FOSS | Top 15 Web Servers 2022

2021-12-31 21:57:03
ZenTao
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Summary : Discover the top 15 modern web servers in 2022. See which of these popular web servers is best for hosting websites and project management tools.
The term "open source" was introduced by The Open Source Initiative (OSI) in the late 1990s. These software systems do not necessarily address the same issues. In reality, the majority of open-source software is targeted toward specific niche solutions. However, since it is widely available, it is usually very simple to procure and embed into digital solutions.

A web server is a computer system that uses HyperText Transfer Protocol to transmit data from web pages to end-users across the Internet (HTTP). It controls how web users access hosted information. There are countless web servers available today, but only a few of them are widely used.

Here are the most popular web servers today:

1. Nginx

NGINX is the second most prominent server, accounting for 33.7% of all active websites (March 2021 statistics by W3Techs). The web server is distributed under a BSD-style license.


Nginx is pronounced as “engine-ex”. It is one of the best open-source web servers that is used as a load balancer, reverse proxy, and HTTP cache. 


Nginx was first released in 2004 and was conceived as a solution to the C10k problem. Because the system is rooted in optimizing performance amidst high concurrent requests, it outperforms alternatives and is considered the fastest web server around.

2. Apache

Apache is probably the best open-source web server because it’s free and is used by the majority of existing websites. It has been around for more than 25 years already and is responsible for being a pillar of the internet during its infancy. It got its name from the Native American tribe known for resiliency. 


According to W3Techs, the most popular web server is the Apache HTTP Server, which is used by 34.1% of websites as of March 2021. The BuiltWith Internet services corporation has 62,624,313 live websites that use Apache. ZenTao uses Apache to start its server for ALM project management tool users.


Apache web servers can handle huge amounts of traffic even with minimal configuration. They’re also modular and scalable, making them very versatile and fit for a variety of applications. Even in the presence of more modern web server alternatives, Apache is still the go-to choice for many programmers.

3. Cloudflare

Cloudflare is a modern web server that operates a huge network of servers spread throughout more than 90 countries and covers more than 200 locations. This model helps speed up websites while protecting the network from DDoS and similar malicious attacks. 


Cloudflare servers work by fetching cached data from the nearest server in the location of the visitor. Information loads faster this way compared to when the data is requested directly to your website. 


Cloudflare Server supports web protocols, including SPDY and HTTP/2, and acts as a reverse proxy for web traffic. It is getting more and more popular over the years, with 18% of websites using it as of March 2021.

4. LiteSpeed

LiteSpeed is a lightweight, modern web server focused on conserving resources without sacrificing security, performance, and reliability. It has double the capacity of Apache web servers, increased security features, and reduced complexity for better response times. It is one of the fastest web servers in the industry, thanks to its improved architecture.

LiteSpeed uses the same configuration format as Apache HTTP Server and is compatible with most Apache features. An open-source variant is also available. As of April 2020, LSWS was used by 47.6% of websites using HTTP/3. It also sees an increasing trend and takes 18% of the total web server usage.

5. Microsoft-IIS

Microsoft-IIS is the Internet Information Services (IIS) designed for Windows Servers. It is one of the most popular web servers for handling demanding tasks because of its scalability, security, and flexibility.

Microsoft-IIS supports HTTP, HTTP/2, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SMTP, and NNTP. Around 7% of the websites today use Microsoft-IIS web servers (as of March 2021).

6. Node.js

Node.js is a cross-platform server-side JavaScript environment built for developing and running network applications such as web servers. Node.js is licensed under a variety of licenses. As of March 2021, around 1.2% of applications were running on Node.js. Among the top companies and applications utilizing this modern web server are GoDaddy, Microsoft, General Electric, PayPal, eBay, Uber, and Yahoo!.


Node.js was built in 2009 and continues to be one of the best open-source web servers today. It has a cross-platform runtime environment that allows people to operate it on OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux systems. 

7. Google Servers

Google Servers is used exclusively inside Google's ecosystem for website hosting with 1.2% of global website usage. It is a Linux-based server that Google uses for its online services.

8. Tengine

Tengine is the most popular web server for hosting websites in China. It is based on the Nginx HTTP web server, plus advanced features for improved efficiency and stability. 


As of March 2021, it has a 0.1% usage and is like Google Servers which is mainly used internally. It hosts taobao.com and tmall.com which are two of the largest websites in the world. 

9. Apache Tomcat

Java programs are run using Apache Tomcat. To be more precise, it is a Java servlet – a Java software component that expands the functionality of a web server. Apache Tomcat, released under the Apache License version 2, is used by 0.1% of websites worldwide.


Many applications today require only the features offered by Apache Tomcat, so they have no use for more expensive and complex tools. Tomcat remains one of the top web server software today because it’s free and lightweight. 

10. Cowboy

Cowboy is a fast, compact, and modern web server. It is the ultimate server for the modern Web with support for Websocket, HTTP/2, and REST. It also comes with functions for tracing and introspection so developers can see what’s happening in the server at any given time. 

11. Apache Traffic Server

Apache Traffic Server is a fast and scalable modern web server that supports HTTP/1.1 and HTTP/2. It used to be a commercial product but was later on donated by Yahoo! to the Apache Foundation. It’s currently used by content owners worldwide and several major CDNs.

12. ArvanNginx, Kestrel, IdeaWebServer, Caddy

These servers are the lesser-known and occupy only 0.1% market share among modern web servers used today.

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