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Glossary of Internet Terms

Account - A space set aside for users of a particular host computer. Account holders are assigned a login and pasword that they must use in order to access their account on the system.

Address - A unique name or number identifying a computer user or computer. Specific examples would be an IP Address (e.g. 123.456.789.10, to identify a computer) or an email address (e.g. username@domain.com, to identify a user on a domain).

Archie - A database and related programs giving the user information about the contents of various archives.

ASCII - A standard method for encoding characters -- text files are usually ASCII files. ASCII has codes representing upper- and lowercase letters, the punctuation, and numerals. ASCII is an acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange.

Backbone
- A high-speed connection within a network that connects shorter (usually slower) branch circuits.

Bandwidth - A measure of capacity and speed of the links between computing devices. Measured in kilobits per second (Kbps), megabits per second (Mbps), or gigabits per second (Gbps).

Binary File
- All files that are not text files are considered binary files. Any combination of bits is possible with a binary file.

Browser - Software used to access the World Wide Web. For example, Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer.

Client - A program running on a computer that requests services from a server, which usually runs on a remote computer. Email programs are one example of a client.

Dial-Up Access - The ability to use a computer and modem to access another computer or network via a phone line.

Directory - Files on many computer systems are grouped together in directories (sometimes referred to as folders).

Directory Service - A service on a network giving information about sites, computers, resources, or users in the area.

Domain Name - Mapped to a particular numeric address. This takes the place of having to use an IP address number. Also, the name hierarchy on the Internet. Consists of a sequence of names separated by periods. Common extensions include: .com (commercial), .edu (education), .gov (government), and .org (organizations). Countries usually have their own extensions. For example, .ca (Canada) and .uk (United Kingdom).

Download - To copy data from a remote computer into your local computer.

.edu - The standard highest-level domain name used to identify educational institution sites.

Electronic Discussion Group - Computerized discussion group, dealing with a specific topic, that allows subscribers to discuss issues and exchange information electronically.

E-Mail (Electronic Mail) - A computer and network based messaging system that exchanges mail electronically.

File Server - Centrally located computer that acts as a storehouse of data and applications for users of a LAN (Local Area Network)

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - Protocol which allows transfer of files from one computer to another.

FTP Client - Internet application that allows access to a remote computer over the Internet either anonymously or using an ID and password in order to copy files between the remote computer and a local computer.

FYI - For Your Information. Usually a comments page or file that is of a general informational nature.

Gateway - A computer that connects twonetworkings, often converting protocols or messages from one network to the other.

Gopher - Client/server software providing flexible access to Internet resources.

Home Page - Web page that is displayed when your browser is opened.

Host - A computer system on which you can hold an interactive session, or which is the source of network services.

HTML - HyperText Markup Language. The coding language used to create World Wide Web pages.

HTTP - HyperText Transfer Protocol. The client/server protocol upon which the World Wide Web is based.

Internet - The international network of networks based on the TCP/IP protocol. Also, with a small "i", the interconnection of two or more networks.

IP (Internet Protocol) - operates at the network layer and breaks messages into packets and provides addresses for each packet.

IP Address - Unique Internet number that indicates a specific computer.

ListServ/Listserver - software providing the capability to mass-distribute email messages to mailing list subscribers.

Login - An opening procedure to identify yourself to a system as a legitimate user and begin a session. Normally, to login you need a valid username and password. The term "logon" is also used.

Logout - A closing procedure to formally end a session with a system. Breaking a network connection will not necessarily result in loggin you out. The word "logoff" is also used.

MIME - Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. Extensions to the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to allow the transmittal of nontext information (graphics, etc.) via email.

Node - A single computer within a network.

PINE - An email program that provides a user-friendly interface for Internet mail users in a UNIX environment.

POP - Post Office Protocol. A protocol that allows client/server email access.

PPP - Point-to-Point Protocol, used for connecting to most modern ISPs.

Protocol - Specific rules defining one part of the transmission and receipt of information across a data communications between entities, including type, size, and format of data units.

RFC
- Request For Comments. The documents that contain the standards and other information for the TCP/IP protocols and the Internet in general. They are available at several sites through anonymous FTP.

Routing - Finding an effective or efficient path through a network to a destination computer. Routing is almost always handled by the network or communication software.

Search Engines - Website interface that finds Web sites through key word searches. Popular examples are Yahoo, Lycos, and Metacrawler.

Server - A computer directly connected to the Internet that is dedicated to serving data.

Shareware - Software that is free to download, but must be paid for after the trial period is over.

SLIP
- Serial Line Internet Protocol. An Internet protocol that allows for computers with high-speed modems to establish a virtual direct link to an Internet node. Most modern ISPs use the PPP protocol.

SMTP
- Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The Internet standard protocol for transferring email.

T1, T3 - Standards that represent 1.544 megabits (T1) and 45megabits (T3) per second transmission speeds in data communications.

TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol - TCP - is responsible for end-to-end message delivery.

Telnet - Text-based method for accessing a remote computer.

UNIX - An operating system available for a wide range of computers. Originally developed at AT&T Bell Labs. Ultrix, Solaris, and Linux are among its descendants. Used on many servers for its stability.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) - Address of a file accessible on the WWW, i.e. an HTML web page, an image file, or a Java applet. Example: http://www.rpa.net is our URL.

Usenet Newgroups - Public forums that contain articles posted by individual readers.

Username/UserID - Address representing a personal account on a system.

Veronica - A Gopher service that provides keyword searching of gopher menu items.

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