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Peer-To-Peer (P2P) systems are popularly used as "File-swapping" networks to support distributed content sharing. A number of P2P networks for file sharing have been developed and deployed. Napster, Gnutella, and Fasttrack are three popular P2P systems. This paper presents a broad overview of P2P computing and focuses on content sharing networks and technologies. It also emphasizes on the analysis of network topologies used in popular P2P systems. In addition, this paper also identifies and describes architecture models and compares various characteristics of four P2P systems - Napster, Gnutella, Fasttrack, and OpenFT.
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