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In peer-to-peer (P2P) networks nodes are interconnected with each other. In client/server (C/S) networks clients talks to the server. If in a C/S network clients also want to talk with each other (such as in a multiplayer online game), then clients would have to communicate through the server.

Given these, is it possible determine which architecture is more bandwidth consuming?

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2 Answers 2

One would say that P2P is better. But in reality, you cannot tell by the information you provided.

For instance, the bandwidth depends on queuing delays. Therefore, assume that one of the nodes in the P2P network has a very small queue (or overloaded), while our server is super powerful and its queue is hugly big ! Similarly, it depends on the latency of the nodes.

It depends on the bandwidth of the channels in the network. It depends on the round trip time. Therefore, P2P peers may be very far away from each other ! (China, Iran, Venzuela for example). etc ..

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It depends on what you are measuring. A well-designed P2P network will spread the load among the members evenly, so the maximal load is just a fraction of the case in an C/S system (where all traffic goes to the server). In terms of total traffic, P2P uses more, as there is no guarantee that the answer to a question is at the node asked, and that node will have to find one that has the answer and get it before answering.

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