Whenever a website goes down, two words are used more than others: DDoS and DoS. Not only do they sound similar, but they also have near-identical effects. But that's not to say you can use them interchangeably.
So, DDoS vs DoS: which term do you use the next time your favorite website crashes?
DDoS vs DoS: They're Not That Different
It's best to start by addressing the confusing acronyms. DoS stands for Denial of Service, and DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service or Distributed DoS.
To understand what a DDoS attack is, you first need to get a grip on the concept of DoS. On its own, denial of service isn't always malicious. It occurs when users can't access a website because its servers are filled up to capacity.
This can happen due to a variety of reasons. A post could unexpectedly go viral on a news site. As more people link to the same web page from their social media accounts, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of users flood the website almost simultaneously to read the story.
Most large-scale websites, such as major news outlets and social media platforms, are equipped with high-capacity servers along with backup servers. That way, their websites are only down for a short period of time, if at all.