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The Client-Server Model

The Internet currently works on an idea known as the “client-server model.” This basically means that a server, which is just a computer, “serves” (hence the name) software and data from which clients (also computers, often including phones these days), can request access to. This is also known as “hosting.” Servers are often referred to as “The Cloud.” The Cloud is literally just someone else’s computer. A model of this can be seen below:

Client-Server Model

We can quickly realize the problem with a model like this. The server has ALL the power. The client is completely dependent on the server for any data it stores there, or any server-side software it uses. This may mean your pictures (Google Photos, iCloud), your files/documents (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive), your social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), and even your ability to do basic communication (Messenger, Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp).


Since a server is “just a computer,” one might ask why we can’t just host our own data and software. Unfortunately, running a server is no trivial task, and typically requires Linux and systems administration skills. That is, until now. StartOS was designed specifically to allow anyone to be able to run their own server-side software and host their own data, with no special tech skills or excessive effort.

For an overview, please check out the video below: