Tech stuff explained colorfully and simply.

What the fuck is a Server?

For being a bunch of smarty-pants, programmers did a piss-poor job of coming up with words to describe shit. Server is another example of a word that means a few things. But that doesn’t mean you have permission to use it wrong like you might have been doing (“my server’s down - I can’t get on the net!” no. No to all of that.)

First, a server refers to a computer that’s main job is to stay on and respond to requests. Its job is to ‘serve’ requests with responses. You may have a laptop that sometimes goes dead (for shame!) or a desktop that you turn off at night. A server is constructed in such a way that it’s more resilient and stays powered up for days, weeks, or even years at a time. When you go to lame dad jokes dot com, there’s a server somewhere that’s on the other side of your connection, supporting the software that is required to give you that webpage.

Speaking of software, this is where it gets fucken confusing…

Second, a server refers to a type of software which responds to requests. One example is the apache server which serves web pages back to eager little web surfers just like you.

Using internet-related things to help define what a server is doesn’t make a server only useful for the web. A server may be a computer that responds to telephone signals or software that responds to requests to allow you through a security system protected door.

Oh - and coming full circle: a server is not your fucking internet. You likely don’t have a server and yours isn’t down. If you can’t get to your gerbil beauty pageant website, just say “my internet connection is down” instead.