Client - Server vs Peer to Peer (P2P) Network
There are two basic ways to set up a network. On both set ups you can share printers, internet connections etc.
One way is the client - server model where you have a server storing data and some applications .The alternative is a peer to peer network where each device has its own data, and applications.
Both approaches have strengths and weaknesses:
Explains client server and peer to peer networks
Client - Server Model
|Client machines can be fairly low specifications (so cheaper)||Very reliant on the server. If it fails the whole network fails|
|Data can be backed up centrally||Requires a server additional expense|
|Security can be managed centrally (firewalls, antivirus etc)||Requires more network management - additional expense|
|Data always available as server is always on||Server can be overloaded by too much traffic from multiple clients|
Peer to Peer Model
|If one device fails, the network still runs, there is no server||Can result in multiple copies of data on each device rather than one centrally|
|Less hardware needed so cheaper to set up||Requires individual devices to be backed up, and updated (antivirus and software)|
|Easy to maintain||Devices can slow down when others are accessing them for data|
|Data can be lost if only one one device and it fails (without being backed up)|