What is a web server and what is it for?

What is a web server and what is it for?

Nataliya Oteir Read 4 minutes

You've probably heard the phrase "web server. What is a web server? How it differs from the usual server and what are its functions and tasks. Let's find out.

A web server is a program which acts as an intermediary between the computer user's requests and the data available on the Internet and, eventually, on the corresponding servers. In the same way, the server on which this software resides. In more complicated and technical terms, a web server is a program that allows you to process HTTP requests and produce correct HTTP responses.

In general, the web server - is what allows the World Wide Web, and users to find and perceive the necessary information in the form of various resources - sites, media-platforms, pages, libraries, videos, etc.

How does it happen?

The Internet contains a vast amount of data, which is displayed in one form or another when we make a request with our browser. When you type in the URL of the site or page, the request goes via the appropriate protocol (http and https) to the server where the requested data is located. The web server processes this request and gives you the correct product, in the form of a site, page, service, etc., for whatever you can find on the Web.

In simple words, the client (browser user) asks a question, the web server allows you to access the information you need and gives you the answer. The chain is this: the request browser - web server - request all the necessary data - output the request in an appropriate format for the browser. For example, the site "with all its guts" lies on the server, and is taken out of there in a "digestible form" by the web server to show it to the client, who entered the site address.

The web server has additional features that optimize browser performance and Internet navigation. Among them: creating secure connections, logging access to sites, user authorization, support for applications such as antivirus, etc. In other words, everything that makes it possible to take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of the Internet with any browser.

The same happens when updates are performed on a computer, smartphone, tablet, etc. Such appeals for new data (software updates) take place automatically by means of the web server functions.

What is the difference between a web server and a normal server?

The essence of the process is similar to the work of an ordinary server where certain data located on the server is accessed using a special program (such as in the case of 1C accounting). The difference between the web server is that the specialization of the program, so to speak, applies to the entire Internet, where it works as an intermediary and processor of requests and outputs. Therefore, web servers are distinguished by their relative versatility. Among the most popular web server companies are Apache and Microsoft. They work seamlessly with all operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS, etc.

To summarize: A web server is an intermediary program that processes user requests on the Internet using browsers and gives the correct answer in the form of a finished product.


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