What Is The WinMX Peer Network (WPN)

I hope this page  will guide you to through some of the definitions utilised when discussing the WinMX Peer Network (WPN), as well as providing a general guide regarding the networks attributes and topography.

The WPN is an ad-hoc network formed by a two tiered layer of clients that utilise attributes of both centralised and decentralised network models to satisfy some of the demands of an efficient scalable p2p network. Some of the other types of network are shown below to give you a visual representation of the information.

Centralised Network Topography

This is the classic client-server model that was used by networks such as Napster, OpenNap, SoulSeek and many others.
This type of network has two drawbacks in terms of peer to peer usage the main one being centralised control of the entire network and the associated vulnerabilities. There can also never be any expectation of privacy as all client traffic passes through the central server and scalability is limited to the amount of clients that the central server can accommodate at any one time, there is usually no problems with regard to protocol implementation using this model.

Decentralised Network Topography

This type of network is the preferred implementation for peer to peer networks and many networks favour this model due to its improved scalability and fault tolerance although if utilising this model strictly all client/server nodes are required to handle network traffic overheads, this can lead to reduced network fault tolerance and this model also lends itself to abuse of the network should the implementation of protocols be weakly enforced or the protocols themselves poorly designed.

The WPN Network - A Hybrid Centralised/Decentralised Network Topography

This is the network type that the WPN is, taking as it does various useful properties from both of the above networks to create a hybrid type of network that offers benefits over the two type above in that it includes utilising the decentralised network hierarchy  to create a smaller subset of management severs while utilising the properties of centralisation to reduce the overall network traffic burden on those operating at the lower level of the network.

By operating in this manner the WPN network is able to serve many clients of both high and low bandwidth allocation, effectively sharing the "workload" (network overhead) amongst those who have the resources to spare and lifting this burden from those unable to do so.  

To increase the efficiency of the WPN primary network a mixture of both TCP and UDP protocols are used, with secondary layer clients receiving all chat channel listings and search query results via their connected primary on TCP only, the same functions for a primary user are conducted by utilising UDP packets to deliver the information amongst each other using a separate primary only UDP protocol.
The network is held together by primary node address sharing and unfilled allocation "Slot" announcements , these are the methods by which other clients can select the most favourable nodes to connect with and ensures the network is durable and self healing in the case of possible fragmentation, the exact delivery system for this is referenced within the primary protocol.

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