The ICT Lounge
Section 4.2:
Types of Computers found on a network

There are two types of computers that make up a network:

  • Servers
  • Clients.

In this section we will discuss the features of both.

Key Concepts of this section:
Understand that there are two types of computers found on a network.
Know the difference between a server and a client.
Be able to describe the features of a server computer and a client computer.

Types of network computers
Key Words:
Server, Client, Services.
There are two types of computers that make up a network:
  • Servers
  • Clients.
Server computers are very powerful and expensive.
Client computers are individual computers that connect to a server. This forms the network.
Servers allow client computers to share one printer.
Servers manage network security such as requiring usernames and passwords for people logging onto client computers.
Client computers are everyday computers that we use to perform everyday tasks.
There are different types of servers - web servers for example.
What is a server computer?
Servers are powerful computers that provide ‘services’ to the client computers on the network.

Servers control the network and tell the client computers what to do.

Some services that server computers provide to client computers are summarised in the table below:

Servers provide the following services:
Providing central storage
Where all users of the network can access the same data.

(like the shared: drive in a school)
Sharing devices
Printers and scanners can be shared among client computers.

(each client computer can access the same printer - saves money)
Providing network security
The server makes sure that only people with valid usernames and passwords can log onto client computers on the network.
Sharing internet connections
The same internet connection can be shared amongst client computers using a router.

The different types of servers:
There are different types of server computers. These are summarised in the table below:

File servers
Gives network users a place to save and load their data and files.
Application servers
Allow computers on the network to run and use applications software that are stored within the server.
Printer servers
Controls how printing on the network takes place.

For example: the print server will create print queues to decide the order in which printing takes place.
Proxy servers
Used as a kind of security device between client computers and the internet.

In order to do all of these things, servers must be very powerful. This is why they are much more expensive than client computers.

What are client computers?
A client computer is a normal computer (a desktop PC or laptop for example).

A client computer is an individual computer that is used perform everyday tasks and to access information and programs from the server.

The image below shows how a client computer can be used to access the internet:


Click the above task and answer the questions about
the two types of network computers.

Please add your questions/comments below:

Links to Theory Units:
Links to Practical Units:
Section 11: File Management
Section 12: Images
Section 13: layout
Section 14: Styles
Section 15: Proofing
Section 16: Graphs and Charts
Section 17: Document Production
Section 18: Data Manipulation
Section 19: Presentations
Section 20: Data Analysis
Section 21: Website Authoring