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Glossary of Terms

"A" Records - "A" (Address) records are host name records that match a name to an address.

Aliases - An alias is another name for your computer's Internet Name. Traditionally, aliases are created to direct services (like www) for your domain and have them point to the name of the computer that is actually running that service (ie. the web server). That way you do not actually need to have a real computer called www.

Browser - Any World Wide Web viewer program. For example, Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Client -software program that makes requests of a server in order to retrieve information and perform operations; Web Browsers, Email Programs, FTP Programs are all clients. (see server)

Daytime server -a computer that provides time services

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) - allows one IP Address (computer) to be exposed to the Internet. Some applications require multiple TCP/IP ports to be open. It is recommended that you set your computer with a static IP if you want to use DMZ.

Dial-Up -a connection made with a modem through phone lines

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.

DNS -Domain Name System, software used to locate computers on the Internet by hostname

DNS Lookup -Utility that provides a computer's domain name based on its IP Address.

Domain -the organization part only of a Domain Name (i.e.

Dynamic IP Address -IP address that changes each time the computer reconnects to the Internet.

Firewall - Hardware or software designed to prevent Internet users from accessing private areas of computer networks that are connected to the Internet; all messages entering or leaving the network pass through the firewall, which blocks those messages that don't meet the security criteria.

FTP -File Transfer Protocol, a method of transferring files on a network

Hostname -the name of a computer on the Internet (i.e.

Internet -the global network of connected computers

IRC - Internet Relay Chat - Worldwide real-time conferencing on the Internet. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of IRC channels, also called chat rooms. These chat rooms typically focus on specific topics or issues.

IP -Internet Protocol, IP routes a message across networks

IP Address -the numbers that identify a particular computer on the Internet (i.e. All IP addresses are made up of four numbers from 0-255, each number separated by periods, such as

Internet Name - The unique name for every computer that is connected to the Internet. (hostname)

ISP -Internet Service Provider

Local Area Network (LAN) - A network made up of two or more computers connected together. They are usually within the same building or within a very short distance (a mile or less) of each other. LANs enable users to communicate with each other via email and chat and to share devices like printers or a single Internet connection.

LOCALHOST - LOCALHOST is IP address, regardless of the IP address of your system. LOCALHOST allows you to connect to your system from your system.

MB -megabyte, 1 million (approx.) bytes

Mail Server -A computer that receives email messages, filters them into each user's email account, and passes them on to the email client when it requests them.

Modem -a hardware device that enables a computer to connect to another computer over the telephone lines, so that the two computers can exchange data.

MX Record -MX records are used for exchanging e-mail messages between domains. The MX record for a domain will have pointers to one or more hosts that accept mail for the domain. Each host name associated with the MX record has a priority number assigned to it, with lower numbers indicating a higher priority.

Network Address Translator (NAT) - translates multiple IP addresses on the private LAN to one public address that is sent out to the Internet. This adds a level of security since the address of a PC connected to the private LAN is never transmitted on the Internet. Furthermore, NAT allows the Cable/DSL Router to be used with low cost Internet accounts, such as DSL or cable modems, where only one TCP/IP address is provided by the ISP. The user may have many private addresses behind this single address provided by the ISP.

Network -a collection of computers connected together

Offline - Not connected to the Internet

Ping -A utility that determines whether a specific IP address is accessible by sending a data packet to that computer and waiting for a reply; Ping is primarily used to troubleshoot Internet connections.

POP3 (Post Office Protocol) - Protocol used to retrieve email messages from a mail server with an email client; POP3 clients must download and store messages on the local computer before they can read them.

Port Address - To ensure that each server application responds only to requests and communications from appropriate clients, each server is assigned a port address. Here are examples of common port addresses:
21 - FTP
23 - Telnet
25 - SMTP
53 - DNS
80 - HTTP
194 - IRC
PPPoE - stands for Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet. It is a non-standard method of connecting to your ISP to gain an IP address. It relies upon a software client that is provided by the ISP. An IP address is required to gain a connection to the Internet.

Proxy server - The proxy server is a machine that listens for requests from clients within the internal network and forwards these requests to remote internet servers on the external network (Internet). The proxy server reads responses from the external servers and then sends them to internal client clients. People using a proxy server should feel as if they are getting responses directly from remote servers.

Router - A computer system or software package that connects two or more networks. Routers look at the destination addresses of the IP packets and forward them to the correct address.

Server -a computer that receives and fulfills requests made by a client program over a network. For example, a Web server fulfills requests made by a Web browser.(also see Client)

SMTP - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Protocol that enables email servers to send email messages to each other over the Internet; also used to transfer messages from an email client to its outgoing mail server.

TCP/IP -Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol

Telnet - Communications network that allows computers to exchange information. It allows you to login from one Internet site to another.

Time-to-Live (TTL) - A value used by routers that is decremented as it is passed from router to router.

Traceroute - Utility that traces a data packet from one computer to another over the Internet, showing how many computers the packet passes through and how long each leg of the journey takes; traceroute is generally used to determine where delays are occuring and to find upstream Internet providers for a domain.

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.

UNIX - A computer operating system (the basic software running on a computer, underneath things like word processors and spreadsheets). UNIX is designed to be used by many people at the same time (it is multi-user) and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.

UTC -Universal Co-ordinated Time, Greenwich Mean Time

Wide Area Network (WAN) - A network made up of two or more networks located in different locations using telephone lines.

Web page - The page viewed on the browser. The page is defined by the HTML code obtained by the browser from the Web server.

Web server - Computer that stores web page files and delivers them to web browsers that request them; any computer can be made into a web server by installing server software on it and connecting it to the Internet.