Types of Servers in Computer Networks: 15 Different Types

A server is a piece of computer hardware or software that provides functionality for other programs and devices. It provides various functionalities, often called services such as sharing data or resources among multiple clients or performing computation for client. Single server can serve multiple clients, and a single client can use multiple servers.

There are many types of servers are available in the market which we will discuss in the article. Here are the most common types of servers.

What are the Different Types of Servers?

Database Servers

They’re used to store and distribute different databases via a network. A database is a structured data set with preset characteristics that you can present in a table.

Database servers’ customers include accounting applications, spreadsheets, and any other software application that needs access to well-structured data in large quantities. With this type of server, you can regularly back up your information from a specific location.

However, database servers are prone to security breaches, so implementing high-level security and protection measures is essential.

Email Servers

A mail server processes and distributes email messages through a network. It’s a service that accepts messages sent by email clients and forwards them to another server. In addition, it transmits emails to end-user devices such as personal computers found in homes and offices.

Email servers typically utilize the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Although modern mail servers support additional protocols, SMTP is still widely used. The most common configuration for email servers today is combining them with web servers. That permits clients to display data in a graphical format on a website.

Email servers are more popular with businesspeople because they support bulk email distribution. Furthermore, their unique security system filters outgoing and incoming spam.

Web Proxy Server

There are different protocols that a web proxy server can operate on, though they serve the same purpose. Their job is to accept customer requests, sort them, and take action on their behalf. The most common use for a web proxy server is to bypass web filters at work or school.

The filters permit users to access restricted websites by routing all web traffic through a single IP address and an open webpage. Web proxy servers are similar to organizational servers but don’t require authorization from the institution. It collects a user’s browser data, logs it for subsequent analysis, and sends it to the internet.

That aggregates all users’ information, rendering all computers indistinguishable. Consequently, a company can proactively protect its customers from being singled out, monitor the store, and evaluate all outgoing and incoming data traffic.

DNS Server

A DNS server’s primary function is converting domain names to their matching IP addresses. It also ensures that users don’t have to remember IP addresses and that businesses get relevant brand names. Most users’ DNS servers come from their respective internet service providers.

Nevertheless, several businesses offer this search at no cost. Individuals particularly mindful of safeguarding their online anonymity often turn to these secondary DNS providers. The grouping of DNS servers follows a hierarchy, with some being more reliable than others.

FTP Server

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server’s sole function is facilitating user-to-user file transfers.

After successful authentication via an FTP client, clients get permission to upload and receive files from the server. They can also access the server’s contents and obtain any file they like.

Fax Servers

These servers use a network to share single or multiple fax machines, eliminating the need for individual users to access a fax machine directly. Their customers are individuals who send or receive faxes regularly.

File Servers

File servers are more sophisticated and can map networked files onto drives. It enables a person to explore folders using their PC’s file browser. The main benefit of having a server is that it allows users to submit and download shared files.

The admin is responsible for controlling who accesses which files. File servers are commonly found in workplace networks and operate in Linux or Windows Active Directory settings.

DHCP Servers

The server utilizes the Dynamic Host Communication Protocol (DHCP) to set up a user’s PC network settings.

They automatically customize these network settings to LAN computers, saving IT admins the trouble of assigning manual IP addresses and other network settings for each user’s computer.

Print Server

A print server establishes a remote connection with nearby computers through which multiple users can print.

They allow companies to distribute one printer among numerous workgroups. Specific printer models contain built-in servers, just waiting to be connected to a network when you set them up in a workplace.

Proxy Server

The server relays customer requests for resources to servers that host such resources. When sending requests, it acts on the users’ behalf, masking their IP address from the resource server.

Proxy servers have many applications, including content filtering, error correction, authentication, recording, and monitoring.

Application Server

Application servers bridge the gap between database servers and the end user. They permit clients to get apps without downloading them on their devices. Because they can efficiently host large quantities of application data for multiple users simultaneously, they stand as the best option for commercial use.

Catalog Server

Catalog servers keep track of a list of contents for information dispersed throughout an extensive network. A vast area network may comprise server-hosted files, web-based applications, users, and computers.

Any computer application that needs to locate data on a network is a potential customer. Examples might include an email client searching for a contact or a user trying to find a file.

Web Server

A Web server’s primary function is hosting websites. They accept requests via the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which helps with website distribution. Web browsers start communication with servers by sending requests via HTTP. That results in the computer sending back the requested data. They take in and store user agent-sent data.

Generally, web servers do not have a graphical user interface. That keeps the server’s memory from depleting and guarantees sufficient energy to power the server apps and operating system.

The servers act as content delivery systems. Furthermore, they’re capable of running any program imaginable. As long as they follow the standard rules of the internet, they can function properly on different operating systems.

Communications Server

These servers create the necessary atmosphere for one communication endpoint to search for and establish contact with other endpoints.

Contingent on the network’s accessibility and security settings, these servers might or might not offer a location-tracking function and a directory of communication endpoints.

Computing Server

Computing servers pool vast processing power, including central processing units and random-access memories over a network.

Any application that necessitates more processing speed and memory than a typical home computer would benefit from such servers.

Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is used for hosting a single program or service, which companies may hire for usage via the internet or an internal intranet. An external service provider handles it is hosting and management. When you hire a dedicated server, no other client or company can have access to it.

Shared Server

A shared server stores your data and programs alongside other users or companies. Typically, you pay a set monthly fee in exchange for a certain bandwidth and storage space allocation. You’ll have to pay more for the extra allocation if you go above your limits.

VPS Server

A VPS (virtual server) mimics a dedicated physical server’s performance. It’s a separate space within a physical server expressly available to end users. Reallocating resources and adjusting to changing workloads becomes much easier with a virtual servers.


Here are some of the reasons why you need a “server.”

  • Recovery: It’s easy to lose files, as anyone who had used a PC before and forgot to press the save button can attest. Sadly, the loss of crucial data and the time spent attempting to restore it can devastate your company.

Servers operate even when you’re experiencing power and hardware failures. You can make replacements and repairs without disrupting service, unlike in a P2P network, which would result in time wastage.

  • Productivity: The need for a centralized data storage location becomes apparent as a company expands. The cloud services you initially relied on, like email or data storage, may quickly prove cumbersome and expensive.

A server can streamline your business’s IT operations by centrally administering software. So, If you’ve got more than a few computers, a server might assist you in saving time.

Ultimately, you’ll streamline your team performance and improve your business efficiency. To enhance your workers’ productivity, ensure your server cuts repetitive tasks and is always optimized.

  • Remote Work: Businesses need a secure place to keep all their data. Besides making things more manageable, it ensures that everyone on your team has instantaneous access to the required information. Furthermore, it’s possible to diagnose and fix server problems remotely. You only need a virtual private network (VPN) to access your work server remotely.

Alternatively, you can consider an SSH protocol for a secure option with strong authentication. With the Secure Shell, your company’s server integrity is guaranteed. If you use a third-party server, their staff will handle everything on your behalf.

  • Safety: Network security is particularly important if you have remote workers or deal with sensitive data. Having a server provides an extra security layer and firewall to your network. The likelihood of suffering a security breach becomes very low since you’ve put passwords and firewalls against hacking and data leaks.

Servers can link customers to various data functions in several ways. They store huge quantities of information on behalf of businesses, where users may access it via public or private networks. They perform user requests to retrieve the correct files from various sources. They also collaborate with OS to better understand customer requirements and act on human input.

IT personnel may enhance the server’s capabilities by incorporating software that brings extra responsibilities, such as handling website browser queries. Furthermore, servers may act as defenses by checking user credentials before granting network access.

The main components that make up a server include:

  • Motherboard: It joins all server’s components together. Its size dictates the storage capacity and how many hard drives a server’s connection will have.
  • Central Processing Unit (CPU): The CPU is the server’s brain and regulates everything. The faster the processor, the better.
  • Memory: A server’s memory limits how much data it can store. Its compatibility with the motherboard might affect a server’s functioning.
  • Hard drives: A computer’s hard drive keeps all its data, including programs and user files. For optimal functioning, it utilizes a controller card. A server storing large quantities of data might require more than one hard drive.
  • Network connection: A server won’t work if it’s not connected to a network. A server’s ability to accept and process user requests depends on the network’s strength.
  • Power supply: Servers that serve many users must have a more robust power source than a home PC. The minimum electricity requirement for a server is 300 watts.

Final Thoughts

  • Servers are a powerful and essential tool in today’s technology-driven world.
  • They have various purposes, such as hosting websites, providing data storage, and processing and delivering data.
  • They also come in different types, including email servers, web proxy servers, DNS servers, FTP servers, fax servers, file servers, DHCP servers, etc.
  • Regardless of the type, you must ensure that you have the right tools, services, and support to get the most out of your server.