Below you will find a glossary of commonly used terms involving online activity. You can scroll through the page or use one of the quick links provided to navigate the list faster.
- A -
An address bar (also location bar or URL bar) is a widget in a web browser that either reflects the current URL or accepts typing-in a target URL.
A type of Advertising Display Software that delivers advertising content potentially in a manner or context that may be unexpected and unwanted by users. Many adware applications also perform tracking functions, and therefore may also be categorized as Tracking Technologies.
A software program that helps protect a computer against being infected by a virus, such as Charter Security Suite.
A small Java program that can be embedded in an HTML page. Applets differ from full-fledged Java applications in that they are not allowed to access certain resources on the local computer, such as files and serial devices (modems, printers, etc.), and are prohibited from communicating with most other computers across a network. The common rule is that an applet can only make an Internet connection to the computer from which the applet was sent.
Server software that manages one or more other pieces of software in a way that makes the managed software available over a network, usually to a Web server. By having a piece of software manage other software packages it is possible to use resources like memory and database access more efficiently than if each of the managed packages responded directly to requests.
A binary file (such as a document, spreadsheet, or graphic) which is delivered as part of an email message. [NB - some mailing systems will not accept attachments.]
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- B -
A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network. The term is relative as a backbone in a small network will likely be much smaller than many non-backbone lines in a large network.
To make a second copy of a file as a safety measure. The copy may be held on a floppy disk, a zip disk, or on CD-ROM.
The maximum throughput of a logical or physical communication path in a digital communication system
Information consisting entirely of ones and zeros. Also, commonly used to refer to files that are not simply text files, e.g. images.
Bit -- (Binary DigIT)
A single digit number in base-2, in other words, either a 1 or a zero. The smallest unit of computerized data. Bandwidth is usually measured in bits-per-second.
Blog (a.k.a. Weblog)
A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently.
bps -- (Bytes-Per-Second)
A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 56K modem can move about 57,000 bits per second.
Way in browsers to store in your computer direct links to sites you wish to return to. Netscape, Mozilla, and Firefox use the term Bookmarks. The equivalent in Internet Explorer (IE) is called a "Favorite." To create a bookmark, click on BOOKMARKS or FAVORITES, then ADD. Or left-click on and drag the little bookmark icon to the place you want a new bookmark filed. To visit a bookmarked site, click on BOOKMARKS and select the site from the list. You can download a bookmark file to diskette and install it on another computer. In most browsers now, you can do this with an Import... and Export... set of commands which can be found under FILE or in the Manage Bookmarks window's FILE.
To switch on a computer. If the machine is re-started while it is running, this is called 're-booting'.
Generally refers to connections to the Internet with much greater bandwidth than you can get with a dial-up modem. There is no specific definition of the speed of a "broadband" connection but in general any Internet connection using DSL or a via Cable-TV may be considered a broadband connection.
To follow links in a page, to shop around in a page, exploring what's there, a bit like window shopping. The opposite of browsing a page is searching it. When you search a page, you find a search box, enter terms, and find all occurrences of the terms throughout the site. When you browse, you have to guess which words on the page pertain to your interests. Searching is usually more efficient, but sometimes you find things by browsing that you might not find because you might not think of the "right" term to search by.
Browsers are software programs that enable you to view WWW documents. They "translate" HTML-encoded files into the text, images, sounds, and other features you see. Microsoft Internet Explorer (called simply IE), Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, and Opera are examples of "graphical" browsers that enable you to view text and images and many other WWW features.
A set of Bits that represent a single character. There are 8 Bits in a Byte, sometimes more, depending on how the measurement is being made.
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- C -
A software program that is used to contact and obtain data from a Server software program on another computer, often across a great distance. EachClient program is designed to work with one or more specific kinds of Server programs, and each Server requires a specific kind of Client. A Web Browser is a specific kind of Client.
A cable modem is used for connecting to the Internet and is much faster than a typical dial-up modem. While a 56K modem can receive data at about 53 Kbps, cable modems support data transfer rates of up to 30 Mbps. That's over 500 times faster. However, most ISPs limit their subscribers' transfer rates to less than 6 Mbps to conserve bandwidth.
Another important way that a cable modem is different than a dial-up modem is that it doesn't connect to a phone line. Instead, the cable modem connects to a local cable TV line, hence the term "cable modem." This allows cable modems to have a continuous connection to the Internet. Therefore, there is no need to dial your ISP every time you want to check your e-mail.
Cable modems, which have a much more complex design than dial-up modems, are usually external devices, but some models can be integrated within a computer. Instead of connecting to a serial port like a external dial-up modem, cable modems attach to a standard Ethernet port so they can transfer data at the fastest speed possible.
In browsers, "cache" is used to identify a space where web pages you have visited are stored in your computer. A copy of documents you retrieve is stored in cache. When you use GO, BACK, or any other means to revisit a document, the browser first checks to see if it is in cache and will retrieve it from there because it is much faster than retrieving it from the server.
In search results from Google, Yahoo! Search, and some other search engines, there is usually a Cached link which allows you to view the version of a page that the search engine has stored in its database. The live page on the web might differ from this cached copy, because the cached copy dates from whenever the search engine's spider last visited the page and detected modified content. Use the cached link to see when a page was last crawled and, in Google, where your terms are and why you got a page when all of your search terms are not in it.
Text sometimes exhibits case sensitivity; that is, words can differ in meaning based on differing use of uppercase and lowercase letters. In computers, some examples of usually case sensitive data are usernames, passwords, and filenames.
Coaxial cable, as a common example, has a wire conductor in the center a circumferential outer conductor and an insulating medium called the dielectric separating these two conductors. The outer conductor is usually sheathed in a protective PVC outer jacket.
The C:\> sign in DOS at which codes are typed. These commands control the computer. For many people, this system has been replaced by the Graphic User Interface [GUI] of Windows.
The most common meaning of "Cookie" on the Internet refers to a piece of information sent by a Web Server to a Web Browser that the Browser software is expected to save and to send back to the Server whenever the browser makes additional requests from the Server. Depending on the type of Cookie used, and the Browsers' settings, the Browser may accept or not accept the Cookie, and may save the Cookie for either a short time or a long time. Cookies might contain information such as login or registration information, online "shopping cart" information, user preferences, etc. When a Server receives a request from a Browser that includes a Cookie, the Server is able to use the information stored in the Cookie. For example, the Server might customize what is sent back to the user, or keep a log of particular users' requests. Cookies are usually set to expire after a predetermined amount of time and are usually saved in memory until the Browser software is closed down, at which time they may be saved to disk if their "expire time" has not been reached. Cookies do not read your hard drive and send your life story to the CIA, but they can be used to gather more information about a user than would be possible without them. Cyberspace
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- D -
Over time, the files on a computer's hard disk drive become disorganized. Running a defragmentation program restores order and speeds up the reading and writing of data.
DHCP -- (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
DHCP is a protocol by which a machine can obtain an IP number (and other network configuration information) from a server on the local network.
DNS -- (Domain Name System)
The Domain Name System is the system that translates Internet domain names into IP numbers. A "DNS Server" is a server that performs this kind of translation.
The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name points to only one machine. For example, the domain names:
can all refer to the same machine, but each domain name can refer to no more than one machine. Usually, all of the machines on a given Network will have the same thing as the right-hand portion of their Domain Names (matisse.net in the examples above). It is also possible for a Domain Name to exist but not be connected to an actual machine. This is often done so that a group or business can have an Internet e-mail address without having to establish a real Internet site. In these cases, some real Internet machine must handle the mail on behalf of the listed Domain Name.
Transferring data (usually a file) from a another computer to the computer you are are using. The opposite of upload.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
A method for moving data over regular phone lines. A DSL circuit is much faster than a regular phone connection, and the wires coming into the subscriber's premises are the same (copper) wires used for regular phone service. A DSL circuit must be configured to connect two specific locations, similar to a leased line (howeverr a DSL circuit is not a leased line. A common configuration of DSL allows downloads at speeds of up to 1.544 megabits (not megabytes) per second, and uploads at speeds of 128 kilobits per second. This arrangement is called ADSL: Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. Another common configuration is symmetrical: 384 Kilobits per second in both directions. In theory ADSL allows download speeds of up to 9 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 640 kilobits per second. DSL is now a popular alternative to Leased Lines and ISDN, being faster than ISDN and less costly than traditional Leased Lines.
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- E -
Allows users to send and receive messages to each other over the Internet.
A code representing a unique email user on the Internet. Examples might include - email@example.com
A very common method of networking computers in a LAN. There is more than one type of Ethernet. By 2001 the standard type was "100-BaseT" which can handle up to about 100,000,000 bits-per-second and can be used with almost any kind of computer.
These are programs or self-extracting files with an .exe filename extension. Clicking on an executable file will start the program running.
An intranet that is accessible to computers that are not physically part of a company’s own private network, but that is not accessible to the general public, for example to allow vendors and business partners to access a company web site. Often an intranet will make use of a Virtual Private Network. (VPN.)
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- F -
In the Internet Explorer browser, a means to get back to a URL you like, similar to Bookmarks.
An Internet software tool for locating people on other Internet sites. Finger is also sometimes used to give access to non-personal information, but the most common use is to see if a person has an account at a particular Internet site. Many sites do not allow incoming Finger requests, but many do.
A combination of hardware and software that separates a Network into two or more parts for security purposes. See also: Network
As applied to email, the sending of a message that has been received to another recipient.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
A very common method of moving files between two Internet sites. FTP is a way to login to another Internet site for the purposes of retrieving and/or sending files. There are many Internet sites that have established publicly accessible repositories of material that can be obtained using FTP, by logging in using the account name "anonymous", thus these sites are called "anonymous ftp servers". FTP was invented and in wide use long before the advent of the World Wide Web and originally was always used from a text-only interface.
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- G -
The technical meaning is a hardware or software set-up that translates between two dissimilar protocols, for example America Online has a gateway that translates between its internal, proprietary e-mail format and Internet e-mail format. Another, sloppier meaning of gateway is to describe any mechanism for providing access to another system, e.g. AOL might be called a gateway to the Internet.
GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)
A common format for image files, especially suitable for images containing large areas of the same color. GIF format files of simple images are often smaller than the same file would be if stored in JPEG format, but GIF format does not store photographic images as well as JPEG.
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- H -
A personal computer is made up of multiple physical components of computer hardware, upon which can be installed an operating system and a multitude of software to perform the operator's desired functions.
HISTORY, Search History
Available by using the combined keystrokes CTRL + H. You can set how many days your browser retains history in Edit | Preferences, or in Tools | Options.
Home Page (or Homepage)
Several meanings. Originally, the web page that your browser is set to use when it starts up. The more common meaning refers to the main web page for a business, organization, person or simply the main page out of a collection of web pages, e.g. "Check out so-and-so's new Home Page."
Any computer on a network that is a repository for services available to other computers on the network. It is quite common to have one host machine provide several services, such as SMTP (email) and HTTP (web).
HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
The coding language used to create Hypertext documents for use on the World Wide Web. HTML looks a lot like old-fashioned typesetting code, where you surround a block of text with codes that indicate how it should appear.
The "hyper" in Hypertext comes from the fact that in HTML you can specify that a block of text, or an image, is linked to another file on the Internet. HTML files are meant to be viewed using a "Web Browser". HTML is loosely based on a more comprehensive system for markup called SGML, and is expected to eventually be replaced by XML-based XHTML standards.
See also: Browser, Hypertext, SGML, WWW, XHTML, XML
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)
The protocol for moving hypertext files across the Internet. Requires a HTTP client program on one end, and an HTTP server program (such as Apache) on the other end. HTTP is the most important protocol used in the World Wide Web (WWW). Generally, any text that contains links to other documents - words or phrases in the document that can be chosen by a reader and which cause another document to be retrieved and displayed.
Hub (a.k.a. Ethernet Hub)
A network hub or repeater hub is a device for connecting multiple twisted pair or fiber optic Ethernet devices together and making them act as a single network segment.
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- I -
internet (Lower case i)
Any time you connect 2 or more networks together, you have an internet - as in inter-national or inter-state.
Internet (Upper case I)
The vast collection of inter-connected networks that are connected using the TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late 60's and early 70's. The Internet connects tens of thousands of independent networks into a vast global internet and is probably the largest Wide Area Network in the world.
A private network inside a company or organization that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but that is only for internal use. Compare with extranet.
An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical label that is assigned to devices participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication between its nodes. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.
IP Number (Internet Protocol Number)
Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. 18.104.22.168 Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number - if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Many machines (especially servers) also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.
IPv4 (Internet Protocol, version 4)
The most widley used version of the Internet Protocol (the "IP" part of TCP/IP.)
IPv4 allows for a theoretical maximum of approximately four billion IP Numbers (technically 232), but the actual number is far less due to inefficiencies in the way blocks of numbers are handled by networks. The gradual adoption of IPv6 will solve this problem.
IPv6 (Internet Protocol, version 6)
The successor to IPv4. Already deployed in some cases and gradually spreading, IPv6 provides a huge number of available IP Numbers - over a sextillion addresses (theoretically 2128). IPv6 allows every device on the planet to have its own IP Number.
ISP (Internet Service Provider)
An institution that provides access to the Internet in some form, usually for money.
IT (Information Technology)
A very general term referring to the entire field of Information Technology - anything from computer hardware to programming to network management. Most medium and large size companies have IT Departments.
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- J -
Java is a network-friendly programming language invented by Sun Microsystems. Java is often used to build large, complex systems that involve several different computers interacting across networks, for example transaction processing systems. Java is also used to create software with graphical user interfaces such as editors, audio players, web browsers, etc. Java is also popular for creating programs that run in small electronic devices, such as mobile telephones. Using small Java programs (called "Applets"), Web pages can include functions such as animations, calculators, and other fancy tricks.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
JPEG is most commonly mentioned as a format for image files. JPEG format is preferred to the GIF format for photographic images as opposed to line art or simple logo art.
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- K -
(change to) The kilobyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information storage or transmission. The prefix kilo means 1000 in the International System of Units (SI), therefore 1 kilobyte is 1000bytes. The recommended unit symbol for the kilobyte is kB or kbyte.
- L -
A delay, a period between the initiation of something and the occurrence.
LAN (Local Area Network)
A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building.
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Noun or a verb. Noun: The account name used to gain access to a computer system. Not a secret (contrast with Password). Verb: the act of connecting to a computer system by giving your credentials (usually your "username" and "password")
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- M -
Malicious software (mal-ware) is a form of computer program designed with malicious intent. This intent may be to cause annoying pop-up ads with the hope you click on one and generate revenue, or forms of spyware and viruses that can be used to steal your identity or track your activities
The megabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information storage or transmission with two different values depending on context: 1048576 bytes (10242) generally for computer memory] and one million bytes (106, see prefix mega-) generally for computer storage. The IEEE Standards Board has decided that "Mega will mean 1 000 000", with exceptions allowed for the base-two meaning.] In rare cases, it is used to mean 1000×1024 (1024000) bytes. It is commonly abbreviated as Mbyte or MB (compare Mb, for the megabit).
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- N -
Any time you connect 2 or more computers together so that they can share resources, you have a computer network. Connect 2 or more networks together and you have an internet.
The name for discussion groups on USENET.
NIC – Network Interface Card
Generally, any office that handles information for a network. The most famous of these on the Internet was the InterNIC, which was where most new domain names were registered until that process was decentralized to a number of private companies. Also means "Network Interface card", which is the card in a computer that you plug a network cable into.
NNTP -- (Network News Transport Protocol)
The protocol used by client and server software to carry USENET postings back and forth over a TCP/IP network. If you are using any of the more common software such as Netscape, Nuntius, Internet Explorer, etc. to participate in newsgroups then you are benefiting from an NNTP connection.
Any single computer connected to a network.
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- O -
In computing, an operating system (OS) is an interface between hardware and user, which is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the resources of computer, that acts as a host for computing applications run on the machine. Popular examples: Microsoft Windows, Macintosh OS X, Linux.
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- P -
A code used to gain access (login) to a locked system. Good passwords contain letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations such as virtue7. A good password might be: 5%df(29) But don't use that one!
A bundle of data transmitted across a network. It contains the source address (where the packet has come from) the destination address (where it's going to) a packet identifier (what sort of packet it is) and the data being sent.
PDF (Portable Document Format)
A file format designed to enable printing and viewing of documents with all their formatting (typefaces, images, layout, etc.) appearing the same regardless of what operating system is used, so a PDF document should look the same on Windows, Macintosh, linux, OS/2, etc. The PDF format is based on the widely used Postcript document-description language. Both PDF and Postscript were developed by the Adobe Corporation.
To check if a server is running. From the sound that a sonar systems makes in movies, you know, when they are searching for a submarine.
A (usually small) piece of software that adds features to a larger piece of software. Common examples are plug-ins for the Netscape® browser and web server. Adobe Photoshop® also uses plug-ins.
podcasting or pod-casting
A form of audio broadcasting using the Internet, podcasting takes its name from a combination of "iPod" and broadcasting. iPod is the immensely popular digital audio player made by Apple computer, but podcasting does not actually require the use of an iPod.
Podcasting involves making one or more audio files available as "enclosures" in an RSS feed. A pod-caster creates a list of music, and/or other sound files (such as recorded poetry, or "talk radio" material) and makes that list available in the RSS 2.0 format. The list can then be obtained by other people using various podcast "retriever" software which read the feed and makes the audio files available to digital audio devices (including, but not limited to iPods) where users may then listen to them at their convenience.
POP -- (Point of Presence, also Post Office Protocol)
Point of Presence and Post Office Protocol. A Point of Presence usually means a city or location where a network can be connected to, often with dial up phone lines. So if an Internet company says they will soon have a POP in Belgrade, it means that they will soon have a local phone number in Belgrade and/or a place where leased lines can connect to their network. A second meaning, Post Office Protocol refers to a way that e-mail client software such as Eudora gets mail from a mail server. When you obtain an account from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) you almost always get a POP account with it, and it is this POP account that you tell your e-mail software to use to get your mail. Another protocol called IMAP is replacing POP for email.
An interface on a computer to which you can connect a device. In TCP/IP and UDP networks, an end point to a logical connection. For example, port 80 is used for HTTP traffic.
A Proxy Server sits in between a Client and the "real" Server that a Client is trying to use. Clients are sometimes configured to use a Proxy Server, usually an HTTP server. The clients makes all of it's requests from the Proxy Server, which then makes requests from the "real" server and passes the result back to the Client. Sometimes the Proxy server will store the results and give a stored result instead of making a new one (to reduce use of a Network). Proxy servers are commonly established on Local Area Networks
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- Q -
Currently No Terms that begin with Q
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- R -
Random Access Memory. A computer's working memory, where programs store information when they are running. The bigger it is, the less time your computer will have to wait to get data from the hard disk drive.
Booting, an event sequence when (re)starting a computer.
A large, constantly changing file, containing details of how your computer is set up, and all the programs stored on the hard disk.
Modem Router Combo device that enables Internet access sharing by multiple PCs and other devices on a home network.
A device that routes data between networks using IP addressing. Routers provide firewall security.
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- S -
A (usually web-based) system for searching the information available on the Web. Some search engines work by automatically searching the contents of other systems and creating a database of the results. Other search engines contains only material manually approved for inclusion in a database, and some combine the two approaches.
A chunk of information (often stored as a text file) that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection.
A computer, or a software package, that provides a specific kind of service to client software running on other computers. The term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as a WWW server, or to the machine on which the software is running, e.g. "Our mail server is down today, that's why e-mail isn't getting out." A single server machine can (and often does) have several different server software packages running on it, thus providing many different servers to clients on the network. Sometimes server software is designed so that additional capabilities can be added to the main program by adding small programs known as servlets.
On any network of computers, the practice of distributing or providing access to digitally stored information, such as computer programs, multi-media (audio, video), documents, or electronic books. It may be implemented in a variety of storage, transmission, and distribution models.
Software programs that you can try before you buy. If you decide to use a program, you should send a payment to the author or publisher.
SITE or WEB-SITE
This term is often used to mean "web page," but there is supposed to be a difference. A web page is a single entity, one URL, one file that you might find on the Web. A "site," properly speaking, is a location or gathering or center for a bunch of related pages linked to from that site.
SMTP -- (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
The main protocol used to send electronic mail from server to server on the Internet. SMTP is defined in RFC 821 and modified by many later RFC's.
A general term primarily used for digitally stored data such as computer programs and other kinds of information read and written by computers. Today, this includes data that has not traditionally been associated with computers, such as film, tapes and records. The term was coined in order to contrast to the old term hardware (meaning physical devices); in contrast to hardware, software is intangible, meaning it "cannot be touched".
Spam (or Spamming)
An inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or USENET or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same message to a large number of people who didn?t ask for it. The term probably comes from a famous Monty Python skit which featured the word spam repeated over and over. The term may also have come from someone?s low opinion of the food product with the same name, which is generally perceived as a generic content-free waste of resources. (Spam® is a registered trademark of Hormel Corporation, for its processed meat product.)
A somewhat vague term generally referring to software that is secretly installed on a users computer and that monitors use of the computer in some way without the users' knowledge or consent. Most spyware tries to get the user to view advertising and/or particular web pages. Some spyware also sends information about the user to another machine over the Internet. Spyware is usually installed without a users' knowledge as part of the installation of other software, especially software such as music sharing software obtained via download.
SSL -- (Secure Socket Layer)
A protocol designed by Netscape Communications to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet.
Switch (a.k.a. Network Switch)
A network switch is a computer networking device that connects network segments. The term commonly refers to a network bridge that processes and routes data at the data link layer (layer 2) of the OSI model. Switches that additionally process data at the network layer (layer 3 and above) are often referred to as Layer 3 switches or multilayer switches.
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- T -
TCP/IP -- (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
This is the suite of protocols that defines the Internet. TCP/IP software is now included with every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP software.
The command and program used to login from one Internet site to another. The telnet command/program gets you to the login: prompt of another host.
Temporary Internet Files
This is a directory on Microsoft Windows computer systems. The directory is used by Internet Explorer and other web browsers to cache pages and other multimedia content, such as video and audio files, from websites visited by the user. This allows such websites to load more quickly the next time they are visited. Not only web browsers access the directory to read or write, but also Windows Explorer and Windows Desktop Search.
A computer program is either hidden inside another program or that masquerades as something it is not in order to trick potential users into running it. For example a program that appears to be a game or image file but in reality performs some other function. The term "Trojan Horse" comes from a possibly mythical ruse of war used by the Greeks sometime between 1500 and 1200 B.C. A Trojan Horse computer program may spread itself by sending copies of itself from the host computer to other computers, but unlike a virus it will (usually) not infect other programs.
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- U -
UDP -- (User Datagram Protocol)
One of the protocols for data transfer that is part of the TCP/IP suite of protocols. UDP is a "stateless" protocol in that UDP makes no provision for acknowledgement of packets received
Transferring data (usually a file) from a computer you are using to another computer. This is the opposite of download.
URI (Uniform Resource Identifier)
An address for resource available on the Internet. The first part of a URI is called the "scheme". the most well known scheme is http, but there are many others. Each URI scheme has its own format for how a URI should appear. Here are examples of URIs using the http, telnet, and news schemes: http://www.matisse.net/files/glossary.html telnet://well.sf.ca.us news:new.newusers.questions
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
The term URL is basically synonymous with URI. URI has replaced URL in technical specifications.
URN (Uniform Resource Name)
A URI that is supposed to be available for along time. For an address to be a URN some institution is supposed to make a commitment to keep the resource available at that address.
Universal Serial Bus or Port, connection port on a computer that is universally compatible with many types of devices, such as, printers, speakers, mouse, etc. Speeds start at 12 Mbps for USB 1.0 and can go up to 4.5 Gbps with USB 3.0.
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- V -
A chunk of computer programming code that makes copies of itself without any conscious human intervention. Some viruses do more than simply replicate themselves, they might display messages, install other software or files, delete software of files, etc. A virus requires the presence of some other program to replicate itself. Typically viruses spread by attaching themselves to programs and in some cases files, for example the file formats for Microsoft word processor and spreadsheet programs allow the inclusion of programs called "macros" which can in some cases be a breeding ground for viruses.
VOIP (Voice Over IP)
A specification and various technologies used to allow making telephone calls over IP networks, especially the Internet.
Just as modems allow computers to connect to the Internet over regular telephone lines, VOIP technology allows humans to talk over Internet connections.
Costs for VOIP calls can be a lot lower than for traditional telephone calls. Because the IP networks are packet-switched this allows for vastly different ways of handling connections and more efficient use of network resources.
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Usually refers to a network in which some of the parts are connected using the public Internet, but the data sent across the Internet is encrypted, so the entire network is "virtually" private.
- W -
WAN (Wide Area Network)
Any internet or network that covers an area larger than a single building or campus.
Short for "World Wide Web."
Webmail is a way of accessing your email online, as opposed to downloading it onto your computer into a program such as Outlook Express. Charter.net Webmail can be accessed straight from our homepage.
A document designed for viewing in a web browser. Typically written in HTML, a web site is made of one or more web pages.
The entire collection of web pages and other information (such as images, sound, and video files, etc.) that are made available through what appears to users as a single web serve. Typically all the of pages in a web site share the same basic URL, for example the following URLs are all for pages within the same web site:
The term has a somewhat informal nature since a large organization might have separate "web sites" for each division, but someone might talk informally about the organizations' "web site" when speaking of all of them.
Wi-Fi -- (Wireless Fidelity)
A popular term for a form of wireless data communication, basically Wi-Fi is "Wireless Ethernet".
Wireless Local Area Network, links devices via a wireless distribution method (typically spread-spectrum or OFDM radio), and usually provides a connection through an access point to the wider internet. This gives users the mobility to move around within a local coverage area and still be connected to the network.
A worm is a virus that does not infect other programs. It makes copies of itself, and infects additional computers (typically by making use of network connections) but does not attach itself to additional programs; however a worm might alter, install, or destroy files and programs.
WWW -- (World Wide Web)
World Wide Web (or simply Web for short) is a term frequently used (incorrectly) when referring to "The Internet" Second, hypertext servers (HTTP servers), more commonly called "web servers", which are the servers that serve web pages to web browsers.
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