers, which is typical in many industries. The more users that try to access information from a server, the more strain is placed on its resources. On the other hand, with peer-to-peer networks, the more people that join the network, the more efficient the system becomes. This is because they bring additional resources to the table, whether it be in terms of memory or disk space.
Are These Networks Risky?
When it comes to technology, no system is perfect so there are associated risks. Peer-to-peer architecture comes with its own set of problems. Some of these are:
- The way they are set up make them difficult to monitor.
- There is greater risk of malicious software being passed on to other users in the group.
- Since computers can be accessed at any point and this causes concern among some users.
The advantages of this particular architecture outweigh potential problems. Configuration of the PCs on the network is not usually a problem. It is also a highly cost-effective way of getting things done. Users don’t need the most expensive hardware to contribute to peer-to-peer networks. The idea of shared resources being exploited by users at different locations is catching on. This is evidenced by the current interest in cloud computing. One of the most attractive features of peer-to-peer networks is that no in-depth knowledge of technology is required to use them effectively.