The removal of some peer-to-peer (P2P) network services in Microsoft Windows 11, as highlighted in the Insider Preview Build 25951 version, appears to be part of Microsoft’s efforts to prioritize privacy and security in its operating system.
P2P networking, while useful for certain tasks, can pose potential privacy and security risks due to direct communication between devices on the same network.
What is P2P networking?
Peer-to-peer (P2P) networking allows devices on the same network to share files and resources directly without relying on a central server.
When Windows 11 updates itself, it can download parts of the update from other computers on the internet or within your local network. This feature can potentially speed up the update process. However, it may also create certain privacy and security risks. To minimize the exposure to such risks associated with P2P networking in Windows Update, users can disable the “Allow downloads from other PCs” setting.
In older Windows versions, seeing other computers on your network was easy. Windows 11 has made it a bit complicated to do that. Users need to create a workaround by creating a “My Network” folder and adding shortcuts to their computers for network access.
These changes imply that Windows 11 will be more secure and private. However, sharing files and resources with other devices on the network may also be more difficult.