P2P vs Dedicated Server: Pros and Cons

Posted on by Chika Ibeneme | Updated:
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Peer-to-Peer (P2P) servers take server technology and distribute it among a network of hosts. While dedicated servers have their resources and central platform in one place, each hub or server in a P2P network shares hosting responsibilities equally.

In comparison to dedicated, P2P servers are relatively new technology. People use both for various practical applications – gaming, business, and more. This guide will compare the features of a peer-to-peer vs a dedicated server so you can decide which is best for your server needs.

What Is a Dedicated Server?

A dedicated server is a hosting environment that dedicates the majority of its resources to one, single application. Only the user paying for/creating the server can access its processing, hard disk space, RAM, etc.

These servers can exist as physical, on-premise devices or in the cloud. Examples of an on-premise instance may be a more established company running legacy hardware or a gamer running their own dedicated server from their PC to host themselves and their friends as they play games like ARK: Survival Evolved, Satisfactory, or Minecraft

Hosting providers typically provide cloud-dedicated servers. While these exist in the cloud, resources are partitioned to specific users, creating the same dedicated features in a cloud-based environment. Users get to experience all the benefits of secure dedicated server resources while leveraging the agility of a cloud environment. 

What Is a P2P Server?

When comparing p2p vs dedicated servers, it may not seem like there’s much of a difference on the surface. They’re both servers and, as such, provide the same type of resources to their users, like RAM, CPU usage, storage capacity, and more. 

The difference between peer-to-peer servers vs dedicated servers lies in their framework. For instance, P2P servers rely on a distributed architecture to run their platform. The server resources are distributed among all computers within a particular network. 

The computers within a peer-to-peer network are nodes. Each node is equally responsible for supporting the P2P server platform and resources. This is handy in instances like a P2P vs a dedicated gaming server. 

All players in a gaming party may have access to different resources (i.e., bandwidth, hard disk space, RAM, and even electricity) necessary to power a server. By sharing the responsibility of hosting, with each player participating as a node, no one player or PC becomes responsible for the overall gaming experience. As a result, all players can continue to play, and there’s less worry about connection loss.

Peer-to-Peer vs Dedicated Servers

The type of server you choose can affect the capabilities of your network infrastructure in the long term. If you make a selection and do not like it, migrating to another option can be daunting.

This table compares the features of peer-to-peer vs dedicated servers side-by-side. Everything is laid out before you, allowing you to make the best decision for your unique circumstances confidently.


A similarity between dedicated vs peer-to-peer shines through if you were to make a game server. Game developers generally don’t provide dedicated servers to their users. All they need is a controller server to host and list the dedicated servers for which the game’s players wind up footing the bill.

Regarding P2P gaming, people are still hosting your server platform, but the framework is slightly different. For instance, all gamers playing on the platform share resources. You don’t have to choose from a list of servers. You and your friends only need to join a team or lobby and select a game type. In the case of a game like Super Smash Bros.®, that means choosing between modes like Squad Strike and Tourney.


Truthfully, both platforms are more different than they are the same. Significant differences include the size of the organization they can accommodate, their budget, and their responsibility.

Looking at peer-to-peer vs dedicated servers, you’ll see that P2P’s capabilities are somewhat limited. You’ll only be able to support a small network or organization in a peer-to-peer framework. But for any other businesses, aside from enterprise-level companies, this is a serviceable option.

Subsequently, many companies choose P2P as it’s the more budget-friendly option. P2P also distributes the support and performance of the server among the members. Dedicated relies on one particular PC/user hosting the server’s resources. Sharing resources via P2P helps businesses hedge against a connection disruption and allocate their team’s bandwidth more wisely.

Does a Dedicated or P2P Server Suit Your Needs Better?

After seeing an in-depth comparison of peer-to-peer vs dedicated server performance and resources, which is the best option for your needs? If you’re still not sure, Liquid Web is here to help.

After decades in the industry, The Most Helpful Humans in Hosting can guide you toward the right decision. Every day, countless customers choose Liquid Web dedicated servers and never look back. We offer managed dedicated hosting options that take all the maintenance and stress out of your hands.

Whether it’s dedicated servers for gaming or your business, Liquid Web has you covered. Contact us with any questions. We’re more than happy to help.

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About the Author

Chika Ibeneme

Chika Ibeneme is a Community Support Agent at The Events Calendar. He received his BA in Computer Science in 2017 from Northern Caribbean University and has over 5 years of technical experience assisting customers and clients. You can find him working on various WordPress and Shopify projects.

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