The Evolution of Network Topologies

This week I decided to change things up a bit. I decided to do more of a ‘case study’ regarding network topologies to further explain and show how they’ve evolved, and what each are capable of.

The evolution of network topologies is what makes the internet so great. The fact that it evolved from a controlled ‘star-shaped’ topology to a more ‘distributed network’, means that so much more is possible. A great example to show the extent and possibilities is to examine file-sharing websites. If we examine MegaUpload as a star-shaped network, and The PirateBay as a distributed network, we can already agree on a winning website.

With a star-shaped topology, MegaUpload controlled the content, which means to exchange files, you would need to bypass MegaUpload’s servers. This would ultimately be their downfall in 2012, when their servers and equipment were seized, resulting in the closure of the website.

Meanwhile, over at The PirateBay, because they work on a distributed network, their website could essentially run forever. The fundamental difference between them, being that because of their different network topologies, no files need to bypass The Pirate Bay’s servers, it acts instead similar to a search engine. This is how the website managed to withstand so many legal threats, and is still online today.

If you enjoy listening to crazy people ramble on about stuff they actually like, then here are some more thoughts on the topic:


 

References:

Bruns Axel, AB 2007, ‘Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation’, Proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGCHI conference on Creativity & cognition

Ernesto, 2014, Pirate Bay Hits Historic 10 Million Torrent Milestone, TorrentFreak, Weblog, April 21st, Viewed 25th April 2014, <http://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-hits-historic-10-million-torrent-milestone-140421/ >

No Author 2014, thepiratebay.se, Alexa, Viewed 3rd April 2014 <http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/thepiratebay.se >

Moore Christopher 2014, ‘Audiences: Power, Access, and Participation’, Lecture Week 5 BCM112, UOW, 1/04/2014

Mott Nathaniel 2013, ‘Is the Pirate Bay a bastion of internet freedom or just an illegal downloads site?’, Pando Daily, Viewed 3rd April 2014, <http://pando.com/2013/08/12/is-the-pirate-bay-a-bastion-of-internet-freedom-or-just-an-illegal-downloads-site/ >

No Author, 2005, Legal Threats Against The Pirate Bay, The Pirate Bay, Viewed 24th March 2014 <http://thepiratebay.se/legal>

Ann Harrison, 2006, The Pirate Bay: Here To Stay?, Wired, Viewed 24th March 2014 <http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/03/70358>

Klose 2013, TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard, online Video, 8 February, The Pirate Bay, Viewed 25th March 2014, <http://watch.tpbafk.tv/>

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