What’s the Difference Between Server and Desktop?

What is a server?

Plenty of information is accessible these days in the form of voice, text, and video that we can obtain with a tap of a button. Although, there is a site or precise area wherein all of this information is kept, which is referred to as a server.

A server is a type of program or piece of machinery whose purpose it is to receive client requests and deliver data or services in reply to such requests via the networks (Internet, WAN or LAN).

In simple terms, a server is a computer that responds to the requests of other computers (clients) in a network. A website or any other resource could be requested to the server by the client computers.

The crucial question now is, what would a server accomplish and why would we need one? As you may be aware, all machines are linked by a massive network known as the Internet.

As a result, the server is a powerful computer in a network that delivers resources to all the other computers. We have all been interconnected, thanks to the Internet. Still, we require a means of communication, which is where the server comes in.

For example you are running a firm and all your staff needs to communicate with each other. However, they can not do so with the help of any website or application.

Hence, you will need an application like a messenger to assist your staff in communicating with each other that will carry the messages from one person’s application and send them to the other person’s application. Meanwhile, the server receives a message from one and sends it to another.

So, in short, without the server, the internet will turn useless. Since everyone might be connected on the internet but every application/ website needs a server to set up communication.

Types of server

There are quite a few types of servers available in the market. They are named as per the functions they serve.

  1. Application servers: these are very much like web servers and can perform almost all the functions of a web server. But they are mostly used to manage complex applications. For example, dealing with databases, JAVA web applications, etc.
  • File servers: they are mostly used for purposes like uploading, downloading and storing files.
  • Database servers: database servers are a type of dedicated servers that mostly perform functions like retrieving a database or data, storing and accessing an application.
  • Proxy servers: proxy servers are devoted to assisting to enhance security and privacy. It actually acts as a firewall between the client and the internet. So, wherever you make a request for information to the internet, it will go through the proxy server and similarly whatever information the internet sends you will come through the proxy server. This is how it acts as a security barrier between the internet and the client computer.
  • Print servers: print servers are responsible for managing all the jobs revolving around printing, by connecting client systems to printers.
  • DNS servers: DNS stands for domain name system. It is dedicated for storing all the records of a database from the various domain names and their related IP addresses.
  • Mail servers: mail servers mainly handle the sending and the receiving of emails via a network, for example, the internet.
  • Web servers: All the web page requests that you make in a web browser are handled by a web server. For example, if you make a request for a Wikipedia page then this request will first reach the web server then it will fetch the required information and send it back to the client system (the one that requested the information).

What is a desktop?

A computer that may be placed on or beneath a desk is known as a desktop computer. They employ input devices like a mouse and keyboard, as well as display systems like a projector, monitor, or tv for engagement.

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Personal computers can be vertically and horizontally (towers) in design, or they can be paired with a screen to produce an All-in-One desktop. Desktop systems, unlike laptops, are designed to be stationary.

Core features and components of a desktop

The CPU, which might be a micro tower or mini-tower constructed to accommodate beneath the desk or a device that sits on top of the desk, is included in a desktop computer. Also, it comprises a motherboard, which is the computer’s primary circuit board.

Advanced Technology Extended (ATX), Balanced Technology Extended and microATX scope are often used on desktop computer motherboards. Disk storage is also held in the desktop computer.

Difference between server and desktop

A local firm may be persuaded to save cash by installing a server operating system on a desktop PC, but it isn’t a viable alternative to purchasing dedicated server hardware.

When setting up connections, it is not a simple or cheap task, the advantages of introducing a server to your small startup computerized environment far exceed the possible disadvantages.

A local company may be attracted to saving time and expense by installing a server OS on a desktop computer, but it’s not a viable alternative to a true server.

Most individuals wrongly assume that a server and a desktop pc are the same thing. This could hardly be more untrue. Although practically all kinds of desktop PCs with the necessary hardware may operate a server OS, this will not render a desktop PC to a genuine server.

Even if the desktop device’s CPU speeds and storage capacity are comparable to those of a server, that’s not a substitute for the one. The techniques that underpin them are designed to serve a variety of objectives.

To facilitate desktop-oriented work, a desktop PC platform often operates on a user-friendly application framework and desktop software. A server, on the other hand, is in charge of all network components.

Dedicated servers (meaning they perform only server tasks and nothing else) are a common type of servers often used by businesses. Since a server must handle, retain, transfer, and analyze data 24/7, it must be more dependable as compared to a desktop PC and must include a range of capabilities and technology not found in most desktops.

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Remember that you should think about applications, storage, processors, form factors, and other factors before investing in server gear.

Unlike desktop computers, servers are capable of managing a large number of users and handling multiple applications and services. Most businesses can benefit from the extended capacity, security and information sharing capabilities of the server which you will not get in a desktop computer.


Desktop and servers, both serve their respective purposes. Before choosing which is the right fit for your firm, you must go through both of their features and the purposes they serve. This will help you to choose the best choice for your business.

A refurbished desktop computer might work for the ordinary home user seeking a basic, seldom used server. Nevertheless, the dilemma for the young entrepreneur is: Do I really wish to entrust the company’s data and procedures to any old hardware?

Usually smaller firms will be happier with a system that was designed specifically for use as a dedicated server instead of one that started out as a regular desktop PC. It will be the only choice to go with if your company’s business is vital to you.

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