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What is the difference between www and www2? I have seen websites that say www2, what does that mean?

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    Isn't it just a subdomain name only? — TotalDesain
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    Yeah, it's just a sub-domain. My guess is it is used for load-balancing, www, www1, www2, etc. — mrmagu
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    Or for using different servers i.e. server2 points to www2.domain.com — meisam
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AB

We all know that "WWW" stands for World Wide Web, which is a kind of prefix before a normal domain name known as a subdomain. The web was created around 1990 in Geneva, Switzerland. But what is WWW1 or WWW2?

  1. Typically mirrors of WWW.
  2. Alternate web locations that can be used if the main server is under development.
  3. May be used with server web balancing to reduce load between servers.
  4. May be used to serve different geographic locations.

You may have noticed www1 or www2 once in a while when you are visiting a website. WWW1, WWW2, or even WWW3 is nothing but a mirror of the original web server which is typically WWW. In other words, they will simply duplicate the exact content that is on the WWW server.

Sometimes with a website, the original server needs to be updated or modified but major websites cannot just shut their main server down for hours to update their system. Therefore, they may provide an alternate way to access the content by using www1 or www2 duplication of their mainframe server. Many websites like the government, banks, and even major search engines like Google and Yahoo have used www1 and www2 in the past.

Popular websites may also use subdomains like this, possibly just internally that can be utilized with a web server balancer. This balancer will keep track of the load on different servers and route traffic to the servers that are currently experiencing the least amount of load. From the visitor's point of reference, they will be using the WWW version of the website, but depending on the load balancer, under the hood, they might be using WWW1, WWW2, or some other mirror.

Sometimes these different WWW servers are used for serving users based on their geographical location. Suppose, if someone typed https://www.google.com from the USA, they might be taken to the original google server which means https://www.google.com, but if someone types https://www.google.com from Africa, it might take them to www2.google.com or www1.google.com.

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    I never knew that and whilst I'm sure it's probably true I'm not totally convinced on some of these because it's such a crass way of dealing with the issue. That said I can't think of a reason why "www2" would exist publicly, especially within big firms. Load balancing and maintenance can be kept completely blind to users. — Prime
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    I was surprised that not a lot of information showed up in Google or Yahoo when I was searching for it. I was wondering if there is any security issue behind this mirror web server policy? — absul123
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XE

I'm going to guess your talking about Internet 2. Internet 2 is basically a super fast network similar to the original 'Internet' and only Universities and Governments have access to it.

I believe that currently the fastest recorded rate of transfer is on the Internet 2.

But don't take my word on any of this, I'm just trying to recall facts from my head, go on google for more indepth and accurate information.

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TH

First thing is that it is not just a regular subdomain.

It may be used to reduce load, but it is also used to increase security of a website.

Back in the day people used www1, www2, www3, www6 for secured web connections, but nowadays https connections are used for most URLs. These connections are better and they encrypt the data that is being transferred.

We can't say that https encryptions cannot be cracked, but they are much more secured than www non-HTTPS connections. Nowadays Google and Yahoo also use https connection, which at the time of this writing utilizes an SSL Certificate that is of Verisign Class 3 protection.

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