Peer-to-Peer (P2P) servers take server technology and distribute it across a network of hosts. While dedicated servers have their resources and central platform in one place, each hub or server in a P2P network shares hosting responsibilities equally.
Compared to dedicated P2P servers, they are a relatively new technology. People use both for various practical applications: gaming, business, and more. This guide will compare the features of a peer-to-peer server vs. a dedicated server so you can decide which is better for your server needs.
What is a dedicated server?
A dedicated server is a hosting environment that dedicates the majority of its resources to a single application. Only the user who pays/builds the server can access its processing, hard drive space, RAM, etc.
These servers can exist as physical devices, on-premises, or in the cloud. Examples of a local instance might be a more established company running legacy hardware, or a gamer running their own dedicated server from their PC to host themselves and their friends while they play games like ARK: Survival Evolved, Satisfactory, or Minecraft.
Hosting providers often provide dedicated cloud servers. While these exist in the cloud, the resources are divided among specific users, creating the same dedicated functions in a cloud-based environment. Users can experience all the benefits of secure dedicated server resources while taking advantage of the agility of a cloud environment.
What is a P2P server?
When comparing p2p vs. dedicated servers, it may not seem like there is much of a difference on the surface. Both are servers, and as such, they provide the same type of resources to their users, such as RAM, CPU usage, storage capacity, and more.
The difference between peer-to-peer servers and dedicated servers lies in their framework. For example, P2P servers rely on a distributed architecture to run their platform. Server resources are distributed among all computers within a particular network.
The computers within a peer-to-peer network are nodes. Each node is equally responsible for supporting the P2P server platform and resources. This is useful in cases like a P2P vs. a dedicated game server.
All players in a gaming group may have access to different resources (ie bandwidth, hard drive space, RAM, and even electricity) needed to power a server. By sharing the responsibility for hosting, with each player participating as a node, no single player or PC is held accountable for the overall gaming experience. As a result, all players can continue playing and there are fewer concerns about lost connection.
Peer-to-Peer vs Dedicated Servers
The type of server you choose can affect the capabilities of your network infrastructure in the long run. If you make a selection and don’t like it, migrating to another option can be daunting.
This table compares the features of peer-to-peer servers versus parallel dedicated servers. It’s all laid out before you, allowing you to make the best decision for your unique circumstances with confidence.
A similarity between dedicated and peer-to-peer shines through if you were to create a game server. Game developers generally do not provide dedicated servers to their users. All they need is a controller server to host and list the dedicated servers for which game players end up footing the bill.
Regarding P2P games, people still host their server platform, but the framework is slightly different. For example, all players playing on the platform share resources. You don’t have to choose from a list of servers. You and your friends just need to join a team or lobby and select a game type. In the case of a game like Super Smash Bros.®, that means choosing between modes like Squad Strike and Tourney.
Truth be told, both platforms are more different than the same. Significant differences include the size of the organization they can accommodate, their budget, and their responsibility.
Looking at peer-to-peer vs. dedicated servers, you’ll see that P2P capabilities are somewhat limited. You will only be able to support a small network or organization in a peer-to-peer framework. But for any other business apart from enterprise level companies, this is a useful option.
Subsequently, many companies choose P2P because it is the cheapest option. P2P also distributes the support and performance of the server among the members. Dedicated is based on a particular PC/user hosting the server resources. Sharing resources via P2P helps businesses protect against a connection outage and allocate your team’s bandwidth more intelligently.
Is a dedicated or P2P server better suited to your needs?
After looking at a detailed comparison of peer-to-peer vs. dedicated server performance and resources, which is the best option for your needs? If you’re still not sure, Liquid Web is here to help.
After decades in the industry, the most helpful human beings in hosting can guide you to the right decision. Every day, countless customers choose Liquid Web dedicated servers and never look back. We offer managed dedicated hosting options that take all the maintenance and stress off your hands.