Client and server software usually runs on separate computers, but it is also possible for one computer to carry out both roles at the same time. In small businesses and homes, many computers function as the servers and clients on the network. This type of network is called a peer-to-peer network.

The simplest peer-to-peer network consists of two directly connected computers using a wired or wireless connection.

Multiple PCs can also be connected to create a larger peer-to-peer network but this requires a network device, such as a hub, to interconnect the computers.

The main disadvantage of a peer-to-peer environment is that the performance of a host can be slowed down if it is acting as both a client and a server at the same time.

In larger businesses, due to the potential for high amounts of network traffic, it is often necessary to have dedicated servers to support the number of service requests.