How Do I Know What Web Server Is Running?


Heather Bennett

Are you curious to know which web server is running on a particular website? Whether you are a web developer, a security enthusiast, or just a curious individual, this article will guide you through the process of finding out what web server is being used.

Why is it important to know the web server?

The type of web server a website uses can provide valuable information about its infrastructure. It can help identify the technologies being used, potential vulnerabilities, and even give insights into the website’s performance capabilities. By knowing the web server, you can tailor your approach for troubleshooting issues or optimizing your own website.

Methods to determine the web server

There are several methods you can employ to identify the web server being used. Let’s explore some of them:

1. Checking HTTP response headers

When your browser sends a request to a website, it receives an HTTP response in return. This response often contains headers that provide information about the server and its capabilities.

To view these headers:

  • Step 1: Open your browser and navigate to the website in question.
  • Step 2: Right-click anywhere on the page and select “Inspect” or “Inspect Element. “
  • Step 3: In the developer tools panel that opens, go to the “Network” tab.
  • Step 4: Reload the page by either pressing F5 or clicking on the refresh icon in your browser.
  • Step 5: Look for an entry that represents the main page request (usually indicated by its filename).
  • Step 6: Click on the entry to view its details.
  • Step 7: In the details panel, look for the “Response Headers” section. The server information is often found in the “Server” or “X-Powered-By” field.

2. Using online tools

If you prefer a more straightforward approach without diving into browser settings, there are numerous online tools available that can help you identify the web server.

These tools allow you to enter a website’s URL and retrieve information about its server:

  • Netcraft: Netcraft offers a simple web-based tool called “What’s That Site Running?” which provides detailed information about a website’s infrastructure, including the web server.
  • BuiltWith: BuiltWith is another popular online tool that not only identifies the web server but also provides comprehensive insights into other technologies used on a website.

3. Manual inspection of default files and error pages

Sometimes, websites unintentionally expose information about their web server by not properly configuring default files or error pages. By manually inspecting URLs such as “/index.html,” “/default.aspx,” or common error pages like “404.html” or “500.html,” you might come across specific texts or banners that reveal the underlying web server technology.

Cautions and Limitations

While these methods can be useful in most cases, it’s important to note that some websites intentionally hide their web server information for security reasons. In such cases, finding out the exact web server becomes much more challenging and may require advanced techniques beyond the scope of this article.

In addition, keep in mind that some websites may employ load balancers or reverse proxies, which can obscure the web server’s identity. In these situations, the server information you obtain may refer to the load balancer or proxy instead.

Lastly, remember that identifying the web server is just a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding a website’s infrastructure. To gain a more complete picture, further investigation may be necessary.


Determining the web server being used by a website can provide valuable insights for developers, security researchers, and anyone interested in understanding technology behind websites. Whether you choose to check HTTP response headers, use online tools, or manually inspect default files and error pages, these methods will help you uncover the web server powering a particular website.

Remember to respect website owners’ privacy and use this information responsibly. Happy exploring!

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