CHAR and VARCHAR
VARCHARS are variable length strings with a specified maximum length. If a string is less than the maximum length, then it is stored verbatim without any extra characters, e.g. names and emails. CHARS are fixed-length strings with a specified set length. If a string is less than the set length, then it is padded with extra characters, e.g. phone number and zip codes. For instance, for a column which is declared as VARCHAR(30) and populated with the word ‘SQL Server,’ only 10 bytes will be stored in it. However, if we have declared the column as CHAR(30) and populated with the word ‘SQL Server,’ it will still occupy 30 bytes in database.
VARCHAR and VARCHAR(MAX)
VARCHAR stores variable-length character data whose range varies up to 8000 bytes; varchar(MAX) stores variable-length character data whose range may vary beyond 8000 bytes and till 2 GB. TEXT datatype is going to be deprecated in future versions, and the usage of VARCHAR(MAX) is strongly recommended instead of TEXT datatypes.
VARCHAR and NVARCHAR
In principle, they are the same and are handled in the same way by your application. The only difference is that NVARCHAR can handle unicode characters, allowing you to use multiple languages in the database (Arabian, Chinese, etc.). NVARCHAR takes twice as much space when compared to VARCHAR. Use NVARCHAR only if you are using foreign languages.