All computers connected to a network that participate directly in network communication are classified as hosts or end devices. Hosts can send and receive messages on the network. In modern networks, end devices can act as a client, a server, or both. The software installed on the computer determines which role the computer plays.
Servers are hosts that have software installed that enable them to provide information, like email or web pages, to other hosts on the network. Each service requires separate server software. For example, a host requires web server software in order to provide web services to the network.
Clients are computer hosts that have software installed that enable them to request and display the information obtained from the server. An example of client software is a web browser, like Internet Explorer.