A server is a computer that captures data from one machine and delivers it to another machine on the same network or over the Internet. Even though any computer that is running a special software can be used as a server, they are often high-powered, large machines that can manage multiple computers.
While some servers are committed, or dedicated, to a particular task, others handle various. For example, a dedicated email server would just store, send, and manage the emails sent on that network. On a small scale, servers may be used to maintain file storage, communication, and website and communication services.
The most common servers are:
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Servers – Used to move files between computers to devices.
- Proxy Servers – When your computer or smartphone access a proxy server, it will update its IP geographical location and let you access any limited data.
- Gaming Servers – Used by gamers who are attempting to gain access to a game server.
- Web Servers – Host web data and files that are used on the Internet.
Servers are often considered the unsung heroes of the Internet. It is because of servers that communication data can be passed from one computer to the next. And since we rely so heavily on servers, an outage can be catastrophic.
While businesses commonly use servers, they are becoming more popular for personal use. On a personal scale, home servers are ideal for storing large amounts of personal data including streaming media such as movies and music.
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