Peer-to-peer describes a technology that can establish computer-to-computer connections in real-time. In streaming, it is used to regulate data flows and provide relief for stressed servers and bandwidth.
P2P networks enable viewers and their devices to share data with each other so that not everyone needs a connection to the origin server anymore. Instead, only a few do, and the risk of network congestion, problems with the streaming quality, or buffering times can be highly reduced. A mesh of connected peers arises who can share video content in real-time.
P2P solutions can be used whenever a stream has enough viewers worldwide or at least enough viewers in a close geographic localization. A P2P software generates clusters of viewers, who can share the data with each other. Therefore, they need to use the same ISP, browser, etc. The more people are joining a stream, the higher is the probability that some of them fit the conditions for sharing.
Many eCDN providers use P2P technology to create a stable, high-quality stream inside corporate networks. The advantages are obvious: P2P is a software solution that doesn’t need any hardware or installation of local clients. Instead, it works completely inside of the browser, as long it is reasonably up-to-date (Internet Explorer is not supported). If you like to learn more about how P2P CDN technology, you can get your free datasheet here.