Peer-to-peer (P2P) refers to a type of network architecture where computers or devices communicate with each other directly, without the need for a central server or authority. In a P2P network, each node can act both as a client and a server, meaning that it can both request and provide resources or services to other nodes in the network.

This type of network is commonly used for sharing files or data, such as in peer-to-peer file sharing applications, where users can share and download files directly from each other’s computers, without the need for a central file server. P2P networks can also be used for other purposes, such as distributed computing, messaging, and gaming.

P2P networks can be decentralized, meaning that there is no central point of control or authority, or they can be partially centralized, with some nodes acting as intermediaries to facilitate communication between other nodes. P2P networks can also be designed to be secure and private, using encryption and other techniques to protect the privacy and security of the data being shared.