Client vs Server | Difference between Client and Server

This page compares client vs Server and mentions difference between client and server. It mentions client server architecture model basics.

Role of Client and Server

Client: The computing device which requests for service is known as client. Computing devices include desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet etc. Clients are also programs which access and exchange information with servers.
Server: The computing device which offers or provides service is known as server. Usually servers can be big computers. Desktop personal computer can also be used as server.
The figure-1 below mentions internet based client server architecture model.

Client Server Architecture

• Examples of applications which uses client server architecture include www, email, network printing etc.
• There are different types servers such as web server, file server etc. Web server serves web pages to the requesting client. File server serves or delivers files to the client.
• Different protocols are used between client and server viz. web server uses HTTP/HTTPs while file server uses FTP/TFTP protocols.

There other servers such as DHCP server and DNS server in internet architecture. DHCP protocol is used by clients to obtain IP address dynamically. DNS protocol is used by clients when they enter domain name of a website in the internet browser such as google chrome, mozilla, firefox etc. in order to visit or browse. DNS converts domain name to suitable IP address.

Client Server Architecture model

Client Server versus peer-to-peer architecture

The figure-2 depicts client server architecture model in two different modes or types. There are different types of architectures based on client server model viz. distributed, peer to peer etc.

• In distributed architecture, one or more dedicated machines are used only as server while all the other machines are used as clients. In this scenario, clients can communicate via server.
• In this mode, client initiates communications.
• Client issues request to a server.
• Server replies or performs some service.

• In peer to peer architecture, Each of the host or instance of application program can function as both client and server simultaneously. Both of them has equivalent responsibilities and status.
• In this mode, any participant can initiate communication.
• Any device can generate a request.
• Any device may provide a response.

Networking related links

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network bridge
Hub and Types of Hub
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