Write a report on the differences between a network such as Napster and a "pure" P2P network such as Gnutella or any of its clones. Include the advantages and disadvantages of each technology.

Essay by winnyUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, August 2004

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Being a human, we can not without communication, sharing our life and business transition, which make our relation closer and closer. Nowadays, people are not only using Fax or telephone, but also using communication network to share what they want, especially music and photo. Therefore, I have already some information of Napster and Gnutella for comparing the differences of both functions. Furthermore, this report is going to discuss advantage and disadvantages of each network system.

Peer-to peer

Both of the networking system is P2P. Lawrence Lessig (2001, 56) indicates that "P2P is a network that is being served not by a single central severs, but by "Peer" machines linked across the network." This means the processing of transferring files are using internet, from one computer to another computer, it can be your neighbors or half around of the world.


The most popular of sharing protocol is Napster which constructed by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, Lawrence Lessig (2001, 54) illustrate that "it is a technology simplifying file sharing for Mp3."

Napster is using centralized file servers for sharing Mp3, but it is not keep Mp3's file on it. When we log onto the Napster network via of the software then our computer will be connected onto a central Napster server automatically, and using search box to find out your favorite music from other Napster' user. Therefore, Napster is only responsible for finding the Mp3 links, not responsible for what happened after that.


The function of Gnutella is similar to the Napster, it is not only transfer Mp3 files from one computer to another computer, but also various types of files via the internet and without any central servers; all information can be directly to send from the sender to receiver because the software will find out the receiver's...