When talking about a server on/in the internet, which preposition would you use?

In the question "In the Internet" vs. "on the Internet", it is recommended to

[...] use "on". At least if you are talking about the contents you can find on it. If you're talking about its hardware structure for instance, then, "in" can maybe fit in some cases, I guess.

Another answer said that

a switch [which routes internet messages] is 'in the internet'

How about the special case of a server? It is not contents, yet it serves them. You would use on the internet when talking about its contents and in the internet when talking about the actual hardware, right?

If you say that a client is able to connect to the server (via proxy, for example), does it connect to a server on or in the internet?

(This is somewhat of an edge case, so I was not sure how to apply the answer of the above question).

  • 2
    A server that is not somehow part of the "backbone" is "on" the Internet. (Note that it is possible to have a server of essentially identical nature which is not "on the Internet", but instead part of a private network.)
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 12, 2015 at 12:47
  • Would the downvoter explain what can be improved, or not?
    – serv-inc
    Nov 12, 2015 at 13:07

1 Answer 1


If you have to use a preposition, use "on":

There are two main approaches to using Internet Location Servers: use a public server on the Internet, or run and use a private server.


When dynamic NAT without overloading is being used, what happens if seven users attempt to access a public server on the Internet when only six addresses are available in the NAT pool?


I think you can also simply say "public server" and get the message across in many (most?) cases.

For example, a public DNS server is undoubtedly on the Internet, so "on the Internet" basically becomes redundant.

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