Pros and Cons of Peer to Peer File Sharing

Pros and Cons of Peer to Peer File Sharing

There are various pros and cons of Peer to Peer file sharing that you should know in order to make an informed decision on whether to obtain files on P2P network. Simply abbreviated as P2P, Peer to Peer file sharing involves the exchange of digital media on a P2P network through the internet. To facilitate the sharing process, the parties contribute part of their resources including, disk storage, processing power, internet bandwidth among others to one another.

Participants in the P2P network are able to distribute digitally stored information, like computer programs, documents, multi-media or other electronic data amongst themselves. Peer to Peer programs can enable users to download heavy files even with low internet bandwidths. In many instances, participants download information from other computers on the network without the knowledge of the owners. Besides, one does not have to upload data in order to take part in the file sharing.

The Main Pros and Cons of Peer to Peer File Sharing

Based on the features of P2P file sharing, experiences of those who have used it among other factors, there are several pros and cons of peer to peer file sharing.  However, not all may have a significant impact on the end results.

Pros of Peer to Peer File Sharing

One of the merits of peer to peer file sharing is that it is less costly. In fact, this is a key reason behind the use of P2P by many people today. The service is usually free, and enables people to easily get digital information without spending a lot of money. For instance, downloading music from P2P network is less costly expensive compared to buying a CDs.

The installation and configuration of a computer to a P2P network is also easy and inexpensive. In fact, even the overall costs of maintenance are quite low compared to other file sharing networks.

The P2P file sharing also gives users the freedom of choice on the content or data that they need. This means that you can always search, find and download the particular file that you need without a lot of hassles. On the other hand, it also allows users to regulate the resources that can be shared from their machines.

Besides, the process of peer to peer file sharing is also quite fast and easy, making it a convenient option to many. P2P programs have the ability to customize even very large files into manageable bits for faster sharing. The fact that P2P operates online, you can always download the files that you need at any time and from wherever you are provided your computer is on the network.

Cons of Peer to Peer File Sharing

A P2P network runs on a decentralized system. This implies there is no central administration of the network since each person is held responsible for their ends. As a result of this, there is a likelihood of security breach. Sharing files on the network can make the machines vulnerable to threats like hackers, viruses, Trojans, spyware.

Using peer to peer network can also cause an overload of your machine and internet accessibility. Since the application involves sharing of your computer’s disk space, processing power and bandwidth, there are higher chances of slow internet connectivity and processing by your machine.

Another risk of peer to peer file sharing is that it contravenes copyright laws. Most artistes rely on the sales of their works through royalties, which are hindered by the free file sharing option that comes with P2P. In fact, this has landed many people into legal tussles.


Exchanging files through a P2P application can be a great way of sharing digital information between many people quickly. However, the above pros and cons of peer to peer file sharing reveal that there are several implications of the process that you should always look into before making any move. Although file sharing on P2P network is easy, fast and less costly, it might as well get you into trouble without careful though.

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