An overlay network is a logical computer network that is built on top of a another network. In most cases, this means a private or special purpose network that is built on top of the internet using encryption and specialized network protocols.
Peer-to-peerAn approach to distributed processing that builds networks from peers for workload processing and data sharing. For example, a game might be run from the processors of players over a peer-to-peer network as opposed to centralized cloud infrastructure.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)A private network constructed on top of internet protocols. Typically used to secure privacy. For example, an individual who works from home might connect to a corporate VPN so that their work and communications are secured from view of the public internet using encryption.
Resilient Overlay Networks In some cases, overlay networks are created to improve network management functions. One such technique, known as Resilient Overlay Networks, detect disruptions in internet traffic and route around it.
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