What Is the Difference Between Server and Web Server?


Heather Bennett

What Is the Difference Between Server and Web Server?

When it comes to understanding the workings of the internet, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of terms like server and web server. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings and functions.


A server is a computer or a system that manages network resources. It responds to requests from clients and provides them with the requested data or services. In simpler terms, a server is like a central hub that stores and processes information, managing various tasks.

There are different types of servers, including file servers, database servers, email servers, gaming servers, etc. Each type serves a specific purpose and handles different types of requests.

Web Server:

A web server is a type of server specifically designed to handle requests related to websites. It focuses on delivering web content over the internet. When you enter a URL in your browser, it sends a request to the web server hosting that website.

Main Differences between Server and Web Server:

  • A server manages various types of network resources such as files, databases, emails, etc., while a web server specifically deals with website-related requests.
  • A web server primarily uses HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to communicate with clients’ browsers and deliver web content.
  • A server can handle multiple services simultaneously, while a web server predominantly focuses on serving web pages only.
  • Web servers are equipped with specific software like Apache HTTP Server, Nginx, Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS), etc., tailored for handling website-related tasks efficiently.

Overall, while a server is a broader term that encompasses various types of servers, a web server is a specialized server that specifically deals with website-related requests and content delivery.


Understanding the difference between a server and a web server is crucial to comprehend how data and services are processed and delivered over the internet. While both terms are related, they have specific roles and functions within the realm of computer networks.

So, the next time you hear someone use these terms interchangeably, you can confidently explain their differences!

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