Common Networking and Internet Terms

  Archie A program used to search the Internet for files.  
  Attachment A file included with e-mail messages when sent across the Internet. This can be a picture, text document of a different format, etc.  
  Bps Stands for bits-per-second. There are eight bits in a byte.  
  Binary Format A format that is used when posting files in Usenet newsgroups or other similar locations.  
  Broadcast The term used to describe a network acknowledgement of which computers are connected. Network broadcasting can eat up precious bandwidth depending on the network size, which is one reason subnetting is used.  
  Browser A program that is used to view the graphical content of the World Wide Web (WWW), such as Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, or Opera.  
  Cable Modem A device used to connect a cable (coaxial) network to an Ethernet network. It is NOT the same as a dial-up modem. Cable modems are used by broadband providers like Cox Communications and Charter.  
  DNS Stands for domain name system. It's the method used for converting or displaying IP addresses as names on the Internet.  
  DSL Stands for digital subscriber line. DSL communicates over the same telephone wiring (POTS) used by phones, but at different frequencies.  
  DSL Modem A device used to connect a DSL network to an Ethernet network. DSL modems are used by providers like Verizon.  
  Domain Name The name that is assigned to a particular IP address on the Internet.  
  E-Mail Stands for electronic mail. It's a message that is sent from one person to another across the Internet.  
  Ethernet The IEEE 802.3 communications standard originally created by Xerox, Intel, and DEC in 1976. It includes provisions for both BNC cabling/bus topology and twisted-pair cabling/star topology.  
  FDDI Stands for fiber distributed data interface. It is a type of fiber-optic backbone in which there are two complete fiber loops for transmitting and receiving data. FDDI combines fiber-optic cabling and the use of a Token Ring topology to transmit data at up to 100 Mbps.  
  Fiber Optic Cabling A networking medium in which light pulses are transmitted across vast distances through shielded pieces of stranded glass.  
  Firewall A software and / or hardware system that is used to regulate permissions to various computer systems on both the Internet and private intranets. One example of this is a server that runs Windows NT and has Proxy Server installed. This keeps the internal network from being seen by the outside world.  
  FTP Stands for file transfer protocol. It's a method by which files are exchanged from one system to another. This method is usually faster than downloading files by way of web pages.  
  Gbps Stands for gigabits-per-second. It is commonly associated with Gigabit Ethernet and 10-Gigabit Ethernet.  
  HTML Stands for hypertext markup language. It's the common programming language used for designing web pages.  
  Hub A central device used to connect several computers together on an Ethernet network. A hub's bandwidth is divided among however many devices need to communicate at any given time.  
  Internet A collection of computer networks. Most people refer to the global collection of computer networks as "the Internet."  
  Internet Service Provider (ISP) A company that supplies a connection to the Internet.  
  Intranet A collection of computer networks within one establishment, such as a multiple-floor office building or a college campus.  
  IP Address The four-octet numerical designation of a computer's network address. It will appear something like:  
  IRC Stands for internet relay chat. It's a method by which people join various "chat rooms" and have discussions.  
  Local Area Network (LAN) A network of computers in one establishment, such as a home, office building, or college campus.  
  Mbps Stands for megabits-per-second. Common denominations are 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps.  
  Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) A network usually comprising one or two cities.  
  MIME A type of encoding scheme used when sending an e-mail from one user to another. It converts binary files to text format.  
  Modem Device used to connect a computer to another computer or to an ISP. Modem stands for modulation/demodulation, which converts digital signals to analog signals and vice versa.  
  Network Adapter (NIC) Device used to connect a computer to a network.  
  Newsgroups Various discussion areas where people exchange information in Usenet.  
  OSI Reference Model Developed by the Internation Organization for Standardization, it is a seven-layer breakdown of how networks communicate. The layers, from level one to seven, are: physical, data link, network, transport, session, presentation, and application.  
  Packet The type of unit used for exchanging information in a network environment or the Internet.  
  Ping Command used to test connection speed between two points, usually the user's system to another system on a LAN or the Internet. Results are shown in milliseconds (ms).  
  POTS Stands for plain old telephone service, referring to the common wiring used for telephone calls.  
  PPP Stands for point-to-point protocol. It's a method used when modems connect to the Internet by phone line.  
  RJ-11 Connector The connector used on the ends of telephone wires, usually comprised of four pins.  
  RJ-45 Connector The connector used on the ends of copper network wiring which is comprised of eight pins.  
  Router A device used to route traffic between different network segments. Routers can be used in internal networks at the Internet connection, or between major Internet hops. Routers communicate at Layer 3 of the OSI model using a specific protocol, such as OSPF or RIP. In addition routers help eliminate broadcasts.  
  Shell Account A type of connection, usually text-based, where a user connects from one computer to another to conduct various operations. The most common type of shell account connection is Telnet, which is used to connect to UNIX-based computers.  
  Signature Data that is attached to an e-mail to identify the people that are sending/receiving.  
  SLIP Stands for serial line Internet protocol. It's a method that predates that of PPP used for connecting a computer to the Internet by modem over a phone line.  
  Spam The term used to describe a mass of e-mail messages that are sent to multiple recipients by one user.  
  Subnet A segment of networked computers. Networked computers are divided into subnets for easier control.  
  Subnet Mask The four-octet numerical designation used in conjunction with a computer's IP address that helps it define what network it is on. A common subnet mask is:  
  Switch A device used to connect several computers together on an Ethernet network. Switches communicate on Layer 2 of the OSI model, using the MAC of each network device. Switches allow for full-duplex operation of each port and provide aggregate bandwidth (total maximum bandwidth).  
  TCP/IP Stands for Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol. It's a standard method used between various computer systems for exchanging information over networks, thus eliminating the limitation of the type of computer. TCP is the part of TCP/IP by which data is sent using a connecton-oriented method to guarantee the data was received.  
  Telnet A type of shell account terminal used to allow users to talk to UNIX-based machines. Since Telnet connections are easily hackable, many use secure Telnet connections.  
  Token Ring A network topology in which networked computers transmit and receive data when they possess a "token." Only one system can possess the token at any given time. Typical Token Ring speeds are 4 Mbps and 16 Mbps, making this topology fairly obsolete.  
  UU Encode / UU Decode The method used for sending and receiving files to Usenet newsgroup servers.  
  UDP Stands for user datagram protocol. The method by which data is sent using the TCP/IP protocol without requiring acknowledgement the data was received.  
  Virtual Private Network (VPN) A network connection made specifically between two systems or networks across other networks owned and operated outside the home or business. A VPN has the appearance of being a direct connection between the two points. VPNs are encrypted for data security.  
  Wide Area Network (WAN) A network that spans large distances, such as multiple cities, states, provinces, or countries.  
  Winsock A type of software interface that allows Windows-based computers to communicate with the Internet.  
  World Wide Web The graphical portion of the Internet.  

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