One embodiment of the present method and apparatus for efficiently expanding a P2P network includes receiving a search request message from a requesting node and sending a response message to the requesting node on behalf of a node that has the requested data, where the response message originates at an intermediate node. The intermediate node may respond on behalf of the 'responding' node, for example, in cases where the responding node is too far away from the requesting node to receive the search request message.
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