What Is the Difference Between Nginx And Nginx Plus?

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Nginx and Nginx Plus are both web server software that provide high-performance and scalable solutions for websites and applications. However, there are notable differences between the two:

  1. Licensing: Nginx is an open-source software released under a 2-clause BSD-style license. This means it is free to use and modify, with the source code available to the public. Nginx Plus, on the other hand, is a commercial offering from Nginx, Inc. that requires a paid subscription.
  2. Additional Features: Nginx Plus includes additional features and functionalities that are not available in the open-source version. These features include advanced load balancing, content caching, extended monitoring and analytics, web application firewall (WAF), and SSL/TLS termination and offloading.
  3. Support: Nginx Plus customers receive dedicated technical support from Nginx, Inc., including assistance with installation, configuration, troubleshooting, and optimization. There is also access to regular updates and security patches from the company. Nginx, being open-source, relies on community support through forums, documentation, and user-contributed resources.
  4. Performance and Scalability: Both Nginx and Nginx Plus are known for their high-performance capabilities, handling a large number of concurrent connections efficiently. Nginx Plus, however, offers improved load balancing algorithms and caching mechanisms, resulting in enhanced performance and scalability for high-traffic websites and applications.
  5. Cost and Commercial Use: As mentioned earlier, Nginx is free to use and distribute, making it popular for small to medium-sized projects or when budget constraints exist. Nginx Plus, with its pricing model based on subscriptions, is typically more suitable for enterprise-level deployments requiring advanced features, support, and performance guarantees.


It's important to carefully consider the specific needs and requirements of your project before choosing between Nginx and Nginx Plus.

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Can nginx plus be used in a multi-cloud environment?

Yes, Nginx Plus can be used in a multi-cloud environment. Nginx Plus is a commercial version of the open-source Nginx web server. It is designed to provide advanced load balancing, caching, and API gateway functionality for high-performance applications. Nginx Plus can be deployed on various cloud platforms, enabling you to distribute your application infrastructure across multiple clouds and benefit from the advantages offered by each cloud provider. It provides flexibility and scalability to handle multiple server instances and balance the traffic efficiently across different cloud environments.


Can nginx plus handle WebSockets?

Yes, Nginx Plus can handle WebSockets. It supports WebSocket connections as well as provides load balancing and proxying capabilities for WebSocket applications. Nginx Plus can be configured to proxy WebSocket requests to backend WebSocket servers, allowing it to handle and manage WebSocket connections effectively.


What kind of SSL/TLS capabilities does nginx plus offer?

Nginx Plus offers various SSL/TLS capabilities, including:

  1. SSL/TLS termination: Nginx Plus acts as a TLS termination point, enabling secure connections between clients and the server. It handles the SSL/TLS handshake process and decrypts the incoming HTTPS traffic.
  2. Server Name Indication (SNI) support: Nginx Plus supports SNI, allowing it to handle multiple SSL/TLS certificates on a single IP address. This enables hosting multiple domains with different SSL/TLS certificates on a single Nginx Plus instance.
  3. SSL offloading: Nginx Plus offloads SSL/TLS processing from backend servers, reducing their workload and improving performance. This is particularly useful when dealing with resource-intensive cryptographic operations.
  4. Secure protocols and ciphers: Nginx Plus supports a wide range of secure protocols including SSLv3, TLSv1.0, TLSv1.1, and TLSv1.2. It also allows configuring specific ciphers to control the encryption algorithms and key lengths used in SSL/TLS communications.
  5. Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS): Nginx Plus supports PFS, which enhances security by generating unique session keys for each SSL/TLS session. This prevents compromising the confidentiality of past communications even if the server's private key is compromised in the future.
  6. SSL session caching: Nginx Plus caches SSL/TLS session parameters to accelerate the SSL/TLS handshake process for subsequent connections from the same client. This reduces the computational overhead of negotiating a new SSL/TLS session.
  7. SSL/TLS client certificate authentication: Nginx Plus can be configured to require clients to authenticate themselves using SSL/TLS client certificates. This adds an extra layer of security, ensuring that clients possess a valid certificate issued by a trusted certificate authority.


These capabilities make Nginx Plus a robust and flexible solution for implementing SSL/TLS encryption and securing web applications.

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Can nginx plus be used as an API gateway?

Yes, nginx Plus can be used as an API gateway. It has the necessary features to act as a reverse proxy and perform functions like load balancing, security, rate limiting, request/response transformation, and authentication/authorization for APIs. It can distribute incoming requests to backend servers, control access to APIs, and provide advanced features like caching and content compression. With its robust and scalable architecture, nginx Plus is often used as an API gateway in various microservices and cloud-native architectures.


What is the primary difference between nginx and nginx plus?

The primary difference between nginx and nginx Plus is that nginx Plus is the commercial version of nginx, which offers additional features and support for enterprise customers.


Some of the key differences include:

  1. Advanced Load Balancing: nginx Plus provides enhanced load balancing capabilities, such as session persistence, health checks, and dynamic reconfiguration.
  2. Content Caching: nginx Plus offers advanced content caching features, including support for microcaching, response caching, and cache purging.
  3. Web Application Firewall (WAF): nginx Plus includes a built-in WAF that helps protect against common web application attacks, such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).
  4. Monitoring and Analytics: nginx Plus provides detailed metrics and monitoring capabilities, allowing users to gain insights into server performance and optimize their applications.
  5. High Availability and Scalability: nginx Plus offers additional features for high availability and scalability, such as active-active clustering and on-the-fly configuration changes.
  6. Technical Support: nginx Plus customers have access to technical support from the NGINX team, ensuring prompt assistance and problem resolution.


While both nginx and nginx Plus are highly performant and widely used web servers, nginx Plus is targeted towards enterprises that require advanced features, support, and enterprise-grade reliability.


Does nginx plus support HTTP/2 protocol?

Yes, nginx plus does support the HTTP/2 protocol.


Does nginx plus offer any additional features compared to nginx?

Yes, Nginx Plus offers additional features compared to Nginx open-source version. Some of the additional features include:

  1. Dynamic reconfiguration: Nginx Plus allows dynamic changes to the configuration without the need for a restart, making it easier to make changes without causing downtime.
  2. Advanced Load Balancing: Nginx Plus provides advanced load balancing algorithms including IP Hash, Least Connections, and more, allowing for more efficient distribution of traffic across servers.
  3. Session persistence: It ensures that subsequent requests from the same client are sent to the same upstream server, maintaining session persistence and reducing the chances of session loss.
  4. Health checks: Nginx Plus performs regular health checks on upstream servers, allowing it to automatically remove or add servers to the load balancing pool based on their health status.
  5. Content caching: Nginx Plus includes an advanced caching mechanism that allows you to cache dynamic content from upstream servers, improving performance and reducing load on backend servers.
  6. SSL/TLS termination: Nginx Plus provides SSL/TLS termination capabilities, allowing it to handle encryption and decryption of HTTPS traffic, offloading the CPU-intensive task from backend servers.
  7. Advanced monitoring and analytics: Nginx Plus offers enhanced monitoring and analytics features, including real-time monitoring of key metrics, log streaming, and integration with third-party monitoring tools.


Overall, Nginx Plus offers a comprehensive set of features designed to enhance the performance, scalability, and manageability of your applications compared to the open-source version of Nginx.

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