By Sean Toru | last updated 28th December 2020



What is a Server?

A server is a computer that exists on a network of some kind and ‘serves’ content. So in your office you might have a local ‘file server’ that only you and your colleagues see and which you use to share and backup your work files.

The most common and interesting types of servers however are connected to the internet. A web server serves up web pages via the internet. A web server might then itself connect to other servers near it, like a database server which would store and send website data.

The modern internet - aka the cloud - is based on vast arrays of servers set up all around the world, and available for developers to hire via platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure. These platforms offer a wide range of functionality from machine learning, to video game streaming to satellite control (really!) - but at their hearts they offer web servers that are cost effective, scalable and secure - and it’s on top of this that apps like Uber and Netflix are built.

Related Terms

Do you want to contribute to this page?