What is Client in Computer Network? [Client, Server, Service]

What if I say, in this current world we’re all somehow a client in computer networks? Would you believe it? You’ve to as you’re currently reading our article through a browser you yourself are a client at this very moment. So, the burning question is, what is client in computer network and how does it work? Let’s find out the answers in detail.

What is a Client?

A client in a computer network is any computer or workstation that connects to a distant computer or server and uses some services or resources from them. Any service used or work done by the client is referred to as client-side. A client device can be a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. So, in short, a client requests some kind of service from a server.This image describes what is client?

What is a Server?

A server can be a program or a device that provides some kind of service to users who are known as clients on demand. These services provided by servers include sharing information or resources with numerous clients or maybe executing some computational tasks for the client.

Interaction Between Client and Server in Computer Network

In a computer network, clients and servers interact with each other through a request-response protocol. This request-response pattern is monitored through a communication protocol named TCP/IP(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). Client and server can interact from a distant location or they might reside on the same machine and interact by interprocess communication.

At a single time, one or multiple clients can request the same services from a server. However, a single server computer can carry out a finite number of tasks limited by its capability. So, the server responds in a scheduling policy and responds to clients based on priority.Client-server interaction mechanisms.

Client Side vs Server Side

Client-side refers to any tasks or operations happening on the end user’s bloc. On the other hand, a server-side refers to tasks or processes that are happening on the server.

For example, You’re currently on our browser, and the tasks that are occurring on your computer to manage the user interface and display graphical contents can be interpreted as a client-side program. Conversely, operations occurring on the server that conducts the spawning of the web content can be interpreted as server-side programs.

Types of Clients in Computer Network

We can classify clients in various parameters. Let’s look into a few of them.

1. Based on the Requirement of Resources

We can specify four different types of clients based on their resource and data processing requirements.

  • Thick Client: Clients that rely mostly on themselves for resources and data processing rather than heavily depending on the server are known as Thick
  • Thin Client: Thin client relies on the resources of the host server and carries out data optimizations on the server.
  • Hybrid Client: As the name suggests, this type of client is a mixture of both Thick and Thin They perform the tasks of data optimization on their local hardware but rely on the server for storing data. The hybrid client is also known as the Diskless node.
  • Zero Client: The concept of zero clients is similar to thin clients to some extent but more cost-effective than thin clients. As zero clients do not need to meet any configuration and storing requirements.
 Type Server Storage Dependency Server CPU Dependency Costs
Thick Clients NO NO $$$
Hybrid Clients YES NO $$
Thin & Zero Clients YES YES $

2. Based on Their Operating System

We have listed below a few types of clients based on the operating system:

  • Windows client, basically computers running on Windows os
  • Apple client, computer running on mac os
  • Linux client, computers running on Linux-based os.
  • Smartphones or Tablets that are running on android or any mobile os.
  • Other IoT(Internet of Things) devices.

An Example of a Client-Server Model in Computer Network

In the client-server networking model, servers extend some sort of network-based functionalities to the user client on the basis of the request from the client.A client server network model. What is TCP/IP? [A Complete Overview]Suppose, the storage of your machine is running out you don’t want to change or modify your machine. Here, you can look for remote storage where you can store your information and access them through the internet network when needed. So, this remote storage provider is actually a server where you are requesting some service which in your case is storage over the internet network and eventually you are a client.


In this modern day-to-day life, you’re relying on some sort of aid from network-based services. Unconsciously or consciously you’re a client of a service. Henceforth a basic idea of client-server relations and how a client in a computer network work is significant to enrich your perspective on sharing and growing.

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Md. Ashakul Islam Sowad

Md. Ashakul Islam Sowad

Hi, I am Md. Ashakul Islam Sowad from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I have completed my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). I love to watch football and play video games in my free time. Here, I am working as a Linux Content Developer Executive. Furthermore, as a Linux enthusiast, I am always learning new things about Linux-based systems and I’ll be sharing them here. Read Full Bio

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