HTTP is a communication standard governing the requests and responses that take place between the browser running on the end user’s computer and the web server. The server’s job is to accept a request from the client and attempt to reply to it in a meaningful way, usually by serving up a requested web page—that’s why the term server is used. The natural counterpart to a server is a client, so that term is applied both to the web browser and the computer on which it’s running.
Between the client and the server there can be several other devices, such as routers, proxies, gateways, and so on. They serve different roles in ensuring that the requests and responses are correctly transferred between the client and server. Typically, they use the Internet to send this information.
A web server can usually handle multiple simultaneous connections and—when not communicating with a client—spends its time listening for an incoming connection. When one arrives, the server sends back a response to confirm its receipt.