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<p>The Internet's phenomenal impact and subsequent growth stemmed primarily from the open, public, worldwide networking it offers. Peer-to-peer computing offers a radically new way of isolating and focusing on the networking aspect as the business model's mainstay. </p> <p>A P2P network distributes information among the member nodes instead of concentrating it at a single server. P2P networking thus offers unique advantages that will make it a more effective alternative to several existing client-server e-commerce applications-if it can mature into a secure and reliable technology. </p> <p>The key to realizing P2P's promise lies in the availability of enhanced services such as structured methods for classifying and listing shared information, verification and certification of information, effective content distribution schemes, and security features. </p> <p>P2P offers a superior alternative to the client-server model for at least a subset of that technology's applications, as evidenced by the phenomenal success of P2P music-sharing networks versus centralized MP3 servers. Even so, it is unlikely that P2P networks will replace the client-server paradigm. Rather, P2P will offer exciting new possibilities in distributed information processing.</p>

M. Parameswaran, A. B. Whinston and A. Susarla, "P2P Networking: An Information-Sharing Alternative," in Computer, vol. 34, no. , pp. 31-38, 2001.
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