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Internet / Network Glossary


Internet / Network Glossary

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 


A

Access
A term referring to the means by which a person or computer accesses the Internet. Also see Connectivity.

Alias
A hostname that replaces another hostname, such as an alias which is another name for the same Internet address. For example, www.company.com could be an alias for server03.company.com.

B

Bandwidth
The volume of data that the transmission line can carry. Telephone lines have the lowest bandwidth. Fiber optics have the highest bandwidth. Bandwidth is usually measured in Megabits (Mb). Internet throughput is usually measured in Megabytes (MB).

Bit
The smallest unit of information in a computer, equivalent to a single zero or a one. The word "bit" is a contraction of a "binary digit." Eight bits are needed to create a single alphabetical or numerical character, which is called a "byte."

bps
Acronym for "bits per second" used to define data rate capacity. Note that bps is distinct from BPS which defines "bytes per second" and is primarily used for defining actual Internet throughput.

BPS, TBPS, GBPS, MBPS, KBPS, TBPS, GBPS, etc..
Refers to data transmission rates. B usually means bytes and b usually bits. There are eight bits in a byte. T is for Tera (one trillion bits or bytes, G is for Giga (one billion bits or bytes), M is for Mega (one million bits or bytes) and K is for Kilo (one thousand bits or bytes).

Browser
Shorthand for web browser. A program, such as Netscape's Navigator or Microsoft's Internet Explorer, that "reads" hypertext and displays it as formatted text and images. Browsers allow users to view the contents of a site and navigate from one site to another.

Bytes
Bytes are typically a sequence of eight bits put together to create a single computer alphabetical or numerical character.

C

Cache
Caches store information where you can get to it fast. For example, a web browser cache speeds things up by storing the text and graphics of web pages you have visited on our hard drive so that when you go back to the page, everything doesn't have to be downloaded all over again.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)
Often referred to as CGI scripts. When a web client accesses a URL with a CGI script, the HTTP server executes the CGI program, passing to it any data provided by the client in a query string. The output of the CGI script is then returned to the originating client by the HTTP server specified in the original URL. CGI scripts are often used to create data entry forms and other simple applications.

Colocated hosting
A web hosting service where the customer brings their own equipment into Conxion's data center. By colocating their equipment at Conxion, customers can take advantage of our abundant bandwidth, sophisticated data centers and 24 x 7 monitoring services. Colocation is distinguished from Shared or Dedicated hosting services where the customer relies on high performance servers provided and managed by Conxion.

Connectivity
A term referring to the means by which a person or computer is connected to the Internet. Conxion offers high speed connectivity for corporate customers who wish to access the Internet at speeds ranging from 3Mbps to 155Mbps.

D

Daemon
A persistent process that responds to requests as they arrive, without human intervention. Server processes, such as those for HTTP and FTP, run as daemons.

Dedicated hosting
A web hosting service where Conxion provides a high performance super server that is dedicated to the needs of a single customer. Dedicated services include 24 x 7 management of the server hardware and software by Conxion for a customer's website(s).

Dial-up
Access to the Internet via a modem and telephone line, which requires that the modem dial a phone number when Internet access is needed. Dial-up modem speeds are generally limited to speeds of 28k to 56k. Dial-up access is contrasted with dedicated lines that are always available, and in the case of Conxion's Connectivity Edge, offer speeds of 3Mbps to 155 Mbps.

Domain
An Internet domain refers to a networked computer accessible through a host, or domain, name. A domain identity includes a distinguishing suffix such as .com (commercial), .edu (educational, primarily in the U.S.), .net (network operations), .gov (U.S. government). Most countries also have a domain. For example, .uk (United Kingdom), .au (Australia).

Domain name
A name for a computer that distinguishes it from all other computers on the Internet. This name is mapped by DNS to a unique IP address. For example: www.conxion.net is a domain name mapped to an IP address of 206.204.4.6. The term 'hostname' has grown to be synonymous with this definition of 'domain name.'

DNS
Domain Name System. When you send email or point a browser to an Internet domain such as conxion.net, the domain name system translates the names into Internet addresses (a series of numbers looking like: 123.123.23.2). The term refers to two things: the conventions for naming hosts and the way the names are handled across the Internet.

Download
A term referring to the act of transmitting information across the Internet to a particular computer. It can be used as a verb, as in "I downloaded it off the Conxion website," or as a noun referring to the information being downloaded. Download is usually associated with large files sizes, but it can include any digital information, whether graphic images, software, text, music, video, etc. The software industry has taken the lead in providing "software downloads," but the digital revolution ensures that people will be downloading all forms of digital data in the Internet future.

E

Email (electronic mail)
A method of electronically passing messages from one computer user to another, typically over computer networks.

Encryption
Encryption is the transformation of data into a form unreadable by anyone without a secret decryption key. Its purpose is to ensure privacy by keeping the information hidden from anyone for whom it was not intended, including those who can see the encrypted data. Encryption may be used to make stored data private (e.g., data that is stored on a potentially vulnerable hard disk), or to allow a nonsecure communications channel to serve as a private communications channel. Encryption is sometimes described as the process of converting plaintext into ciphertext.

Extranet
A controlled business computer networking application that uses Internet technology to link businesses with their suppliers, customers, or other businesses that share common goals.

F

Firewall
A set of software and hardware systems that reside between an organization's internal network and the rest of the Internet. It is designed to prevent unauthorized access to the organization's network from unauthorized users.

FTP
File transfer protocol is the method used on the Internet to copy a file from one computer to another. Using FTP, you can search through directories on computers around the world, locate a file, and transfer a copy of it to your machine.

G

Gigabyte
1,073,741,824 bytes. Abbreviated as GB.

H

Hit
A term referring to a web server receiving an HTTP request from a client browser. Typical hits occur when a browser sends a request for an HTML page, or an inline graphic that appears on the page. Each discreet element of the web page is registered as a "hit" in the website's log file. Downloading a page with many graphic elements will generate many hits. Though "hits" are a common measure for web traffic, they are not as relevant a measurement as "page views."

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)
Hypertext Markup Language codes data content in hypertext documents for platform-independent presentation. HTML documents are appropriate for delivering information across the World Wide Web.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
HTTP is a standard protocol for delivering hypertext material across an internet. HTTP is stateless: when a client makes multiple requests to a single HTTP server, each request is treated independently. HTTP servers do not remember the earlier requests. The stateless protocol allows HTTP servers to respond to requests quickly.

I

Internet
The network that spans the globe and connects thousands of universities, companies, and other organizations, originally started by ARPA in the early 70s. The Internet hosts the World Wide Web (WWW).

Internet Protocol (IP)
A particular component of the protocol stack by which networked hosts communicate.

InterNIC
The InterNIC is an authority created by the National Science Foundation in 1993 to provide a variety of information management services for the Internet. (Services are actually provided by private companies such as Network Solutions Inc., a Conxion customer.) Among these services are registration of domain names and assignment of IP addresses.

Intranet
An IP-based network that is not part of the Internet, but rather, is established for the internal communication purposes of a single company or organization.

IP address
A series of four numbers, each from the range of 0 to 255, separated by periods, which uniquely identify a node (usually a computer) on an internet. Although the underlying IP relies on these numeric addresses, people usually use host names, which are easier to remember and are automatically converted to IP addresses by the Domain Name System (DNS).

ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A commercial enterprise, such as Conxion Corporation, that offers a variety of Internet hosting and access services.

J

Java
Java is a network-oriented programming language invented by Sun Microsystems that is specifically designed for writing programs that can be run on a variety of operating systems.

K

Kbps
One thousand (Kilo) bits per second. Example: a 28.8 Kbps modem.

L

Local Loop
A fixed telephone line connection that provides wide-area connectivity, often constituting "last mile" transport between an ISP and a commercial customer. Contrast with dial-up.

Log file
A file in which a program records events as they occur for the purpose of analysis at a later time, for diagnostic or measurement purposes. Example: most web server administrators configure their web server to record each "hit" requested and whether they responded successfully.

M

Megabyte
A megabyte contains 1,048,576 bytes. In other words, a million bytes is actually less than a megabyte. Abbreviated as MB.

Mirror site
Because the Internet population has exploded in recent years, a single web server can't always cope with all the requests coming in from around the world. One solution is to create an exact copy of a server--a process called mirroring.

Modem
Modulate/demodulate: Essential telecommunications hardware, which converts digital data into analog or voice-like frequencies that the telephone system can reproduce.

N

O

OC3, OC12, OC48
OC stands for Optical Carrier and is used as a measurement of transmission capacity for a particular circuit. An OC3 circuit can transmit 155 Mbits in each direction. An OC12 can transmit four times as much data as an OC3, for a capacity of 620 Mbits. An OC 48 can transmit four times as much data as an OC12. Etc.

P

Page views
A term used as a measurement of website traffic that calculates the number of individual pages viewed by distinct customers during a specified period of time.

PERL (Practical Extraction and Report Language)
An interpreted language, often used for scanning text and formatting reports. It has become a popular language to use for writing CGI scripts, as well as for creating statistical reports from web server log files.

Port
A logical channel in a communications system. Each server program, for example, has a unique port number associated with it, defined in the Network Information Service "services" database. HTTP defaults to port 80. HTTPS defaults to port 443. FTP defaults to port 21.

PoP (Point of Presence)
A physical location where an Internet Service Provider (ISP) maintains routers and modems through which customers can access the Internet.

Private peering
An arrangement between two Internet backbone providers to exchange traffic between their two networks. By setting up such an arrangement, it facilitates a faster, higher quality exchange of traffic that avoids the congestion found at public peering points.

Public peering
Arrangements between a large number of Internet Backbone and web hosting providers to exchange traffic between the various networks. Public peering points include the MAEs and the NAPs. Congestion has become a serious problem at the public peering points, as an increasing number of providers dump traffic into them, overloading the routers at the core of the peering points.

Q

R

RAID
RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places (thus, redundantly) on multiple hard disks. By placing data on multiple disks, input/output operations can overlap in a balanced way, improving performance. Since multiple disks increases the mean time between failure (MTBF), storing data redundantly increases fault-tolerance.

S

Shared hosting
A web hosting service where Conxion provides a single super server that is shared by multiple web hosting customers. Shared hosting is a very economical solution for smaller websites, and websites that don't require complex custom applications.

S-HTTP (Secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol)
An encryption protocol used to allow private communication on the Web. Allows encryption, digital signatures, authentication, or any combination of these, at the application level. Contrast with SSL.

SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol)
Serial Line Internet Protocol is the other popular protocol for connecting a computer to the Internet over a dial-up phone line.

SONET
High-speed fiber-optic network constructed in rings so that data can be re-routed in the event of a fiber cut.  Conxion data centers are connected to diverse SONET rings. As a result, it would take four fiber cuts to disconnect a Conxion data center from the Internet.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
Uses PKI technology to transparently protect application-layer data and protocols (HTTP, FTP, Telnet).

T

T1 or T1 Line
T1 designates a measurement of transmission capacity for a particular circuit. A full T1 line can transmit 1.544 Mbps in each direction.

T3 or T3 Line
A T3, also known as DS3, designates a measurement of transmission capacity for a particular circuit. A full T3 line can transmit 45 Mbps in each direction.


TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)
A communications protocol used for situations that require a continuing connection between two programs across a network, which is more than the underlying Internet Protocol (IP) is designed to provide. Often called TCP/IP in reference to the IP that underlies TCP.

Telnet
A protocol that enables a user on one machine to log onto another networked machine.

U

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
A unique address consisting of a string of characters that precisely identifies an Internet resource's type and location. URLs typically have four parts: the first identifies the protocol; the second identifies the domain name; the third identifies the directory path, and the fourth identifies the document file name. Sometimes, the URL includes a fifth part known as the anchor name or bookmark, which points to a specific location within the document file.

V

W

Web page
A document consisting of one or more screens that are displayed via a browser. A web page is referenced by one URL.

Web server
A program that responds to requests from web clients. A web client requests one resource at a time. The resource can be an HTML document, a GIF image, an MPEG movie, or any of the types of resources defined by MIME.

Website
A virtual location on the web. A URL that serves as the top-level address of a website will be said to point to that website's home page. That page serves as a reference point, containing pointers to additional HTML pages or links to other websites.

World Wide Web (WWW)
The collection of all the resources (HTML documents, images, and other files, as well as CGI interface programs) accessible on the Internet mainly via HTTP but also via older protocols and mechanisms, such as FTP or Gopher, which are supported by most web browsers. The emergence of web browsers has made access to these resources achievable to a broad base of users beyond the more technically savvy traditional users of the Internet who relied on less user-friendly access tools than currently available browsers. Often referred to as "the Web," WWW or W3.

X

Y

Z







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