What Is Difference Between Server and Web Server?


Heather Bennett

A server is a computer or a system that is responsible for providing services or resources to other computers or systems on a network. It manages and controls access to these resources and ensures smooth communication between various devices. On the other hand, a web server is a specific type of server that delivers web content to clients over the internet.

Differences between Server and Web Server:

1. Functionality:

A server can provide various types of services such as file sharing, printer sharing, database management, email services, etc.

It handles requests from multiple clients and manages resources accordingly. On the contrary, a web server’s primary function is to host websites and serve them to users who request them through their web browsers.

2. Protocol:

A server can work with different protocols like TCP/IP, FTP, SSH, etc., depending on the type of service it provides. A web server primarily uses the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) protocol to transmit web pages and related content.

3. Content Delivery:

A server can deliver a wide range of content including files, documents, media files, databases, etc., depending on its configuration and purpose. In contrast, a web server focuses specifically on delivering HTML pages, CSS stylesheets, JavaScript files, images, videos, and other related resources that make up websites.

4. Accessibility:

A server can be accessible within a local network (intranet) or over the internet (publicly accessible), depending on its configuration and security settings. A web server is typically accessible over the internet so that anyone with an internet connection can access the hosted websites using their browsers.

5. Port Usage:

Servers can use different ports for different services.

For example, an FTP server uses port 21 for file transfer, while an email server uses port 25 for SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). A web server primarily uses port 80 for HTTP communication or port 443 for HTTPS (HTTP Secure) communication.

6. Configuration and Management:

Server configuration and management involve setting up user accounts, access permissions, security settings, resource allocation, and various other parameters depending on the specific requirements. Web servers require additional configuration to host websites, such as domain names, virtual hosts, SSL certificates, etc.


In summary, a server is a broad term that encompasses various types of systems providing services over a network. On the other hand, a web server is a specific type of server that specializes in hosting and delivering web content to users over the internet. Understanding the differences between these two terms can help in better comprehending the functioning and purpose of each.

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