What Is .NET Web Server?


Larry Thompson

What Is .NET Web Server?

A web server is a crucial component in the world of web development. It is responsible for handling requests from clients and serving them with the requested content. When it comes to developing web applications using .NET, the .NET Web Server plays a vital role.

Overview of .NET Web Server

The .NET Web Server, also known as Kestrel, is a cross-platform web server that is designed to be fast, lightweight, and scalable. It is built on top of the ASP.NET Core framework and provides a robust foundation for hosting .NET web applications.

Kestrel is an open-source web server that supports HTTP/1.x and HTTP/2 protocols. It can be used as a standalone server or behind other popular web servers like Internet Information Services (IIS) or Apache using reverse proxy.

Key Features of .NET Web Server

  • Performance: Kestrel is optimized for high-performance scenarios. It utilizes asynchronous programming techniques to handle multiple requests efficiently without blocking threads.
  • Cross-platform: The .NET Web Server runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms, making it an excellent choice for developers working on different operating systems.
  • Scalability: With its ability to handle thousands of concurrent connections, Kestrel ensures that your application can scale effectively as traffic increases.
  • Security: The server supports HTTPS out of the box and provides various security features like certificate validation and encryption to protect your application’s communication.

Using .NET Web Server in Your Application

To use the .NET Web Server in your application, you need to configure it as part of your ASP.NET Core project. The server is included by default in new ASP.NET Core projects and can be customized according to your requirements.

The configuration can be done using the ConfigureWebHostDefaults method in the Program.cs file. Here’s an example:

public static void Main(string[] args)

public static IHostBuilder CreateHostBuilder(string[] args) =>
        .ConfigureWebHostDefaults(webBuilder =>

In this example, the webBuilder.UseKestrel() method is used to enable Kestrel as the web server for the application.


The .NET Web Server (Kestrel) is a powerful and versatile web server that forms an integral part of building . Its cross-platform support, performance optimizations, scalability, and security features make it an excellent choice for hosting your applications.

By utilizing the appropriate configuration options and taking advantage of its capabilities, you can ensure that your .NET web application runs smoothly and efficiently on Kestrel.

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