What is a web server?
A web server is a hardware and software that employs HTTP and other protocols to respond to requests from consumers over the World Wide Web. A web server’s primary job is to display website information by keeping, processing, and sending pages to consumers.
A dynamic web server incorporates an application server and a database in addition to the standard features of a static web server. Our definition of “dynamic” is based on the fact that the application server refreshes the hosted files just before transferring them to your browser through HTTP.
Web servers may store copies of frequently requested files in a cache to speed delivery. The term “web acceleration” is used to describe this method.
Virtual hosting is hosting several websites on a single web server by sharing the server’s software and hardware resources. Web servers might also control the rate at which they reply to various csutmoers so that a single user doesn’t dominate resources that may be put to better use, fulfilling the needs of a bigger number of users.
While many people think of web servers as hosting websites accessible via the World Wide Web, they could also be utilized inside private networks, like an intranet, to enable communication between web clients and servers. Web servers may also be built inside gadgets like digital cameras so consumers can access the devices from any browser.
How does a web server work?
The architecture of the World Wide Web is client-server. In this setup, a client software requests a server program to access some resource or service.
A request is managed by the client’s computer utilizing a web browser hosted on a web server. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the protocol for trading data between a web server and a client browser. A web server’s main role is to handle data and provide requested web pages to users. As such, it uses
1. Physical Storage:
To ensure the security of your website’s data, it is preserved in a physical location on a web server. When a person sees your website or executes a search for it in a browser, the browser transmits a request to the server.
2. Web Browsers:
Browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer are accountable for locating servers where websites could be seen. The browser then reads the appeal and sends it to the server.
There are just 4 easy steps to follow:
Using the domain name to get the IP address
First, our browser looks for the domain name’s IP address points. The IP address may be retrieved in two ways:
- By looking in its cache.
- By asking for one or more Domain Name System (DNS) Servers.
The browser asks for the whole URL
The browser needs the whole URL now that it has the server’s IP address.
In response to a request, the web server
In response to a browser’s request, a web server sends the requested pages, or an error message occurs if those pages don’t exist or if an issue arises.
- Error 404 is the server’s default response when a requested resource (such as a website) does not exist.
- When our attempts to log in using the username and password we supplied were unsuccessful, we saw Error 401.
This page is being seen in the browser.
The browser then shows the sites or the error message, depending on what happened.
What are the web server types?
There is a wide variety of both free and commercial web servers to choose from. Here are a few examples of them:
1. Apache Web Server
The Apache Software Foundation is responsible for creating one of the most widely used web servers: the Apache web server. Because it is open-source software, Apache works with various computer systems. About sixty percent of servers are Apache-based.
Newer versions of Apache provide more options for handling requests than their predecessors.
2. Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS)
Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS) is a reliable and fast web server. It’s easy to manage because it integrates with the OS. Since Microsoft created it, we can depend on a solid customer support system that won’t be difficult to reach if we ever have trouble with the server.
It’s similar to the popular Apache HTTP Server in functionality, but because it’s not open-source, we can’t modify the code to fit our requirements better. It’s a breeze to set up on any PC running Windows.
3. Nginx Web Server
After Apache, Nginx is the next open-source web server on the horizon. The IMAP and POP3 proxy server is included. Nginx has several benefits, the most notable being superior performance, reliability, user-friendliness, and efficiency.
Web server security practices
There are a number of tried-and-true methods for keeping your web server safe from malicious attacks. Some guidelines to follow are as follows:
1. Establish a firewall:
Set up a firewall to regulate network traffic entering and leaving your system. Avoid leaving yourself vulnerable to attacks by allowing just the essential ports and protocols and reviewing and updating your firewall rules often.
2. Utilize robust, distinctive passwords:
Password-protect all user accounts on the server using unique, difficult-to-guess codes, including the administrators. Don’t settle for simple passwords that anybody might guess. Password managers may help you create and remember complicated passwords.
3. Frequently secure your data:
Data, configuration files, and databases on your web server should be backed up on a regular basis. Safely storing backups elsewhere and testing the restoration procedure on a regular basis can guarantee that your data is safe.
4. Execute routine security assessments:
Perform security audits on a regular basis to check for vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, or out-of-date software on your web server. Assess the server’s security by using vulnerability scanning tools and penetrating tests.