What is a SQL Server Distributor?

Posted: asked May 18 at 15:44 - Source : stackoverflow

This question (SQL Server transactional replication distributor), mentions a blog post HERE, which talks about how the distribution database works in relation to publishers and subscribers. Seems pretty clear.

Is the Distributor a fully fledged instance of SQL Server? I understand that it could run on a separate server, so it would seem like it. If not, what is the difference between a Distribution server and a SQL Server instance?

I guess from THIS article that the transaction logs of the publisher are stored in the distribution database, which are then read by the subscribers. And that this is called 'transactional replication'? Are there any other types of replication?