Glossary of Internet Terminology

56k Line
A digital phone-line connection, or leased line, capable of carrying 56,000 bits per second. At this speed, a megabyte of data would take about 3 minutes to transfer.

A software tool for finding files stored on anonymous FTP sites. A user needs to know the exact file name or a substring of it.

Advanced Research Projects Administration Network - The precursor to the Internet. Developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s by the U.S. Department of Defense as an experiment in wide- area networking that could survive a nuclear war.

American standard code for information interchange - The de facto worldwide standard for code numbers used by computers to represent all of the upper- and lower-case Latin letters, numbers, punctuation, and other characters.

Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) is an international ISDN high speed, high volume, packet switching transmission protocol standard. ATM currently accommodates transmission speeds from 64 Kbps to 622 Mbps.

A high speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network.

Terminology used to indicate the transmission or processing capacity of a system or of a specific location in a system (usually a network system).

Bulletin Board System - A computerized meeting and announcement system that allows people to carry on discussions and upload and download files.

A binary digit, either a 0 or 1 . The smallest element of a computer program. In the U.S., 8 bits make up one byte.

Bits-Per-Second - A measurement of how fast data are moved from one place to another. A 28.8 modem can move 28,800 bits per second.

Software programs that retrieve, display, and print information and HTML documents from the Worldwide Web,

The fundamental unit that a computer uses in its operation. It is a group of adjacent binary digits, usually 8, often used to represent a single character (see 'bit').

Storing or buffering data in a temporary location, so that the information can be retrieved quickly by an application.

A software program used to contact and obtain data from a Server software program on another computer, often across a great distance. Each client program is designed to work with one or more specific kinds of server programs, and each server requires a specific kind of client.

Domain Name
The unique name that identifies an Internet site, such as". A domain name always has two or more parts, separated by periods. The part to the left of the period is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general.

Electronic Commerce (EC)
Business environment integrating electronic transfer and automated business systems.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Computer-to-computer exchange of structured transactional information between autonomous computers.

Electronic mall - Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer. E-mail can a so be sent automatically to a large number of addresses.

A very common method of networking computers in a LAN. Ethernet will handle about 10,000,000 bits per second and can be used with almost any kind of computer.

Fire Wall
This combination of software and hardware will separate a LAN into two or more parts for security reasons.

File Transfer Protocol An Internet utility program to obtain files from another system or to move files between systems. These files may contain information or software programs.

An Internet protocol that directly preceded the WWW, created by the University of Minnesota. It is a more basic system than the Web's HTTP.

Hit (Web site)
Web-speak for a successful access to a file on a Web page.

Home Page
The first HTML (hypertext markup language) page that users generally see on a World Wide Web site. The home page represents the image that a company or individual chooses to project to users on the Internet.

A new generation of browser technology developed by Sun Microsystems which allows users to observe and interact with Java programs

HyperText Markup language - A simple coding system used to format documents for viewing by World Wide Web clients. HTML can be compared with early word-processing software, in which all special characters, like bold or underline, need to be marked or "tagged" to let the printer know that the character requires special consideration during output.

HyperText Transport Protocol - An Internet computer communication encoding standard for the exchange of multimedia documents on the Web

The path between two documents, which allows the user to point-and- click on specific words on the screen and thereby move to the requested location, wherever it is on the Internet.

Generally, any text that contains "links' to other documents - words or phrases in the document that con be chosen by a reader and which cause another document to be retrieved and displayed.

A collaborative project of three organizations to offer the Internet community a full scope of network information services.

IP Number
A unique numeric pattern consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g., Every machine on the Internet has a unique IP number.

Integrated Services Digital Network - A digital telephonic system made up of two 64 kbps "B" channels for data and one "D" channel for traffic messaging.

Internet Service Provider - A business that allows companies and individuals to connect to the Internet by providing the interface to the Internet backbone.

(See Hotjava)

Leased Lines
A permanent physical connection between two locations that forms a private wide-area network (WAN). They are called leased lines because they are rented from a telephone company.

A (usually automated) system that allows people to send e-mail to one address, whereupon their message is copied and sent to all other subscribers to the mailing list

A million bytes. A thousand kilobytes

User interface software for navigating, browsing, and accessing files on the Internet. The Mosaic browser was developed at NCSA, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois.

Motion Picture Experts Group - A proposed international standards organization (ISO) standard for digital video and audio compression for moving images. The primary application targeted during the MPEG-2 definition process was the all digital transmission of broadcast-quality video.

A newcomer to the Internet, particularly someone who, through ignorance or indifference, violates the traditional rules of Internet etiquette, or "netiquette",

The name for discussion groups or Usenet

Internet Access - Points of presence, a term used by Internet service providers to indicate the number or geographical locations of their access to the Internet.

Point to Point Protocol - This is best known as a protocol that allows a computer to use a regular telephone line and a modem to make a TCP/IP connection, and thus be really and truly on the Internet. PPP is gradually replacing SLIP for this purpose

Public Key Cryptography
A security scheme in which a different key is used for encryption and decryption. Key-I is the public key; that is, everyone knows it. Key 2 is private, so that only the recipient knows it. In this scheme, it is computationally impossible to derive key-2 from key-I .

A special-purpose computer (or software package) that handles the connection between two or more networks.

Any computer that allows other computers to connect to it. Most commonly, servers are dedicated machines. Most machines using UNIX are servers.

Serial Line Internet Protocol - A standard for using a regular telephone line (a serial line) and a modem to connect a computer as a real Internet site. SLIP is gradually being replaced by PPP.

Switched Multimegabit Data Service - a new standard for very high-speed data transfer.

Secure Sockets Layer - Netscape Communications' implementation of secure information transmission through the Internet.

A high-,speed 1.5 mbits/sec leased line often used by companies for access to the Internet.

A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 45 mbits/sec.

Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol - This is the suite of protocols that designs the Internet. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP software.

A software service packaged with most operating Systems that allows the user to get onto a system over a network in the same way as if he or she were using a terminal attached to the system.

An operating system developed by AT&T that is widely used by universities. UNIX uses TCP/IP as its standard communications protocol, making UNIX a natural access operating system for the Internet.

Uniform (or Universal) Resource Locator - The URL provides information on the protocol, the system, and the file name, so that the users system can find a particular document on the Internet

Very Easy Rodent Oriented Net- wide index to Computerized Archives - Developed at the University of Nevada, Veronica is a constantly updated database of the names of almost every menu item on thousands of gopher servers.

Wide Area Information Servers - A search capability that locates requested information on the Internet using a keyword or combination of keywords.

Wide-area Network - Any internet or network that covers an area larger then c single building or campus.

Web Page
An HTML document C)n the Web, usually one of many that together make up a Web site.

Web Server
A system capable of continuous access to the Internet (or an internal network) through retrieving and displaying documents via hypertext transfer protocol (http). Files can be audio clips, video, graphics, or text.

Generally accepted shorthand for the Worldwide Web. Also called the Web, or W3

Worldwide Web
The mechanism developed by Tim Berners-Lee for CERN physicists to be able to share documents via the Internet. The Web allows computer users to access information across systems around the world using URLs (uniform resource locators) to identify files and systems and hypertext links to move between files on the same or different systems.