Security Encyclopedia


A server is an appliance or software program that provides a service to other computers in a network. Servers’ main functions are retrieving, sending, and storing data and files. 

Servers manage access by communicating to client software that runs on devices requiring access. Servers are often dedicated to providing just one kind of access with only the required tasks necessary to do so. There are mail servers, application servers, collaboration servers, list servers, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers, proxy servers, and more. 

Servers may look like computers or other unexotic appliances. They may communicate using the same protocols as their networked computers do, but servers can be far more powerful and be connected to a high speed network to manage many requests. A personal computer differs from a server in that, as a workstation, a PC would be able to run higher-end programs that the user demands. A PC would also contain the displays, video cards, and other bells and whistles to make the experience “personal”.


“Our corporate network’s mail server is getting an upgrade and during this work, email will be offline since there will be no appliance to handle the requests.”