How P2P File Sharing is Different From File Trading

How is P2P file sharing different from file trading? Both of them are used for files you may want to trade with other friends, family or even strangers from around the world. They can both be shared with an Internet connection. But, how are P2P file sharing and file trading different? Here we will take a look at what both P2P file sharing is and what file trading is. Then we will look at the differences that each file sharing or trading format has with each other.

What is P2P file sharing? P2P is a way to share files or any type of information with other people where the files are stored on personal computers. When you are sharing files on the Internet most people will do both an upload for providing the files or a download for receiving the files. An upload and a download are not both required when using P2P, you can do one or the other or both if you would like. There are different generations of P2P file sharing networks for use. The first generation allows for file sharing from a centralized server. A user would send a search to the central server for what they wanted to look for. The server would then send back any list of peers that may have what the user is looking for and then starts the connection and the download. There are other generations of P2P available but most are similar to the original generation in how they share information with other users. Some of the newer versions allow for sharing without a central server and the newest version gives file streaming.

What is file trading? File trading is also a way to share files. This type of file sharing will require that the user uses both downloads and uploads files. This is why this method is called file trading. You give one you get one in most cases, or you are trading files to share with others. File trading usually has fees associated with it for the use of the files for any of your information you want to download or upload.

Telling the difference between P2P file sharing and file trading is very difficult. Here is an example using Napster, one of the first well known sites for this new model. Some web resources would say that Napster is a file trading site while another will call Napster a P2P file sharing site. Both can be right but if you see that file trading requires an upload and a download you will realize that Napster does not fit into the file trading requirements and is a better fit for P2P file sharing. What else will set the difference between P2P file sharing and file trading? Let’s take a quick look.

•P2P file sharing is different from file trading because when downloading files from a P2P network it does not require uploading onto the same network. Some networks for file trading will either provide incentives for uploading in the idea of credits or will force the trading of files being currently downloaded.
•P2P file sharing is different from file trading because P2P has many different generations or upgrades that it has been through. File trading still uses the same format.
•P2P file sharing is different from file trading because P2P file sharing is not easily traceable. File trading can be tracked by usernames or computer codes. P2P can be anonymous in many of the more advanced generations or upgrades.
•P2P file sharing is different from file trading because P2P file sharing is not seen as illegal. File trading is seen as illegal.

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "How P2P File Sharing is Different From File Trading." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 31 May. 2008. Web. 27 Apr. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published May 31, 2008. Last modified May 31, 2008.