Updated Oct 5, 2020 · 4 min read

What is a server?

A server is a computer that provides a service (such as providing data) to other computers and its users, known as the clients. It can serve data over the Internet on a local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN).

Types of servers

Servers are categorized based on their purpose. Examples of servers include:

  • Web servers are computers that server HTML pages or files that users (the clients) request. Users can make requests through a web browser.
  • Proxy servers are applications that act as intermediaries between the requesting device, such as other computers, and another server.
  • Database servers are computers that host on or more databases. Clients can query the databases to retrieve data from the database.
  • File servers are computers responsible for storing and managing data files so other computers can access the files.
  • Mail servers are applications that receive emails from users and forward outgoing emails to users.

Related Terms


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