Apache Vs NGINX ➤ Which Is The Best Web Server?

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Nginx and Apache are two main widely used web servers. They bring around 5 percent of the traffic from the internet, which is quite important for the growth of your audience. Nginx and Apache are used for the same purpose, but they function differently from each other. In this article, we will give a head-to-head comparison between Nginx and Apache, and at the end, we will conclude which is the best web server? Nginx or Apache!

What Is Apache?

Apache is called an “HTTP server.” It is an open-source and high-performance server developed by the Apache software foundation. It is designed to maintain a secure and high-speed commercial web server with HTTP standards. When we discuss Nginx vs. Apache for which one is better for the webserver, here is a fact that administrators had always been selecting Apache server due to its flexibility, high-performance, and multi-tasking capabilities.
Apache remains the first choice for a decade, but its priority was changed after the development of the Nginx server.  From the beginning, Apache changed into an open-source net server that could be freely downloaded and used by everyone. Those characteristics distinguished it from many other different web servers available at the time. For these reasons, In April 1996, it emerged as the most broadly used internet server within the international sphere. Apache retained its role for twenty years till it was overtaken by NGINX.

What Is NGINX?

Nginx is specially designed to check the performance limitations of the Apache server. It is also used as a reverse proxy server and an HTTP cache. It is also used to maintain balance on the website. Igor Sysoev was a Russian software engineer who built Nginx for the first time. Basically, Nginx was created to solve the major problem AKA the” Ck10 problem,” of network sockets. That is the key difference between Nginx vs. Apache.

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Due to this issue, sockets are unable to handle a large number of connections at the same time. When Apache was developed in the 1990s, it was not a major problem for software engineers to handle websites. But, over time, it became difficult for them to handle enormous traffic on the web. This problem urged Syoey and his companions to build a server better than Apache – a server that can easily handle multiple at the same time on the web.

Sites Which Use Apache Web Server?

Apache is a popular open-source, pass-platform web server that is used by the most famous web servers. It has been actively maintained by using the Apache software basis. Some of the high-profile companies that use Apache server include:

Sites Which Use NGINX Web Server?

For many applications, NGINX and Apache compete with each other. A very common and easy pattern of starting is to install the open-source NGINX software as a proxy (or NGINX Plus as the application delivery platform) in front of an Apache-based web application. NGINX performs the HTTP-related heavy lifting – serving of static files, caching of content, and offloading of slow HTTP connections – so that the Apache server can run the application code in a safe and secure environment.

What is the Difference Between Nginx and Apache?
Head to Head comparison

Feature Apache NGINX
Simplicity Easy to build and innovate due to its model of one-connection-per-process. Complex to develop as it has a sophisticated architecture to handle multiple connections concurrently.
Performance – Static Content Slow in displaying static content 2.5 times faster than Apache and consumes less memory
Performance –Dynamic Content Excellent performance for dynamic content Excellent performance for dynamic content
Operating system support Supports all OS – Unix like and Windows Supports all OS – Unix-like and windows; however, performance on Windows is comparatively less stable.
Security It is a secure web server. Understanding and configuring the security features are important

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It is a secure web server. Understanding and configuring the security features are important.
Flexibility It can be customized by adding modules. Apache had dynamic module loading for the longest time. NGINX Plus Release R11 and NGINX version 1.11.5 introduced compatibility for dynamic modules.
Support and Documentation Excellent support and documentation are available as it has been in the market for a very long time. Though NGINX was quite weak in the beginning, it managed to grow rapidly and now it enjoys excellent support of resources and documentation.
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Is Nginx easier than Apache?

There are many use cases of web servers, and Nginx is not an all-rounder. NGINX was primarily created to increase the speed of static resources and act as a reverse proxy. Time has changed, and it works well for other uses if configured properly, but if the site is at large dynamic, Apache is good to go. If there are ample resources, then it is best to use Apache at the back-end while setting up NGINX on the front-end to configure as a reverse proxy for Apache. Also, using the Nginx as the cache is quite fair.

Many webmasters think Apache is much faster than NGINX for dynamic content. The things that NGINX does provide speed-wise, like caching and compressing, can be better handled by a load balancer in front of a web server – including putting a load balancer in front of Apache or NGINX.

While Nginx is an Excellent Front-end Proxy, It is much easier to configure as a proxy server compared to Apache. This is because the required modules are, in most cases, enabled by default.

How do I know if my server is Apache or Nginx?

If you are confused about whether your hosting server  (or any other website) uses Apache, Nginx, or any other platform, then here is a small trick to figure it out quickly.

  1. Open your desired website using a Google browser.
  2. Right-click on the logo and you will see a list of options. Select “Inspect.”
  3. After selecting “inspect”, navigate to the tab “Network”. If the page takes time to load, refresh it.
  4.  Select your website link in the column “Name”.
  5. The server details will be mentioned just under the “headers” tab; here you can see whether it is Apache or Nginx.
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4 thoughts on “Apache Vs NGINX ➤ Which Is The Best Web Server?”

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