thin client (computing)

A server-centric computing model in which the application software, data, and CPU power resides on a network server rather than on the client computer(s). Note 1: This computing philosophy allows administrators to purchase one relatively powerful and expensive server and be confident that any external terminal, regardless of its power or sophistication, can run applications on the server. Most “shopping” Web pages, for example, are thin-client applications (i.e., the client needs nothing more than a browser and a connection to the network to be able to search the “shopping” page and to order products). Local area networks can use thin-client modeling to install only one copy of necessary programs onto the main server for many clients on the network to use. Note 2: Server software is required to interface clients with the software on the server. Synonyms Internet appliance (computing), Internet box (computing), network computer.