Difference Wiki

IIS vs. Apache: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 27, 2024
IIS (Internet Information Services) is a Windows-based web server software, offering tight integration with Microsoft products, while Apache is an open-source, cross-platform web server, known for its flexibility and wide adoption.

Key Differences

IIS, developed by Microsoft, is a web server application and set of feature extension modules designed primarily for Windows servers. Apache, on the other hand, is an open-source web server software developed by the Apache Software Foundation, supporting various operating systems, including UNIX, Linux, and Windows.
IIS uses a graphical user interface for server management and configuration, appealing to users preferring visual management tools. Apache offers text-based configuration, which can be more flexible but requires familiarity with its syntax and configuration files.
IIS is optimized for performance on Windows platforms and integrates well with other Microsoft applications. Apache is known for its robust performance across different platforms and efficient handling of multiple requests, especially on UNIX and Linux systems.
IIS has built-in security features that are closely integrated with Windows security mechanisms. Apache, while highly secure, relies on manual configuration for optimal security settings, allowing for detailed customization but requiring more expertise.
IIS benefits from Microsoft's professional support and regular updates, suitable for enterprises seeking official support channels. Apache has a vast community-driven support network, offering extensive resources, forums, and user-generated documentation.

Comparison Chart

Operating System Support

Primarily Windows
Cross-platform (UNIX, Linux, Windows)


Graphical User Interface
Text-based Configuration Files


Optimized for Windows
Robust across various platforms


Integrated with Windows security
Requires manual configuration

Community and Support

Microsoft support and updates
Extensive community-driven support

IIS and Apache Definitions


IIS provides a secure and manageable web server environment.
We use IIS for its robust security features and ease of management.


Apache is an open-source, cross-platform web server software.
Our website uses Apache due to its flexibility and reliability.


It supports HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SMTP, and NNTP.
IIS is our choice for setting up an FTP server alongside our website.


Apache facilitates a variety of features like URL rewriting, custom log files, and server-side scripting.
We use Apache's URL rewriting module for clean and user-friendly URLs.


It's a platform for hosting applications and websites.
Our ASP.NET application runs smoothly on IIS.


It's known for its role in the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python) stack.
We built our web application on the LAMP stack, with Apache as the web server.


IIS is a Microsoft web server software for Windows.
We host our corporate website on IIS due to its seamless integration with other Microsoft services.


Apache is managed by the Apache Software Foundation.
Apache's ongoing development by the Apache Software Foundation ensures it stays up-to-date.


IIS integrates with Windows Server and Microsoft infrastructure.
Our Windows network relies on IIS for streamlined server management.


It's designed for extensibility and customization.
We customized Apache with additional modules to enhance its functionality.


The most notorious and possibly the most important arm of Iraq's security system;
The Iraqi Mukhabarat has been involved in numerous terrorist activities


A member of a Native American people inhabiting the southwest United States and northern Mexico. Various Apache tribes offered strong resistance to encroachment on their territory in the latter half of the 19th century. Present-day Apache populations are located in Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.


Any of the Apachean languages of the Apache.


A member of the Parisian underworld.


Alternative case form of Apache, a Parisian gangster.


Any member of Athapaskan tribes that migrated to the southwestern desert (from Arizona to Texas and south into Mexico); fought a losing battle from 1861 to 1886 with the United States and were resettled in Oklahoma


A Parisian gangster


The language of the Apache people


What is IIS?

IIS is a web server software by Microsoft, designed for Windows servers.

What is Apache?

Apache is an open-source, cross-platform web server software.

Can IIS run on Linux or UNIX?

No, IIS is specifically designed for Windows environments.

Is Apache free to use?

Yes, Apache is free and open-source.

Which is better for Windows-based servers, IIS or Apache?

IIS is typically preferred for Windows due to its integration with the OS.

Can Apache run ASP.NET applications?

Yes, with the use of specific modules like mod_mono.

Does IIS support PHP?

Yes, IIS can support PHP through certain configurations.

Which web server is more popular, IIS or Apache?

Apache generally has a larger market share and wider usage.

Does IIS have built-in FTP server capabilities?

Yes, IIS includes built-in support for FTP.

Can Apache be integrated with Windows Active Directory?

Yes, but it requires additional configuration.

How does the security of IIS compare to Apache?

IIS integrates closely with Windows security, while Apache requires manual security configuration.

Can IIS be customized?

Yes, but its customization options are more limited compared to Apache.

Which server is easier to manage for beginners, IIS or Apache?

IIS is often considered easier for beginners due to its graphical management interface.

Which server is more flexible in terms of module integration, IIS or Apache?

Apache is known for its high level of modularity and flexibility.

Is Apache a good choice for e-commerce websites?

Yes, Apache is robust and secure for e-commerce platforms.

How does the community support for IIS compare to Apache?

Apache has a larger community-driven support network compared to IIS.

Is Apache suitable for large-scale websites?

Yes, Apache is capable of handling large-scale and high-traffic websites.

How does the performance of IIS compare to Apache on non-Windows platforms?

IIS is not available on non-Windows platforms, whereas Apache performs well across different OSes.

Does Apache have a graphical interface for configuration?

No, Apache primarily uses text files for configuration.

Can IIS handle websites built on the LAMP stack?

LAMP stack websites are better suited for Apache, though IIS can handle PHP and MySQL.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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