A P2P network is a type of distributed network in which individual machines in the network (called “peers”) act as both suppliers and consumers of data. In other words, each machine acts as both server and client.
In order for a computer to become part of a P2P network, it must first download a file sharing software (i.e: bitTorrent).
When a device downloads a file from the network, it assumes the role of ‘leecher’. Once the download is complete, it becomes a source for future downloads, thus assuming the role of ‘seeder’ for the given file. The more machines are part of the network, the faster the data sharing becomes.
These types of networks are not inherently illegal, but they often allow for easy dissemination of pirated content.
– Anna Pinkas