Apache Web Server

Apache Helps to Power the Internet

Illuminated server room panel
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Apache HTTP Server (usually just called Apache) is fast and secure and runs over half of all web servers around the globe.

Apache is also free software. It's distributed by the Apache Software Foundation, which promotes various free and open-source advanced web technologies. The Apache web server provides a full range of features, including CGI, ​SSL, and virtual domains; it also supports plug-in modules for extensibility.

Although Apache was originally designed for Unix environments, more than 90 percent of installations run on Linux. However, it's also available for other operating systems like Windows.

What Is an HTTP Server?

A server, in general, is a remote computer that serves files to requesting clients. A web server, then, is the environment that a website runs in — the computer the serves the website.

A web server delivers content using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. For example, when you go to Lifewire.com in your web browser, you're ultimately contacting the web server that hosts this website so that you can communicate with it to request web pages (which you've already done to see this page).

Why Use Apache HTTP Server?

The most significant benefit to Apache is that it's free for both personal and commercial uses, so you don't have to ever worry about needing to pay for it.

Apache is also a reliable software framework and remains actively maintained, so it receives frequent feature upgrades, security patches, and vulnerability improvements.

While Apache is a free and updated product, it doesn't skimp on features. In fact, it's one of the most feature-filled HTTP web servers available, which is another reason it's so popular.

Use modules to add more functions to the software. Apache supports:

  • Password authentication and digital certificates
  • Customizable error messages
  • Support for several websites with its virtual hosting capabilities
  • Proxy services
  • SSL and TLS
  • GZIP compression to speed up web pages

Here's a handful of other features seen in Apache:

Even though Apache offers many features, you don't have to worry about how you'll learn to use all of them. Apache is so widely used that answers have already been given (and posted online) to virtually any question you could ask.