Network Models Peer to Peer and Client and Server

Network Models Peer to Peer and Client and Server

The term computer network model defines the category in which a computer network can be grouped into. Networks are divided into two broad categories:


When nodes or workstations perform the same communication functions, they are referred to as peers, in this network model, both server and client operations are performed by the same computer. Each user administers his/her workstation and the resources in it. In a peer-to-peer network, there are no dedicated servers, and there is no hierarchy among the computers. All the computers are equal and therefore are known as peers. Each computer functions as both a client and a server, and there is no administrator responsible for the entire network. The user on each computer determines which data on that computer is shared on the network.

Security is also managed by the user of the devices. This model is not quite secure and is suited for a small computer networks (with 10 computers or less) where users do not want to share files. User’s files are decentralized – they are not stored in a single location.

Criteria for selecting peer to peer

  1. Where ten or fewer users will be sharing resources.
  2. No server is available.
  3. Nobody has the time or knowledge to act as a network administrator.
  4. There is little or no concerns about security (security in data processing is the ability to protect data from unauthorized access or, theft or damage)
  5. The organization and the network will experience only limited growth within the foreseeable future.
Advantages of using peer to peer
  • They are easy to configure
  • Computers communicate easily.
  • They don’t require additional server hardware or software
  • Users can manage their own resources.
  • They don’t require a network administrator
  • They reduce total cost of network setup.
Disadvantages of using peer to peer
  1. They provide a limited number of connections for shared resources.
  2. Computers with shared resources suffer from sluggish performance.
  3. They don’t allow for central management
  4. Users are responsible for managing resources. These resources include data in shared directories, printers, fax cards, and so on.
  5. They offer very poor security.


This is a network model that offers centralized access to services and devices. One computer plays the role of a server. It is the most common type of network architecture today that provides centralized data storage, security, manning of applications and network administration. Most servers operating system are Novel Netware, Windows NT, Apple talk, Linux, Banyan VINES etc...


  • Cost: - More expensive in terms of hardware and network operating system.
  • Complexity: - Experienced system administrators are required to manage the systems.
  • Dependence: - When server goes down, operations will cease across the network.


  1. They are best suited for 10 or more users.
  2. Security: - All major server based systems provides sophisticated security.
  3. Administration: - Servers are centralized making them easier to manage.
  4. Stability: - Server based systems are designed to support a wide range of organization sizes. Additional servers are added to increase capacity.
  5. Client server networks offer centralized backup where data can be stored in one server.
  6. Flexibility - New technology can be easily integrated into the system.
  7. Accessibility - Server can be accessed remotely and across multiple platforms.
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