Point-to-point (telecommunications)

In telecommunications, a point-to-point connection refers to a communications connection between two communication endpoints or nodes. An example is a telephone call, in which one telephone is connected with one other, and what is said by one caller can only be heard by the other. This is contrasted with a point-to-multipoint or broadcast connection, in which many nodes can receive information transmitted by one node. Other examples of point-to-point communications links are leased lines and microwave radio relay.

The term is also used in computer networking and computer architecture to refer to a wire or other connection that links only two computers or circuits, as opposed to other network topologies such as buses or crossbar switches which can connect many communications devices.

Point-to-point is sometimes abbreviated as P2P. This usage of P2P is distinct from P2P meaning peer-to-peer in the context of file sharing networks or other data-sharing protocols between peers.

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