Server vs Host: Difference and Comparison

A computer network is a group of computing devices that are linked together in order to communicate and share resources. In computer networking, the phrases host and server are interchangeable.

A host is a network device that connects to the internet. It is also known as a node. It could be a gadget like a desktop computer or a laptop.

A server, on the other hand, delivers numerous services to the network’s other devices. A file server, for example, stores and manages files on a network. 

Key Takeaways

  1. A server provides services to clients, while a host is any device, such as a computer or server, connected to a network and can send or receive data.
  2. Servers can be dedicated or shared, while hosts can be categorized as client or server hosts.
  3. Servers and hosts are essential to network components, with servers fulfilling specific roles and hosts enabling data exchange.

Server vs Host 

A “server” is a system that manages network resources and responds to requests. A “host” is any device that communicates with other devices on a network, which can be a server, workstation, or any other type of device.

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A server is a device that hosts one or more databases and manages client-data access over a network connection. Servers are rack-mounted equipment used in major corporations and data centers for a specific service purpose.

Servers can be programmed to manage one or more internet operations based on the complexity of an organization’s architecture, customer frequency, accessibility requirements, disc consumption, and so on. 

A host can be any machine that connects to or interacts with other network devices. Just think about that for a second, and you’ll see what I mean.

A network is made up of any number of devices, each having its own IP address (Internet Protocol). Not only that, but each one will have its own software that will allow it to function within the network. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Server Host 
Definition Hardware or software that provides services to other devices. A device that connects to a network. 
Functionality Shares resources and provides services Shares and consumes resources 
Connection Method LAN or internet connections Internet connection 
Types Web servers, mail servers, file servers, database servers, etc. Web hosting, free hosting, dedicated hosting, virtual hosting, etc. 
Invention 1989 1995 

What is Server? 

A server or a consumer could be using the same or different device. As a result, multiple servers can be housed on a single system.

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The client requests a resource, and the server fulfills the request. As a result, it adheres to the request-response model. 

Companies are now using servers to provide their customers with consistent experiences. Clients are the devices that connect to a server.

Servers are used to share resources and perform computational activities for client devices that are linked to them. Clients are ordinary devices such as cell phones and computers.

Servers can connect to a large number of clients. 

The Web program on your computer is a client that requests HTML pages from Web servers. A few servers are devoted to a specific task and are frequently referred to as committed.

As a result, there are numerous specialized server classifications, such as print servers, document servers, organized servers, and database servers. 

They are frequently administered through a network, and many of them operate autonomously, with no input device, sound equipment, or USB connections. Many servers lack a graphical user interface (GUI). They are remotely configured and monitored. 

“Server-class hardware” refers to any computer that is optimized for operating servers. This means that it is more powerful and dependable than normal personal computers, yet large computing clusters can nevertheless be built up of a plethora of extremely simple, interchangeable server components. 


What is Host? 

A host, sometimes referred to as a network host, is any device that is linked to a computer network. It is given a unique IP address and can serve as a source of services, information, and applications for other users’ workstations, which are referred to as remote terminals. 

When talking with other devices, the IP address is used to identify each device. Keep in mind that the various hosts may have ‘hostnames’ rather than IP numbers.

The DNS (Domain Name System) translates the hostname to an IP address that the devices can read in this scenario. 

A web host is a service that allows individuals or organizations to put a web page or website on the internet, according to the internet host definition. A web host service provider is a company that offers the services and technologies required to make a web page or website available on the Internet. 

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Websites are saved or hosted on servers, which are specialized computers. If an Internet user wants to see your website, they must enter your URL into their browser, and their computer will connect to your server and send your website to them via the browser.

To be able to host with many hosting firms, you must have your own domain name. 

A computer that connects to the Internet via an Internet service provider is sometimes known as a host, especially when the PPP is used to establish the network connection. As quickly as the network connection has been established, the machine is assigned an IP address.

Consequently, the home computer serves as the connection’s host. 

Main Differences Between Server and Host 

  1. A server is a software or a hardware device that services other devices in the network itself. On the other hand, a host is a computer or device that connects to a network. 
  2. A server tends to share different resources while providing services. A host tends to share and consume several different resources. 
  3. A server can connect to devices through a Local Area Network or internet connection, whereas a host can connect over internet connections. 
  4. Different types of servers are database servers, file servers, mail servers, etc. Different types of hosts are web hosting, free hosting, virtual hosting, shared hosting, etc. 
  5. A server was first invented in 1989, and a host was invented in 1995. 
Difference Between Server and Host



Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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