What is the difference between a host and a server

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What is the difference between host and server?

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It’s easy for non-tech savvy people to confuse terms and jargon, and the difference between host and server is often one of those terminology dilemmas that really gets the IT guru’s blood boiling.

Many of you reading this right now might be wondering, “So tell us… what’s the difference?” And that’s exactly what we’re here to do. After reading this, you will know the difference between host and server and understand why all those computer nerds, like us, recoil from the confusion.

just put,

A host is a device that connects to a computer, it can be a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

A server is a piece of hardware or even software that can provide service to other devices. It can also provide services to programs connected to the network.

In short, the function of a host is to share and consume the resources found in the network, while the function of a server is to provide services, they also share network resources. Hosts and servers require a network to operate effectively and efficiently.

Um, still confused? There is no problem! Here is a detailed explanation that discusses the differences between host and server:

What is a host?

Think of a host as a machine that can connect to a device on the network . As mentioned above, this could include your home computer, work laptop, or even your trusty iPhone. This interaction serves a purpose and with the expectations of 21st century life, we are constantly connected.

A network, in simple terms, is a collection of devices, all of which have their own Internet Protocol (IP) address and specific software that allows their devices to communicate and understand instructions.

Whenever a host is listed with a hostname, the Domain Name System (DNS) converts it to an IP address for seamless translation between devices and networks.

Understood? Excellent! So let’s dig a little deeper… not all devices qualify as hosts. Any form of device that does not have its own IP address cannot be classified as a host, this includes; Wi-Fi hubs, switches, routers or extenders.

What is a server?

Understanding what a server is can be tricky, so we’ll break it down into simple jargon, so everyone can stay on top of things!

First of all, a server can be both software and hardware. Its function is to provide a service to any device connected to the network. But, and this is a big but… not all connected devices are hosts.

Devices that use this type of services are called Clients and can also be both hardware and software. A server can serve multiple users at the same time from the same device or from completely different devices.

Let’s take a closer look at the types of servers on the market.

What are the different types of servers?

The first question you probably ask yourself is “why are there so many servers?” Well, that’s a good question until you start to understand the purpose of each type of server. Here are some examples of servers:

web servers

Programs designed for HTML pages or files and we all use this type of server on a daily basis! An easy to understand example is the web browser, be it Google, Yahoo, Bing and any other.

Database servers

These servers manage and store data used by other devices connected to the network. Here are some examples: Oracle, Informix and Microsoft SQL.

mail servers

Just like AOL, Gmai and Microsoft Outlook, a mail server has the purpose of sending and receiving electronic mail, also known as electronic mail, to a specific recipient. This communication is open to local users and remote senders.

file servers

A file server is a device that stores and manages data, such as a hard drive or USB flash drive. These devices communicate with other devices on the network by providing access to information stored on the file server. Google Drive can also be used as a file server.

Application servers

These types of servers provide application logic: they are programs on a network that communicate with other devices. Here are some examples: Enterprise JavaBean and Java 2 Platform.

In short, all servers manage and store data in one way or another, they also share information and command calculations. Each type of server is meant to fulfill a particular purpose to ensure flawless operation and connectivity.

Last step and we’re almost done! Here is a breakdown of the main differences between host and server.

host versus server

If you are still having trouble with a host or server for your business, contact 4Sight today, our IT experts will point you in the right direction. Hey, we could even set everything up in a jiffy, that’s what we do!


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