At the dawn of the broadband era, peer-to-peer technology became closely associated with music file sharing, thanks to programs like Napster and Kazaa. Later, the emergence of protocols such as BitTorrent linked P2P to movie and television downloads. P2P became a red flag for MPAA, RIAA and other content-rights owner groups worldwide.
Over the years, P2P has found many legitimate uses and has found a way into everyday life. Why… even Akamai, which had scoffed at P2P, decided to acquire Red Swoosh.
“P2P has a bad reputation, but what we are showing is that it is not a file sharing technology, instead it is a legitimate technology,” Mikkel Dissing, CEO of RawFlow said in a conversation we had a little while ago.
RawFlow is a 6-year-old company that has developed a peer-to-peer streaming software platform for sharing live video streams. It is currently developing a personal broadcasting technology called Selfcast, also based on P2P technologies.
Nevertheless, the Akamai-Red Swoosh deal, announced last week, prompted me to think about how pervasive P2P really has become in our lives.
* P2P telephony: Skypeand its $4.2 billion price tag – that says it all.
* P2P TV: Joost and Babelgum are just a start. More like Zattoo are joining the party.
* Personal P2P: P2P sharing of photos, videos and other files with family and friends is becoming increasingly common place. The list of start-ups chasing this nascent market is growing by the month. Tubes is the latest to join the party.
* P2P Video Delivery is growing in popularity, especially in places where 10 megabit/s broadband connections are commonplace.
* P2P data syncing between computers.
* Distributed computing is another area where we have seen P2P technology shine. SETI@Home is a good example.
Are there any other examples that are missing from this list? Let us know.