What Web Server Does ASP.NET Use?


Angela Bailey

When it comes to building dynamic and interactive websites using ASP.NET, one of the key components that plays a vital role in delivering web pages to clients is the web server. The web server is responsible for processing incoming requests, running the necessary code, and returning the generated HTML markup to the client’s browser.

But what web server does ASP.NET use? Let’s dive into this topic and explore the different options available.

Internet Information Services (IIS)

The most commonly used web server for hosting ASP.NET applications is Internet Information Services or IIS. Developed by Microsoft, IIS is a powerful and versatile web server that provides a robust platform for hosting ASP.NET websites. It comes bundled with Windows operating systems, making it easily accessible for developers.

IIS offers various features that make it an excellent choice for hosting ASP.NET applications. It supports multiple .NET frameworks, including ASP.NET Core, ASP.NET MVC, and ASP.NET Web Forms. It also provides excellent integration with other Microsoft technologies such as SQL Server and Active Directory.

In addition to its rich feature set, IIS offers excellent performance and scalability. It can handle a large number of concurrent requests efficiently, making it suitable for high-traffic websites. Its configuration options allow developers to fine-tune various settings to optimize performance according to their application’s requirements.

Apache HTTP Server

Although IIS is the most popular choice for hosting ASP.NET applications on Windows servers, Apache HTTP Server can also be used as an alternative option. Apache is an open-source web server software widely used across different platforms.

To run ASP.NET applications on Apache, you need to use Mono, an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s .NET framework. Mono enables developers to run ASP.NET applications on non-Windows platforms, including Linux and macOS.

Using Apache with Mono requires additional configuration and setup compared to using IIS, but it provides flexibility for developers who prefer working with Linux or macOS environments. However, it’s worth noting that the performance of ASP.NET applications on Mono may not be as efficient as running them natively on Windows with IIS.


Nginx is another popular web server that can be used to host ASP. Originally designed as a lightweight web server for delivering static content, Nginx has evolved into a powerful reverse proxy server capable of handling dynamic content as well.NET applications on Nginx, you can use FastCGI to communicate between the web server and the ASP.NET runtime. FastCGI is a protocol that allows external applications to interface with web servers efficiently.

Nginx is known for its high performance and scalability, making it suitable for hosting high-traffic websites. It efficiently handles concurrent connections and provides advanced features like load balancing and caching.

In Summary

  • IIS: The most commonly used web server for hosting ASP.NET applications on Windows servers. Offers excellent integration with Microsoft technologies and provides high performance and scalability.
  • Apache HTTP Server: An open-source alternative for hosting ASP.NET applications using Mono.

    Works across different platforms but may have slightly lower performance compared to IIS.

  • Nginx: A lightweight yet powerful web server that can host ASP.NET applications using FastCGI. Known for its high performance and scalability.

Choosing the right web server for your ASP.NET application depends on various factors such as your hosting environment, platform preferences, and performance requirements. Consider the features and capabilities of each web server to make an informed decision that suits your needs best.

Remember to test and optimize your ASP.NET application for the chosen web server to ensure optimal performance and deliver a great user experience.

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