What are Web Servers?
Web Servers are powerful computers that have extremely large hard drives, or an array of hard drives, that have been set up by a hosting company, usually in a facility called a datacenter. A web server's only purpose is to store websites until someone wants to visit them, and then to quickly respond to the visitor's browser with the site's contents.
A server should be able to respond to at least several dozen requests at a time, if not hundreds. If depends on many factors, including server hardware and how popular the sites are. But even the most expensive server hardware isn't going to be very useful without the software to actually get things done. The key software programs of a web server are also themselves called servers, or daemons.
Most servers used for web hosting have at least four kinds of software running at all times:
1) An HTTP or web server to provide the websites
2) An FTP server for uploading files
3) An email server or two
4) A database server for storing information essential to the operation of a website)
Why can't you just run your website from your computer at home? There are several very good reasons why...Most ISP's specifically disallow people from running any type of web-related server on their networks. Doing so can get your Internet account terminated. Your upload and download speed would be very slow compared to what is offered by hosting companies. Now factor in the cost of electricity and failed parts, and upkeep for running it 24/7, and it is no longer makes financially sense.
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