Difference Between DoS and DDoS

Technological advancements over the past decades have made the internet a common word today. Big bulky computers are not a requisite for accessing the internet in the present times. What one needs is just a quirky smartphone and a stable data subscription.

Our computer uses the Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)  to connect to the internet. However, certain flaws of this protocol make it an easy attraction for infiltrators from the dark web.

DoS vs DDoS

The main difference between DoS and DDoS is that a single computer attacks a website in the case of DoS. On the other hand, the attack is coordinated by many computers in the case of DDoS.

DoS vs DDoS

DoS and DDoS are malicious attacks on a website by unethical hackers. Although considered the same, they have significant differences.

DoS is a cyber attack that impedes the connection to a website by the use of an infected software. This software blocks the incoming traffic to the site and makes it unavailable.

DDoS is a very dangerous cyber attack in which a hacker mobilizes several computers to impede the connection to a website. The website subsequently crashes under such unprecedented connection load.


Comparison Table Between DoS and DDoS (in Tabular Form)

Parameter Of ComparisonDoSDDoS
DefinitionDoS stands for Denial of Service attack. It is used to crash a website by transferring a load of access requests from a computer.DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service attack. It is also used to crash a website and make it unavailable to the users.
Facilitated ByDoS attack is facilitated by using a single system.DDoS attack is facilitated by using a multiple systems.
SeverityDoS attack is considered less severe.DDoS attack is a very severe attack.
Speed of AttackThe speed of a DoS attack is slow.The DDoS attack has a quick speed.
DetectionA DoS attack can be easily detected by identifying the IP address of the attacking computer.A DDoS attack is difficult to detect as many computers attack the site at the same time.


What is DoS?

DoS stands for Denial of Service. It is a cyber attack hosted by a single computer. The primary intentions of this attack are either crashing a site or flooding it. A DoS attack renders the server/host unavailable due to which other users cannot access the site.

One of the earliest major DoS attacks was on an Internet Service Provider ( ISP ) Panix on September 6, 1996.

The hackers use many techniques for a DoS attack. These are :

  1. Initiation of a packet influx on the site’s IP address
  2. Depletion of the server connection bandwidth
  3. Hacking of shared hardware resources

A server or computer system will show the following symptoms in case of a DoS attack :

  1. A slow network connection rate
  2. Unavailability of the website
  3. Error messages showing Denial of Access

However, a DoS attack can be prevented by employing the following measures :

  1. Blocking the accessibility permissions of illegitimate IP addresses
  2. Changing the configuration of system servers

What is DDoS?

DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. It is a cyber attack hosted by multiple computers. It is a type of DoS attack. The primary intentions of this attack are making a site inoperable or extorting money. In this attack, the hacker uses multiple zombie computers. These computers are called botnets, and they lead to a packet influx on the site’s IP address.

One of the earliest DDoS attacks took place in August 1999. The victim was the University of Minnesota network.

The hackers use many illicit techniques for a DDoS attack. These are :

  1. Application attacks
  2. Server protocol attacks
  3. Traffic-volume based attacks

A server or computer system will show the following symptoms in case of a DDoS attack :

  1. A flood of spam emails
  2. Frequent internet disconnections
  3. Locking of the system

The following measures can prevent a potential DDoS attack :

  1. Scrutinizing unusual traffic surge
  2. Configuration of connection settings to deny access to half-open networks

Main Differences Between DoS and DDoS

Malware and phishing attacks on websites have become frequent nowadays. DoS and DDoS are two such attacks.

DDoS is a type of DoS attack. However, they are very different in attack techniques and severity. The main differences between the two are :

  1. A DoS attack is initiated by a single computer, whereas a DDoS attack is initiated by multiple computers.
  2. In a DoS attack, packet influx occurs from a single IP address. On the other hand, in a DDoS attack, packet influx occurs from multiple IP addresses.
  3. A DoS attack is less harmful, whereas a DDoS attack is very harmful for a system.
  4. A DoS attack is characterized by slow speed, whereas a DDoS attack is characterized by a high speed.
  5. A DoS attack is easy to detect and prevent. On the other hand, a DDoS attack is hard to detect and prevent.



Cyber attacks were initially a source of fun for inquisitive hackers. Many of them used these attacks to showcase their networking and programming skills.

As more people and organizations started foraging this knowledge, they started using it for fulfilling their malicious intentions. They started targeting bank and defense organizations using DoS and DDoS attacks.

The USA and China encounter the highest amount of DoS attacks around the world. Many of these are suspected to be administered by terror groups and organizations.

Many DoS and DDoS attacks nowadays have become a popular alternative for protest and are harmless. However, there have been several cases of serious breach of data from important organizations.

Website owners need to be extra cautious about their data. Many times DoS attacks are initiated by their competitors for vengeance. However, many new anti-malware applications are available in the market. They should be employed at the right time so that one doesn’t cry over breached data later.


  1. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1208.0952
  2. https://computerresearch.org/index.php/computer/article/view/1081
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