Design and implementation of a peer to peer network for file sharing


Design and implementation of a peer to peer network for file sharing



“The Peer-To-Peer network is a type of network in which each workstation has equivalent capabilities and responsibilities; this differs from client/server architectures, in which some computers are dedicated to serving the others’’ (Beal, 2005). “In its simplest form, a Peer-To-Peer (P2P) network is created when two or more PCs are connected and share resources without going through a separate server computer. A P2P network can be an ad hoc connection-a couple of computers connected via a Universal Serial Bus to transfer files. A P2P network also can be a permanent infrastructure that links half-dozen computers in a small office over copper wires. A P2P network can be a network on a much grander scale in which special protocols and applications set up direct relationships among users over the internet” (Cope, 2002). “A Peer-To-Peer system is a self-organizing system of equal, autonomous entities (peers) which aims for the shared usage of distributed resources in a networked environment avoiding central services” (Steinmetz & Wehrle, 2005). ‘‘It is a decentralized communications model in which each party has the same capabilities and either party can initiate a communication session to any other party. Unlike the client/server model, in which the client makes a service request and the server fulfills the request, the P2P network models allows each node to function as both a client and server’’ (Rouse& Wolff, 2014).

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) systems have become popular on the internet, especially in the field of file sharing and media streaming.“P2P systems can be used to provide anonymized routing of network traffic, massive parallel computing environments, distributed storage and other functions. Most P2P programs are focused on media sharing and P2P is therefore often associated with software piracy and copyright violation. Typically, peer-to-peer applications allow users to control many parameters of operation: how many member connections to seek or allow at one time; whose systems to connect to or avoid; what services to offer; and how many system resources to devote to the network” (Rouse & Wolff, 2014).

The increasingly availability of high-speed broadband connections made the concept of globally applicable P2P systems feasible. Average users have the computational capacity and resources to act as server and client simultaneously (i.e., definition of a peer), providing and consuming data. P2P systems are designed to overcome the limitations and drawbacks of classical Client/Server (C/S) systems. They are extensible (easy to add new resources), more fault tolerant, scalable (system can grow without loss in performance) and resistant to lawsuits.

Problem Statement Of The Study

One of the existing problem in this institution is that there is no effective platform for file transfer in the department, hence there is no structure put in place for the transfer/sharing of files from the dean to other lecturers or from one lecturer to another. Also, results are delayed as a result of lecturers finding it difficult to forward the softcopy of the results of the students to the dean, and hence they have to go ahead and print and send to the dean’s office and someone would still have to retype the scores and hence the manipulation of students results.Matching a wrong matric number to the wrong students which also leads to missing results is another existing problem.Also data recovery or backup is very difficult. Therefore, it is for this reason that the researcher decided to design and implement a peer-to-peer network for SOCSMAIT office.

The main objective of this study is to design and implement a peer-to-peer computer network for socsmait office.

The specific objectives of this study are:

To enable communication between two or more computers on the network.

To allow the computers in the network communicate without the need for a central server.

To allow the computers connected in the network perform the function of both a server and a client on the network i.e. they are given the administrative right to both send and receive data.

To create a network for each computer to easily upload and download files over the peer to peer network, and this can be done without having access to the internet.

Significance Of The Study

This project is designed to provide a means to transmit files (data / video) from one system to another system or a group of systems connected to a hub or connected via an Ethernet straight-through cable. It also provides a cost-effective, secured, safe, faster means to transfer files from one device to another device. It is also a secured and effective way of transferring the results of students in the department to the office of the dean. It is an improved means for proper administration of students in the department, to eradicate the issues associated with missing results in the department, and also saves cost because we would not have need to get a server.

This research focuses on creating a peer to peer network using two systems and an Ethernet straight-through cable. The systems would be given IP addresses manually, before the systems would be able to communicate with each other, to create a faster, safer and more efficient medium for file transfer.

This project is limited to creating a peer to peer network for a group of devices, but due to financial constraints, we are limited to using just two computers inter connecting with an Ethernet cross-over cable. Also, due to financial circumstances, we are limited to only using Ethernet cross-over cable and we won’t be able to make use of a network hub.

COMPUTER: A computer is an electro-mechanical device that receives data, processes, and stores and gives back the data as information.

NETWORK: A network is a collection of computers, servers, mainframes, network devices, peripherals, or other devices connected to one another to allow the sharing of data.

PEER –TO – PEER: Peer-to-peer is a decentralized communications model in which each party has the same capabilities and either party can initiate a communication session.

ETHERNET CROSSOVER CABLES: An Ethernet crossover cable is a type of Ethernet cable used to connect computing devices together directly. It is most often used to connect two devices of the same type: e.g. two computers (via network interface controller) or two switches to each other.

An Ethernet straight through cable is a type of Ethernet cable used to connect computing devices together directly. It is most often used to connect two devices of different type: e.g. a computer to a printer (via network interface controller) or a switch to a router.

NETWORK HUB: A network hub is a network hardware device that contains multiple ports for connecting multiple Ethernet devices together and making them act as a single network segment.

CLIENT: This is a desktop computer or workstation that is capable of obtaining information and application from a server.

SERVER: A server is a computer program or device that provides functionality for other programs or devices called “clients”.

OSI MODEL: These are protocols which is responsible for devices of different manufacturers to still communicate.

TCP: A standard that defines how to establish and maintain a network conversation via which application programs can exchange data.

IP ADDRESS: This is the address given to layer 3 devices and used to communicate with other layer 3 devices.

SUBNET MASK: It determines what subnet an IP address belongs to, and it is a 2 bit number that marks an IP address into network and host address.

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