Should I use a Peer to Peer or Domain based network?

Parent Category: FAQs
Category: Installation & Troubleshooting
Created on Friday, 06 May 2011 00:00
Hits: 15893

This is a question we hear frequently.


 A peer to peer network is a configuration that was  popular in the early nineties with the release of Microsoft Windows for Workgroups. Peer to peer networks were easy to setup and required only a basic knowledge of computer networking. In Windows XP, this technology is often referred to as "File & Printer Sharing."

Many businesses resist establishing a domain due to their belief that a peer to peer network is quicker and therefore cheaper to setup. However, establishing a domain provides your business with a complete business solution that will serve your needs now and into the future. It provides you with a central location from which to manage your network - simplifying your network and therefore dramatically reducing technical support and associated costs.


The following are the basic differences between the two architectures:

The Peer To Peer Network

The Domain Environment

From the above information you can see that although the initial outlay on hardware and software may be slightly higher establishing a domain based network, the long term and even short term costs will be significantly less if you take into account time. Coupled with the fact that data security and integrity are significantly better, for most businesses the domain model is the only one that makes sense.