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Distributed network

(also decentralized network)

Distributed network definition

A distributed network, also known as a decentralized network, is a type of network architecture where computing resources and data are spread across multiple nodes, usually across various geographical locations, that work together as a single network. Unlike centralized networks, where control and data reside in a single central hub, distributed networks decentralize this control, enhancing resilience, scalability, and, potentially, security.

See also: internet security, network security protocols

Distributed network examples

  • Internet: The internet itself is an example of a distributed network. It is a massive, global system of interconnected networks, allowing for robust data transfer and communication.
  • Blockchain: Blockchain technology used in cryptocurrencies operates on distributed networks, ensuring transparent and secure transactions.

Advantages and disadvantages of distributed networks


  • Resilience: If one node fails or gets compromised, the network continues to function.
  • Scalability: It’s easier to add more nodes to the network without causing a significant impact on performance.
  • Security: Decentralization can enhance security because there's no single point of failure that can be targeted by hackers.


  • Complexity: Distributed networks can be complex to set up and manage due to the number of nodes involved and their geographical distribution.
  • Synchronization: Maintaining data consistency across all nodes can be challenging.
  • Performance: Depending on the network's design, latency may occur due to data traveling through multiple nodes.

Using distributed networks

  • Use a reliable network protocol to ensure proper synchronization and communication between nodes.
  • Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure secure connections between the nodes.