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Matthew MisterSep 25, 2019 3:01:03 PM1 min read

What is the purpose of a computer server?

A server is a computer connected to a network of other workstations called 'clients'. Client computers request information from the server over the network.

Servers tend to have more storage, memory and processing power than a normal workstation. 

How a server functions depends on the type of network it is on. Let's dive into a few different types of networks and how servers interact with them.


In a peer-to-peer network, each workstation plays the role of client and server. The server is the computer that is providing information or services to the other computer. The networks rely on each other to provide and share information and services. These are typically only used in small offices or homes.

Client / Server

In a client/server network there is one server that is only dedicated to provide services to the other client workstations. You can have multiple servers in these networks but they can not function as workstations. Client/server networks are the most commonly used.

Specialized Servers

There are a few common types of specialized servers. These include DNS, Web or Mail servers. These can hold databases of internet domains, supply access to websites or to email accounts.