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What is Gnutella2?

Gnutella2 is a modern and efficient peer-to-peer network standard and architecture designed to provide a solid foundation for distributed global services such as person to person communication, data location and transfer and other future services.

Why is it needed?

Peer to peer technologies have become mainstream over recent years, and there are already a significant number of P2P networks in various stages of development and operation. How does yet another network help?

Gnutella2 is unique amongst the currently operating peer to peer networks in several important ways:

Many of the most successful networks are "closed", owned by a single entity with restrictions or fees constituting a barrier to participation. This is not a viable model for an open, general purpose network. Gnutella2 is an open architecture where anyone is welcome to participate and contribute. The network has been designed to allow such diversity without the need for messy hacks or compromises in integrity. The majority of networks are devoted to a single purpose, often the sharing of files. This is certainly a popular application for peer to peer technology, but it is by no means the only application. Gnutella2 is designed as a general purpose network which can be used as a solid foundation for any number of different peer to peer applications - vanilla file sharing, communications tools or other ideas which are yet to be conceived.

Some peer to peer networks have been developed with similar general purpose goals, however they have been unable to compete in the most popular application of the day, which is file sharing. For a general purpose network to succeed, it must be able to compete with purpose-specific networks in the most popular purpose. Gnutella2 is not only able to compete with the current popular file sharing specific networks, it outperforms them.