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Peer-to-Peer by Andy Oram

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Well-known networks and their roles

In this section I’ll list the characteristics that distinguish each of five popular networks—Freenet, Gnutella, Mojo Nation, Free Haven, and Publius—so we can evaluate the strengths each would offer to an all-encompassing OmniNetwork.

While the world of peer-to-peer is already large at quite a young age, I’ve chosen to focus here just on file storage and distribution systems. That’s because they already have related goals, so comparisons are easy. There are also several such systems that have matured far enough to be good subjects for examination.

Freenet

Freenet adds several things to the OmniNetwork. Its niche is in the efficient and anonymous distribution of files. It is designed to find a file in the minimum number of node-to-node transactions. Additionally, it is designed to protect the privacy of the publisher of the information, the requester of the information, and all intervening nodes through which the information passes.

However, because of these design goals, Freenet is deficient in some other aspects. Since it is designed for file distribution and not fixed storage, it has no way to ensure the availability of a file. If the file is requested, it will stay in the network. If it is not requested, it will be eliminated to make room for other files. Freenet, then, is not an ideal place to store your important data for the rest of eternity.

Second, Freenet does not yet have a search system, because designing a search system which is sufficiently ...

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