Server (computing)

A server is a computer that is designed to process requests and deliver data to other computers over a network or the internet. The most typical use of the word refers to the very large, high-powered machines that function as the pumps pushing and pulling data across the internet. 

Different types of servers

A medium to large sized general purpose network may employ several different servers for specific functions. These may include:

  • Web servers to show pages and run apps in web browsers.
  • Identity servers to process logins and security roles for authorized users.
  • Email servers to facilitate sending and receiving messages.
  • FTP servers, to support the moving of files through File Transfer Protocol tools.

There are hundreds of different specialized server types to support computer networks. Apart from the common corporate types, home users often interface with online game servers, chat servers and even streaming-audio services.