What is Client Server Network

The best example of a client server model is web browsers and web servers.

To understand how client server networks operate, you need to have a clear idea of what the key terms stand for.


  • A client is a machine, typically a personal computer ( or mobile, desktop or laptop) that is equipped with network software applications. These applications are designed to request and receive data over the span of the network. In the case of the internet which is kind of like an obscenely big network, the possibilities of sending and receiving data are endless.
  • A server is like an enormous warehouse, one that has more memory, bigger disk drives and more super powered central processors, as compared to client machines. A server is a storehouse of files, folders, databases and even more complicated applications. A server is more powerful than a client and can support and process the requests of a large number of clients, at time by networking together many servers the servers can support and enormous amount of clients without being overwhelmed by the load. A server does not necessarily require a display and is usually a separate machine from the client. However this is not a rule.

The process goes like this; the client sends the server a request for data, the server will process the request and produce the closest results to a request and send them back to the client. The machines acting as server and client are usually separate, but this is not a rule. Often a machine which is acting as a server for another machine, can be a client for other servers. (some popular client server based applications include email, ftp and web services). Many home networks are unintentionally client server models ( the broadband routers used contain DHCP servers that provide IP addresses to the home computers, other network servers include print and backup servers).

The client server approach to networking is beneficial for many reasons, firstly connections do not have to be fixed and can be made per requirement, secondly many users can gain access to database applications, thirdly creating software is much easier because it supports the modular approach to software building. In addition as opposed to peer-to-peer which is easy to expand, client server networks are more adept with regards to data security.

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