In this chapter
We've taken a look at networking hardware, different network architectures, network protocols, and also discussed the differences between peer-to-peer networking and server-based networking. Now we can concentrate on configuring a peer-to-peer network. Although peer-to-peer networks are the simplest type of LAN you can create, you still need to know how to configure network protocols and share resources such as printers and files.
Be advised that you should only deploy a peer-to-peer network in situations where you are dealing with a limited number of computers that need to share resources and the number of computers is going to remain relatively static (if you are dealing with a rapidly expanding user -base and a number of resources that need to be shared, a server-based network might make more sense since it is more easily scaled).
Even a simple peer-to-peer network will require that some sort of network medium be used for communication between the peer computers. You can use traditional network wiring (such as CAT 5 or 6 twisted pair) and a hub to connect the computers or you can connect your computers using a wireless networking strategy. Let's begin our discussion of peer networking with a look at LAN protocol configuration. We can then look at the specifics of sharing folders and printers in a Microsoft Windows-based peer network and then look at some of the possibilities provided by Linux-based systems.