Local Area Networking

This article lists the most common types of computer network servers.

Part 3: Types of Network Servers

File and Print servers

Most common type of servers - applications run on the clients, but the data is stored centrally on the server, which also shares peripherals such as printers.

Application servers

Database servers, for example - not only provide access to central data, but also provide processing services to the client, i.e. processes queries and returns the results to the client. It is the server-side processing which sets application servers apart from ordinary file and print servers, which require the client to do all the processing.

Applications may be delivered within a Local Area Network, or through Internet cloud-Computing.

Communications servers

Provide remote access to a network - cellular and dial-up connections, etc.

Domain Controllers/Directory Servers

Domain Controllers and Directory servers support and maintain network structure and strong centralized security.

Fax servers

Often facilitated by third-party software.

Mail servers

Store-and-forward services accumulate ingoing messages until users access them.

See Internet Intro: EMAIL

Web servers

Examples: Apache Tomcat, Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Server), Oracle HTTP Server, and IBM HTTP Server.

FTP servers

See Internet Intro: FTP

TelNet servers

See Internet Intro: TelNet

List servers

See Internet Intro: BitNet

Proxy servers

On the Internet, a proxy server sits between a web browser client, and other servers. Proxy servers carry out various functions, including filtering (or censoring), anonymizing, and providing increased security.


Bruce Miller, 2003, 2014