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Search for helpful internet and web related terms and definitions by alphabetical order.

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How much stuff you can send through a connection. Usually measured in bits-per-second. A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 15,000 bits in one second. Full-motion full-screen video would require roughly 10,000,000 bits-per-second, depending on compression.

In common usage the baud rate of a modem is how many bits it can send or receive per second. Technically, baud is the number of times per second that the carrier signal shifts value - for example, a 1200 bit-per-second modem actually runs at 300 baud, but it moves 4 bits per baud (4 x 300 = 1200 bits per second).

(Bulletin Board System) -- A computerized meeting and announcement system that allows people to carry on discussions, upload and download files, and make announcements without the people being connected to the computer at the same time.

(Common Gateway Interface) A Web server scripting standard; a mechanism used to connect script to Web servers. In the past, most CGI programs were actually script files and were often written in scripting languages like PERL. Today, scripts can also be executable programs. You can write scripts in C and Visual Basic.

Most often used to refer to having a server that belongs to one person or group physically located on an Internet-connected network that belongs to another person or group. Usually this is done because the server owner wants their machine to be on a high-speed Internet connection and/or they do not want the security risks of having the server on their own network.

Dial-up describes the kind of connection you have if you dial a number through your computer to connect to your ISP. Dial-up differentiates standard phone line connections from other, higher speed lines that maintain a constant connection between two points, such as T1 lines.

(.edu, .com, .mil, .net, .uk, et al)
Just as a PC's file extensions (such as .doc for MS Word files) give some indication of what kind of file it is, the last part of an Internet site's domain name tells what kind of site it is. The most rapidly expanding of these is ".com," as in, our address. Other common ones include .edu, for educational institutions, .gov for government, and .mil, for military sites. For sites based outside the U.S., there are plenty others. You can guess the origin of .uk, for instance. It gets more confusing once you start dealing with other countries' sub-domains, such as the UK's ".ac" for academic. Also see domain name.

Domain Name
Is the last two parts of an Internet address. For instance, if you look at the URL for this page, you'll see it begins with Our domain name is The "www" part tells the server the machine from which we'd like to retrieve our information. Although "www" is the most common precursor, you will see others, such as, or sites with no precursor at all, such as Also see domain.

(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.

A commonly discussed 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.
Also see ISDN and/or Leased Lines.

E-mail is electronic mail. It's the digital, packetized means of transmitting messages via phone lines to other people's computers using an online service or ISP.

You've probably put software on your computer by putting diskettes into a disk drive. Online, you can get software by downloading it. The software sits on Computer X; you use your browser or an FTP (file-transfer protocol) program to find and retrieve the software to your computer. If you had software you wanted to send to another computer, you'd reverse the process; this is known as "uploading."

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)
A system of marking up, or tagging, a document so it can be published on the World Wide Web. An author incorporates HTML markup in his or her document to define the function (as distinct from the appearance) of different text elements. The appearance of these text elements is not defined at the authoring stage; instead, formatting is applied when a browser decides how it is going to display the text elements.

A link that connects you to other documents, other places within the same document, pictures or HTML pages. Think of a hyperlink as an invitation to visit another place. A simple click on the link will take you there.

Internet (upper case I)
The vast collection of inter-connected networks that all use the TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late 60?s and early 70?s. The Internet now (July 1995) connects roughly 60,000 independent networks into a vast global internet. Also see internet.

internet (lower case i)
Any time you connect two or more networks together, you have an internet - as in inter-national or inter-state. Also see Internet.

InterNIC (Internet Network Information Center)
( for the United States, which is made up of three separate commercial organizations, and provides government-contracted services. This agency is the one that assigns and records unique domain names.
IP Address (Static)
Just as postal addresses have been codified so that snail mail can be delivered correctly -- name on the first line, company name on the second line, street address third, etc. -- IP addresses have been codified to allow Internet information (from Web pages to e-mail) to be delivered correctly. To the Internet, a given server's IP address is all numbers and dots in the format "," but since humans aren't as good as computers at remembering numbers, IP numeric addresses also have a textual representation. The usual format is [machine name].[sponsoring organization].[type of organization, such as ".com"].

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
Special connections that use ordinary phone lines to transmit digital instead of analog signals. Briefly, ISDN is a telecommunications network that allows for digital voice, video, and data transmissions. ISDN replaces the slow and inefficient analog telephone system with a fast and efficient digital communications network. ISDN lines contain two channels: a B channel, which has a 64Kbps (kilobits per second) data transmission rate, and a D channel, which has either a 16Kbps or 64Kbps transmission rate. When the two lines are used together, transmitted data can travel at 128Kbps. Also see T-1, T-3 lines.

Leased Line
Refers to a phone line that is rented for exclusive 24-hour, 7 -days-a-week use from your location to another location. The highest speed data connections require a leased line. Also see co-location.

A device that you connect to your computer and to a phone line, that allows the computer to talk to other computers through the phone system. Basically, modems do for computers what a telephone does for humans.

The name for discussion groups on USENET. Also see usenet.

There are two definitions for POP. It's first meaning is "Point Of Presence," meant to denote whatever place an Internet service provider keeps the entanglement of computers, routers, modems, leased lines, and other equipment it needs to serve its subscriber base and maintain its existence as an Internet site. It's the protocol used by an ISP's mailserver to manage e-mail for subscribers. Another word for an e-mail account is a POP-mail account.

Real Audio
A software application that lets you hear sound (as it occurs) over the Web. You may obtain this program by downloading it from All of our web hosting services are compatible with this internet application.

Shell Account
For people who were using the Internet before the rest of the world jumped in and crowded the pool, running a Web browser isn't the only way to view the online world. An ISP's shell account, intended primarily for die-hards and tech-heads, offers subscribers one of the many UNIX shells (link) through which these users enter commands to access services such as Usenet or FTP.

PPP stands for Point-to-Point Protocol, and is one of two common protocols your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may offer as your way of gaining access to the Internet. (The other is SLIP, for Serial Line Internet Protocol.) PPP, the newer protocol, loads on top of other software called a TCP/IP stack (link) and lets you use your browser instead of the boring ol' terminal-emulation (link) software Internet users of a few years ago had to put up with

The Internet is a wonderful way of communicating, just as postal mail has been in the past. Unfortunately, the newsgroups and e-mail boxes of the world have already developed their equivalent to junk mail. It's called "spam," and it's not good Internet manners. When you see the same make-money-fast message in all the newsgroups and in your mailbox, the Net has been spammed. Since most of these mass-mailing (or mass-posting) messages are irrelevant to the groups and recipients who get them, spam is considered a serious breach of Net etiquette.

SQL (Structured Query Language)
A standardized language that is used to define and manipulate data in a database server. SQL is a standardized query language for requesting information from a database. The original version called SEQUEL (structured English query language) was designed by an IBM research center in 1974 and 1975. Oracle Corporation first introduced SQL as a commercial database system in 1979. SQL is used to extract specified data from a relational database.
Our web hosting services provide our clients with the program My SQL.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
An open protocol for securing data communications across computer networks. The broad support for this protocol will promote interoperability between products from many organizations and will speed the growth of electronic commerce on the Internet and private TCP/IP networks.

The sysadmin (system administrator) and the sysop (system operator); the latter typically does most of the grunt work. In some networks such as online services, the sysop is instead the referee -- some might say babysitter -- who steps in when, say, someone has cross-posted a message inappropriately. The sysop moves the message to its proper place and/or notifies the offender. They also jump in when flame wars loom, and help out with technical questions or questions relating to the message board's conventions, written and unwritten.

T-1, T-3
High-speed digital lines that provide data communication speeds of 1.544 megabits (T-1) and 45 megabits (T-3) per second. Also see 56K and ISDN.

A program that lets you log onto a remote computer. Also, the name of the program implementing the protocol.

A computer operating system, originally developed at AT&T Bell Laboratories, that is compatible with a wide range of computer systems. Ultrix, Solaris, AIX, HP/UX, BSD, Linux, and SystemV are among its numerous descendants.

URL (Universal Resource Locater)
A Web site's address. Examples are: and (both are our hompages).

A world-wide system of discussion groups, with comments passed among hundreds of thousands of machines. Not all USENET machines are on the Internet, maybe half. USENET is completely decentralized, with over 10,000 discussion areas, called newsgroups. Also see newsgroup.

Web Browser
A software application (either text-based or graphical) that lets you browse the world wide web (WWW). Examples are: Spry Mosaic, Netscape Navigator, and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Web Server
A program that serves up web pages upon request.

WWW (World Wide Web)
This is the place that people are raving about. It contains colorful graphics, video, sound bites, real audio, and much, much more. The World Wide Web (also known as WWW, W3, or the Web) is fast becoming the predominant tool for accessing and storing information on the Internet. Like gopher, it is a menu-based system. Unlike gopher, menu items are actually hypertext links which allow the user to jump among menu pages, directories, files, and documents, and other Internet (FTP, gopher, and Telnet) sites.

56K Line
A data transmission line with the capacity to move information at 56,000bps. Also see ISDN and T-1, T-3.
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