Since its introduction, the Internet has always been the backbone of most technologies. While there are uncountable ways of using the internet, web servers are one of the most common and productive techniques. Although many web servers are available for various operating systems (OS), IIS and Apache are two web servers worth comparing.
- IIS is a Microsoft web server, while Apache is an open-source web server.
- Apache supports a wider variety of platforms and operating systems than IIS.
- IIS offers seamless integration with other Microsoft products, whereas Apache provides more extensive customization options.
IIS vs Apache
IIS (Internet Information Services) is a web server from Microsoft that runs on Windows, known for its integration with other Microsoft technologies. Apache is a widely used open-source web server software that’s compatible with various operating systems and known for its flexibility and power.
IIS stands for Internet Information Services. IIS is a web server developed by Microsoft specifically for its own Windows operating system. IIS was initially released in 1995 for Windows NT. As of 2021, there are 14 versions of IIS.
Apache is technically known as Apache HTTP Server. Apache is a web server developed by Apache Software Foundation. The maximum instances of Apache run on the Linux operating system, but it is also available for other operating systems. As of 2021, there are 4 versions of Apache.
|Parameters of Comparison||IIS||Apache|
|Developer||Microsoft||Apache Software Foundation|
|Compatibility||Compatible with Windows OS only.||Compatible with almost every OS.|
|Operations||It is easy to learn and use.||Its ease of operations depends on the OS.|
|Security||Prone to security risks.||No security risks.|
|User Support||It offers corporate Support.||It offers community support.|
What is IIS?
IIS stands for Internet Information Services. IIS is a web server developed by Microsoft specifically for its own Windows operating system. IIS was initially released in 1995 for Windows NT. As of 2021, there are 14 versions of IIS. However, the stable version of IIS was released in 2018.
Since IIS web servers are compatible with only Windows OS, they are evidently more optimized than other web servers. This is because, with every upgrade to Windows through software updates, Microsoft also upgrades IIS to newer versions. IIS’s simple learning and ease to use is an advantages for non-technical users. IIS can work through varying languages and protocols.
One area where IIS is disadvantageous is the lack of security measures to protect web servers. IIS servers frequently get infected with malware and viruses, thus infecting the whole website. This vulnerability in IIS can sometimes allow hackers to execute an exploit and take control of the whole server.
Microsoft shines when it comes to providing customer support for IIS users. Microsoft offers corporate support, meaning it has a whole staff dedicated to user support services. As of now, IIS is the second most popular web server after Apache.
What is Apache
Apache is technically known as Apache HTTP Server. Apache is a web server developed by Apache Software Foundation. It was initially released in 1995. The company’s community of developers maintains the web server. As of 2021, there are 4 major versions of Apache. However, the stable release of Apache was released in 2021.
Apache is known for its versatile compatibility. Although maximum instances of Apache webserver run on Linux operating system, it is also available for almost all other operating systems, including Windows, Mac OX, and OpenVMS, etc. Apache has played a key role in the rising growth of web servers. Apache became the first to cross a whopping 100 million websites on its server.
Since Apache is an open-source server, the codes can be modified, and new protocols can be created. If any of the codes is modified incorrectly, it may cause some serious security vulnerabilities. Additionally, if there are errors in new protocols, a debugger is also needed to remove such errors. Hence, Apache should be used with deep knowledge.
Unlike IIS, Apache doesn’t have a dedicated staff for customer support services. Instead, it relies on community-based user support, including developers from the parent company. Although it is not subpar with IIS, the user support is well acceptable.
Main Differences Between IIS and Apache
- IIS has a higher latency than Apache in almost all conditions, which means that Apache is faster than IIS.
- IIS is compatible with Windows operating system only, whereas Apache is compatible with almost all operating systems,
- IIS is much easier to learn and use as most people use Microsoft’s Windows operating system, whereas Apache’s approach varies with every operating system.
- IIS has security risks, as IIS servers easily get infected with malware and viruses. On the other hand, Apache is secure.
- IIS offers corporate support, whereas Apache offers support from the community itself.
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Sandeep Bhandari holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computers from Thapar University (2006). He has 20 years of experience in the technology field. He has a keen interest in various technical fields, including database systems, computer networks, and programming. You can read more about him on his bio page.