Peer-assisted networking is not very different from peer-to-peer (P2P) networking. While in the peer-to-peer networking two people are exchanging data back and forth using P2P software like BitTorrent, the peer-assisted networking involves partial sharing of data from other peers using the same website. Adobe Flash Player enables peer-assisted networking by default. This means when you are watching videos on websites, some of the data is being downloaded straight from the web server of that website while some of the data is downloaded from the computers of other users who are watching or have watched that video from the same time.
In theory peer-assisted networking should improve the performance of any content that uses Adobe Flash Player. But in reality, things are much different as some of these peers may not have faster internet connections – resulting in slower video downloads. Furthermore, you are also sharing your downloaded data with other users which puts a strain on your internet bandwidth especially if you have a limited internet connection. And really, now when everyone has multi-Mbps internet connections, who needs peer-assisted networking?
For the sake of improving system security and minimizing internet bandwidth usage, you can disable Adobe Flash Player from using peer-assisted networking in the following manner:
- Press Win+X or right-click on the Start icon and select Control Panel from the list.
- In the Control Panel search box, type flash to find the Flash related settings. Click on Flash Player when it appears among other search results.
- In the Flash Player Settings Manager window, select the Playback tab.
- Under the Peer-assisted Networking section, select Block all sites from using peer-assisted networking from the two options.
From now on, when you access any web content through the Adobe Flash Player, it will not use peer-assisted networking making your web experience much more smoother without putting any unnecessary strain on the internet bandwidth.