In general a servent
is a peer-to-peer network node
, which has the functionalities of both a server
and a client
. This is a portmanteau
derived from the terms server
. It is a play on the word "servant
", and should not be confused with serventism
, which the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines as "The practice of attending a married woman as a male companion or lover".
The setup is designed so that each node can upload, download, and usually also route network information, allowing for the creation and maintenance of ad-hoc networks.
The term originated from the Gnutella lexicon, with Gnutella being the first widespread decentralized peer-to-peer network.