What is a client

What is a client

A client is a piece of computing science or software that accesses a service made available by a server The server is often (but not always) on another computer system in which case the client accesses the service by way of a network.

A client is a computer program that, as part of its operation, relies on sending a request to another computer program (which may or may not be located on another computer). The term "client", however, may also be applied to computers or devices that run the client software or users that use the client software. For example, web browser are clients that connect to web servers and retrieve web pages for display.Email clients retrieve email from mail servers. Online chat uses a variety of clients, which vary depending on the chat protocol being used. Mutltiplayer video games or online video games may run as a client on each computer.

The term was first applied to devices that were not capable of running their own stand-alone programs, but could interact with remote computers via a network. These dumb terminals were clients of the time sharing mainframe computer. A client is part of a client–server model, which is still used today. Clients and servers may be computer programs run on the same machine and connect via inter-process communication techniques. Combined with Internet sockets, programs may connect to a service operating on a possibly remote system through the Internet protocol suite. Servers wait for potential clients to initiate connections that they may accept.

In personal computers and computer workstations, the difference between client and server operating system is often just a matter of marketing - the server version may contain more operating system components, allow more simultaneous logins, and may be more expensive, while the client version may contain more end-user software.