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Why choose Nginx and not Apache?

nginx vs apache

Apache and Nginx are the two most common open source web servers in the world.

In the next lines we will present you in brief both Nginx and Apache and their pros and cons.

You are probably wondering what is the difference between the Nginx proxy and web server and the Apache, which is to be preferred and why? We will try to answer your questions clearly enough and to offer you a quick look at these two web servers.

Apache is without a doubt the most popular web server as it started in 1995. It powers a great number of websites all over the world – more than 100 million or over 46% of all. Microsoft IIS takes the second place.

Apache and Nginx are both web servers – free, open-source and cross-platform. You can choose either of them to host your website.

But here is the first difference – Nginx is event-based, while Apache is process-based. That’s why Nginx has one significant advantage – its asynchronization allows the numerous requests to be handled one by one. We should also underline that Apache as a process-based server is low- performing when it comes to heavy loads, limited resources or weaker hardware – it needs new processes, larger RAM and refuses new connection when the administrator’s limit is being reached. According to WordPress’s statistics Nginx is the only server that can handle 8 000 requests per second and even then it uses about 15MB RAM. As you could see Nginx turns out to be much faster and much less memory consuming in handling requests.

Let’s now look at the features. Both Nginx and Apache have all the necessary features to provide a web server service: virtual hosts, static file serving, access control, etc. No matter that Apache has some extra features (like htaccess and administrative console), Nginx is once again the better performer as it is easier to use and to configure, more efficient and more secure and stable. However, you should consider that Nginx is not very suitable for shared hosting, as sometimes errors may occur when reloading configuration files and mess it all up for all users.

Nginx vs Apache performance


nginx is distributed under the terms of the Simplified BSD License, a two-clause, copyfree variant of the BSD License. This licensing choice significantly reduces collaborative friction between nginx code and that of other projects distributed under other licenses, and imposes no notable restrictions on software development related to nginx.

Apache uses the eponymous Apache License 2.0, a license sometimes considered “permissive” in that it is an open source license that is not a copyleft license. It still applies restrictions on software modification and distribution above and beyond that of copyfree licenses such as the Simplified BSD License used by nginx, however. The differences include change notification bookkeeping for modified files, as well as substantially more complex license text. A potential benefit of the Apache License 2.0 over the Simplified BSD License is the Apache License’s patent clause, though the utility of such a clause may be debatable.

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