Difference Between Client and Server

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 08, 2022


Difference Between Client and Server Difference Between Client and Server

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


Clients, just simplified operating systems, are responsible for making requests to the server for web pages, files, or data sets, which are then handled effectively. To a large extent, the responsibilities of a client operating system are restricted to the formulation of service requests. The complicated server operating system is responsible for managing and handling several client requests simultaneously to fulfill those requests and offer the needed services. This significant divergence in operational responsibilities lies between the client and the server.

Client vs. Server

The primary distinction between a client and a server may be found in the functions that each one performs. The former part is responsible for generating requests that are then sent to the server to be processed. Authentication, processing, and response to client requests are a server's primary roles and responsibilities.

The terms "client" and "server" both refer to computers used for various tasks within the realm of information technology. A client is a client computer, a more miniature computer that connects to a server across a network. For instance, in a company, an employee must log in to the client's computer to view the documents and programs being executed on the server machine. This two-tier design, also known as client-server architecture, places the primary emphasis in an organization on delineating specific roles within that organization. A computer with an ample storage capacity and the ability to hold a broad range of files, including application and data files, is known as a server machine.

There are several distinct categories of servers, including application servers, file servers, web servers, database servers, print servers, proxy servers, gaming servers, standalone servers, and many more. Customers may be categorized as obese, underweight, or hybrid. A fat client is capable of both processing and storing data locally. A less powerful PC with the bare minimum of hardware is referred to as a thin client. It is common practice to use the resources offered by a host computer and rely on the server to carry out any necessary data processing. The fundamental function of a thin client is to give a graphical representation of the content sent by an application server. A hybrid client performs processing on their local machine but stores data on the server instead.

Users may be required to log in from their client workstations to access specific programs that use the client-server architecture. This may be necessary for particular application servers. The client machines not only have access to the apps and data files, but they can also utilize the server's processor to execute specific activities without adding hardware resources to the client machine itself. This allows the client machines greater flexibility.

Client computers often have more end-user software installed on them than server computers. A server will generally have a more significant number of operating system components. A server can accommodate several users logged in at the same time. Client computers are less complicated and cost less money than server computers, which are more powerful and expensive.

Difference Between Client and Server in Tabular Form

Table: Client vs. Server
Parameters of Comparison
The operation of client systems results in generating requests for various services.
Server systems process requests from clients for a variety of services.
Because client systems' responsibilities are confined to generating requests, their setups are pretty straightforward.
Server systems have a setup that is both more complicated and more advanced.
Log-in Potential
They only allow log-ins for a single user at a time.
They let numerous users log in at the same time and execute requests simultaneously.
Limited efficiency.
High performance and efficiency.
Tasks Performed
Client work often consists of relatively specific activities, the majority of which include making service requests (such as for web pages).
Server systems are often responsible for performing complex activities, including data analysis, storing and processing massive datasets, and fulfilling client requests.
Power Off
They may be disabled without substantial implications occurring as a result.
It's possible that turning off servers may have serious consequences. They are rarely turned off at any point.
Included Systems
Desktop computers, portable laptops, and tablet computers are all included.
Web servers, data servers, and network servers are all part of the included systems.

What is a Client?

A client may be an operating system or a piece of software meant to generate requests for the server to handle. These requests are sent to the server for processing. The recommendations coming from the client system are sent to the server by way of the network. Clients may be organized into three distinct groups, the first of which does not participate in the processing of data and instead only displays the results generated by the server, in contrast to the second group, which is capable of processing the majority of the data on its own.

The former group is referred to as "thin customers," whereas the latter is known as "fat clientele." One example of a fat client is computer software that protects against viruses. And finally, there is a third category known as the hybrid variety, which combines aspects of the previously mentioned categories. Several client computers can be joined and connected to a single server simultaneously. This is done to ensure that the resources saved on the server may be accessed uncomplicated.

The most frequent method for establishing connections to servers is using Internet protocols. However, clients also have the option to utilize other mechanisms, such as shared memory or domain sockets. Client operating systems are often run on personal computing devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

A client is also a computer program that transmits requests to its resource end, which is often a server, and then accepts the proposals completed to carry out its activities. However, the client software and the server program may technically operate on the same machine. When this occurs, the client program uses inter-process communication to interact with the server. Customers are the ones that start such connections, whereas servers are the ones who sit and wait for possible clients to join. Historically, this phrase referred to computing devices that functioned as dumb terminals and relied on distant computers linked to a network to run their respective applications.

Depending on their configuration, client devices may be fat clients, thin clients, or hybrid clients. A fat client, also known as a thick client, is less reliant on a server since it can do its data processing tasks without dependence on a server. A personal computer or a computer that runs CAD is an example of a paradigm or a fat client. A thin client is a device that relies on web applications to carry out its functions. It communicates with an application server so that its activity may proceed. The hybrid client is a client that combines elements of both the other kinds of clients.

What is a Server?

An operating system or piece of software that is used to authenticate and handle requests made by client computers is referred to as a "server." The client system can request a wide variety of information, including web pages, data sets, and other types of information.

The server handles these requests by responding with the necessary information and processing it. The protocol that a server uses to operate is quite complicated. They are suitable for carrying out various challenging activities, such as intricate computations, control of network resources, and processing enormous datasets. They allow for simultaneous logins of several users from client computers. This is only achievable because of the better setup of their system. Others may be shared servers that enable various usages, while others may be specialized for carrying out specific tasks and be used only for those tasks.

There are many kinds of servers, including proxy servers, web servers, database servers, etc. There are two possible places for servers: on-premises, as in the case of corporate servers, or off-premises, as in the case of data servers. On-premises servers are more common.

The function of a server is to act as a system that participates in the operation of a computer network and answers requests sent from other programs to provide network service. Most of the time, a server will function and run on a specific dedicated computer, and this computer will therefore be referred to as "the server" of the network it manages. Control and operation of numerous clients may be delegated to a single central server simultaneously.

A network system, often known as client-server architecture, is composed of a server as one of its components. Within this paradigm, the client plays the part of an initiator, and the server's primary responsibility is to handle the requests sent to it by the client. The servers a network uses are hosted by the individual computers that make up the network. Again, a computer can operate many servers and may connect to the appropriate one depending on the task. A server is often an instance of a socket listener capable of catering to several users all at once. This client-server architecture operates to serve private customers devoted to a particular organization or network and administer public users who use the internet. Web servers, file servers, mail servers, database servers, and a wide variety of other servers are among the most prevalent operating servers in diverse networks.

Main Differences Between Client and Server

  • The primary and most obvious distinction between a client and a server is in the settings of their respective modes of operation. An operating system known as the client is dependent on the services provided by a server. However, the server's operating system is the one that validates client requests and makes it possible for clients to get the services they need.
  • Because the server system's functionality is mainly restricted to generating requests, a straightforward operational protocol is used to support it. Because it must process and manage a significant number of requests at once, the operating system that runs the server is far more complicated and advanced.
  • At any given moment in time, a client operating system can only support a single user making requests at the same time. On the other hand, an operating system designed for servers can handle many requests from several clients simultaneously. This is made feasible as a result of the highly developed configuration protocols that a server has. As a result, logging in through the client system is only available for a single person, but logging in via the server system is possible for several users at once.
  • When compared to a client system, the efficiency levels of a server are much higher than those of the latter. This is because it must manage and promptly process several requests from various customers while maintaining accuracy.
  • Desktop computers, portable laptops, mobile phones, and tablet computers may all be clients. On the other hand, servers may be broken down into three categories: web servers, file servers, and database servers.
  • The server system can store and process extensive data collections. This kind of work is beyond the capabilities of the client system. It is optimized for simple tasks such as constructing requests that the server handles. Only the server system is responsible for the high-end performance that should be anticipated.
  • The power to a server is rarely turned off. If server computers were turned off, it might be devastating for client systems that regularly request services. On the other hand, client systems may be powered down without any concern about the implications above.
  • The client machines are often regarded as superior for software programs that need brisk initialization times. When it comes to applications in which performance is the primary concern, the best choice of hardware is often a server.


A number of notable distinctions can be drawn between a client and a server. The initial distinction between them may be made in terms of the functions they perform; the first one works to send service requests to the server, while the second one is in charge of processing the proposals that have been sent.

The operating systems have been customized to allow them to do the most optimal jobs. Clients run on simple protocols that only let a single user log in and offer rudimentary functionality. The server runs on a much more complicated operating protocol designed to manage several users logging in simultaneously, as well as multiple tasks running simultaneously. Nevertheless, one cannot exist without the other operating. To maintain a functional balance, these two operating systems have to stay in sync with one another.


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1540-5915.1997.tb01334.x

Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between Client and Server." Diffzy.com, 2023. Thu. 23 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-client-and-server-994>.

Edited by

Share this article