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Used Under Licence
(Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) - A method for moving
data over regular telephone lines that is much faster than a
regular telephone connection. A common configuration of ADSL
would allow a subscriber to download at speeds of up to
1.544 megabits per second, and upload at speeds of up to 128
kilobits per second.
See Also: Baud, BPS, ISDN, Modem
To connect to an FTP server without
providing a personal login ID and password. Often permitted
by large host computers who are willing to openly share some
of their system files to outside users who otherwise would
not be able to log in.
See Also: FTP, Login, Password
small Java program that can be placed (embedded) in an HTML
page. Applets differ from full-fledged Java applications in
that they are not allowed to access files and serial devices
(modems, printers, etc.) on the local computer, and are
prohibited from communicating with other computers across a
See Also: HTML, Java, Network
(Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) - The precursor
to the Internet. It was developed in the late 60's by the US
Department of Defense as an experiment in wide-area
networking that would survive a nuclear war.
See Also: Internet
(American Standard Code for Information Interchange) - The
world-wide standard of code numbers used by computers to
represent all the upper- and lower-case Latin letters,
numbers, and punctuation. There are 128 standard ASCII
codes, each of which can be represented by a 7-digit binary
number, 0000000 through 1111111.
See Also: Binhex
AU: A common audio file format for UNIX systems (.au).
AVI: (Audio/Video Interleaved) - A common video file format (.avi). Video quality can be good at smaller resolutions, but files tend to be large.
A high-speed line, or series of
connections, that forms a major pathway within a network.
This term is relative, as a backbone in a small network may
be much smaller than non-backbone lines in a large network.
See Also: Network
The transmission capacity of the lines
that carry the Internet's electronic traffic. The greater
the bandwidth, the more data that can be moved at one time.
Lack of bandwidth can impose severe limitations on the
ability of the Internet to quickly deliver information.
See Also: Bps, Bit
BBS: (Bulletin Board System) - An online meeting and information system that allows people to carry on discussions, make announcements and transfer files. There are thousands of BBS's around the world, varying in size from those running on a single machine with only 1 or 2 phone lines, to massive networks such as CompuServe.
BITNET: ('Because It's Time NETwork' or 'Because It's There NETwork') - A network of educational sites separate from the Internet. Listserv, the most popular form of email discussion groups, originated on BITNET.
A pointer to a Web site of interest.
Within browsers, pages can be "bookmarked" for quick
reference, rather than remembering and typing the complete
URL in the address bar.
See Also: Internet Explorer, Mosaic, Netscape
Cache: A section of memory or the Hard Drive where data can be stored for rapid or frequent access.
Gateway Interface) - A programming language used to convert
data gathered from a web page into another form. A CGI
program might turn the content of a feedback form into an
email message, or search a server's database with
See Also: cgi-bin, Email, WWW
The most common directory to store CGI programs on a web
server. The "bin" part of "cgi-bin" is an abbreviation of
"binary", dating back to when programs were referred to as
See Also: CGI, Server, WWW
Client / Server:
Computer technology that separates
computers and their users into two categories. When you want
information from a computer on the Internet, you are a
client. The computer that delivers the information is the
server. A server both stores information and makes it
available to any authorized client who requests the
See Also: Server
piece of information (login names, passwords, online
"shopping cart" items, user preferences, etc.) sent by a web
server to a web browser and saved to the computer. These
"cookies" can then be used at a later date to restore the
information when the web server is accessed again. Cookies
are usually set to expire after a predetermined amount of
See Also: Browser, Log In, Password, Server
Data files available for upload and
download are often compressed in order to save space and
reduce transfer times. Typical file extensions for
compressed files include .zip (DOS/Windows) and .tar (UNIX).
See Also: Download, PKZIP, Upload
This term was coined by author William
Gibson in his novel Neuromancer. Cyberspace is currently
used to describe the whole range of information available
through computer networks.
See Also: Internet
An Internet account that connects a PC directly to the
Internet. These accounts use a software application to
connect to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and establish
a TCP/IP link to the Internet. To access a dial-in
connection, a PC needs either a modem to connect via a
regular phone line or a terminal adapter (TA) to connect via
an ISDN phone line.
See Also: Internet, ISDN, Modem, TCP/IP
Name Server) - A computer running a program that converts
domain names into IP addresses and vice versa. Domain Name
Servers (also known as Name Servers) are the backbone of the
See Also: Domain Name, IP Number, Server
Domain Control Panel: A password access section of our site that Domain Registrants and Partners use to make domain modifications, receive proprietary scripting code, and use our management system. Each panel's content is different and will depend on your status in relation to Registrars.com.
A unique name that identifies an Internet
site. A domain name is the Internet's way of translating a
numeric IP address into an easy-to-remember combination of
words and numbers. A given machine may have more than one
domain name, but a given domain name points to only one
machine. For example, the domain names "example.com", "mail.example.com"
and "sales.example.com" can all refer to the same machine,
but each domain name can refer to no more than one machine.
See Also: IP Number
The process of transferring data from a
remote computer to a local computer. When you copy a file
from a computer on the Internet to your computer, you are
"downloading" that file.
See Also: Upload
(Electronic Mail) - Messages sent from one person to another
via the Internet. Email can also be sent to a large number
of addresses at once through a Mailing List.
See Also: Internet, List Server, Mailing List
(Frequently Asked Questions) - An FAQ is a document that
lists and answers the most common questions on a particular
subject. It is considered good netiquette (the Internet's
code of conduct) to check for FAQs and read them.
See Also: Netiquette, RTFM
Finger: An Internet tool for locating people on other sites. Finger can also be used to give access to non-personal information, but the most common use is to see if a person has an account at a particular site. The most famous finger site was a Coke machine at Carnegie-Mellon University that students had wired to the Internet. They could then finger the machine and find out how many bottles remained and how long they had been in the machine so they wouldn't walk all the way there and find an empty machine or warm soda.
A combination of hardware and software
that separates a LAN into two or more parts for security
purposes. A firewall is commonly used to separate a network
from the Internet.
See Also: LAN, Network
Originally, to "flame" meant to debate in a passionate
manner, often involving the use of flowery language. More
recently, flame has come to refer to any kind of derogatory
or inflammatory comment, no matter how witless or crude.
See Also: Flame War, Netiquette
When an online discussion degenerates
into a series of personal attacks against the debaters,
rather than a discussion of their positions, it is referred
to as a flame war.
See Also: Flame, Trolling
Qualified Domain Name) - The official name assigned to an
individual computer. Organizations register names, such as "example.com",
then assign unique names to their computers, such as "mail.example.com".
See Also: Domain Name
Transfer Protocol) - A common method of moving files between
two Internet sites. Most FTP sites require a login name and
password before files can be retrieved or sent.
See Also: Anonymous FTP, Log In, Password
Gateway: Hardware or software set up to translate between two different protocols. For example, Prodigy has a gateway that translates between its internal email format and Internet email format. Another definition of gateway is any mechanism for providing access to another system. For example, AOL might be called a gateway to the Internet.
searching tool that was once the primary tool for finding
information on the Internet before the WWW became popular.
Gopher is now buried under massive amounts of WWW pages.
See Also: Client, Hypertext, Server, WWW
A program allowing you to view multimedia
files (images, audio, video) that your web browser cannot
handle internally. The file must be downloaded before it
will be displayed. There are some plug-ins that allow you to
view the file over the Internet without downloading it
See Also: Browser, Plug-in
Hit: A "hit" is a single request from a web browser for a single item from a web server. For example, a page displaying 3 graphics would require 4 hits: one for the HTML document, and one for each of the 3 graphics. "Hits" are often used as a rough measure of load on a server; however, because each hit can represent a request for anything from a tiny document to a complex search request, the actual load on a machine from a single hit is impossible to define.
Home Page (or Homepage):
Originally, a home page was the web page
that your browser is set to use when it starts up. The more
common definition refers to the main web page for any
business or personal site.
See Also: Browser, WWW
computer on a network that is a repository for services
available to other computers on the network. It is common to
have one host machine provide several services, such as WWW
See Also: Node, Network
Markup Language) - The language used to build hypertext
documents on the WWW. They are nothing more than plain
ASCII-text documents interpreted (or rendered) by a web
browser to display formatted text and fonts, color, graphic
images, and links.
See Also: Browser, Internet Explorer, Mosaic, Netscape, WWW
Transfer Protocol) - The protocol for moving hypertext
(HTML) files across the Internet. This requires a HTTP
client program on one end and a HTTP server program on the
other end. HTTP is the most important protocol used on the
See Also: Client, Server, WWW
Hypertext: Text in a document that contains a link to other text. Hypertext is used in Windows help programs and CD encyclopedias as well as web pages to link and reference related information across documents.
IMHO: (In My
Humble Opinion) - A shorthand term appended to a comment in
an online forum or email. IMHO indicates that the writer is
aware that they are expressing a debatable or dissenting
See Also: BTW, RTFM
Information Superhighway: There is some debate about this term. Some claim it refers to the future, where everyone will have fast, easy access to the Internet and things such as video conferencing will be widely available. Others claim that the Internet as we already know it is the Information Superhighway.
A network inside a company or
organization that uses the same kinds of software found on
the Internet, but is only for internal use. A company web
server available only to employees would be an Intranet.
See Also: Internet, internet, Network
(Internet Protocol Number) - A unique number consisting of 4
parts separated by dots. 123.45.678.9 could be an IP number.
Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP
number. Most machines also have one or more domain names
that are easier for people to remember.
See Also: DNS, Domain Name, Internet, TCP/IP
(Internet Relay Chat) - A large multi-user live chat
facility. There are a number of major IRC servers around the
world that are linked to each other. Anyone connected to IRC
can create a channel or chat room, and all others in the
channel see everything that everyone types.
See Also: Mailing List
ISDN: (Integrated Services Digital Network) - A high-speed way to move data over existing phone lines. In theory, it can provide speeds of roughly 128,000 bits-per-second; in practice, most people will be limited to 56,000 or 64,000 bits-per-second.
ISOC: (Internet SOCiety) - Based in Herndon, Virginia, the Internet Society promotes the Internet and coordinates standards. You can visit their site (http://www.isoc.org/) to learn more or become a member.
network-oriented programming language invented by Sun
Microsystems specifically designed for creating programs
that can be downloaded to your computer from a web page and
immediately run. Using small Java programs ("applets"), Web
pages can include features such as animations, calculators
and other fancy or interactive tricks.
See Also: Applet
Photographic Experts Group) - The name of the committee that
designed the photographic image-compression standard. The
format (.jpg) is optimized for compressing full-color or
grayscale photographic images, and does not work well for
line drawings or black-and-white images. JPG images are
24-bit (16.7 million color) graphics.
See Also: GIF, TIFF
Area Network) - A computer network restricted to a limited
area, usually the same building or a floor of a building.
Office computers are typically connected to a LAN.
See Also: Ethernet, Network
Refers to a telephone line that is rented
for an exclusive 24-hour, 7-days-a-week connection from your
location to the Internet. The highest speed data connections
require a leased line.
See Also: T-1, T-3
To read through mailing lists or newsgroups and get a feel
of the topic before posting your own messages. It is
considered good netiquette to "lurk" a while before joining
an online discussion.
See Also: Netiquette, Netizen, Spam, Trolling
An email-based discussion group. Sending
one email message to the mailing list sends email to all
other members of the group. Mailing lists are usually joined
by subscribing, and can be left by unsubscribing.
See Also: Email
To conceal a web site's URL in some manner, normally by
using a domain name. For example, if a URL shows up as
"http://www.example.com/" but the web site is actually
located at "http://www.somewhere-else.com/example/", that
URL is said to be "masked".
See Also: Domain Name, URL
(Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) - The Internet
standard for attaching non-text files to standard email
messages. Non-text files can include graphics, spreadsheets,
word-processor documents, sound files, etc. An email program
is said to be "MIME Compliant" if it can both send and
receive files using the MIME standard.
See Also: Binhex, Browser, Email, UUENCODE
"mirror" something is to maintain an exact copy of it. The
most common use of the term on the Internet refers to
"mirror sites" which are FTP or web sites that maintain
exact copies of material originally stored at another
location. Another common use of the term "mirror" refers to
writing information to more than one hard disk
simultaneously to prevent its loss or destruction.
See Also: FTP, WWW
DEModulator) - An electronic device that lets computers
communicate with one another, much as telephones work with
people. The name is derived from "modulator-demodulator"
because of their function in processing data over analog
phone lines. Terminal Adapters are often (and mistakenly)
referred to as modems.
See Also: Terminal Adapter
The first web browser that was available for Macintosh,
Windows and UNIX machines with the same interface for each.
The popularity of the WWW began with Mosaic.
See Also: Browser, NCSA, Netscape, Internet Explorer, WWW
(Motion Picture Experts Group) - A video file format (.mpeg)
offering excellent quality in a comparatively small size.
Video files found on the Internet are frequently stored in
the MPEG format.
See Also: Compression
Multimedia: A combination of media types in a single document, such as text, graphics, audio and video.
MX Records: MX
Records are required to be able to send email to domain
names (email@example.com), rather than the actual mail
server (firstname.lastname@example.org). There are other
methods for forwarding messages from a domain to a mail
server, but MX Records are the preferred method.
See Also: Domain Name, Email
(National Center for Supercomputing Applications) - One of
the five original centers in the Supercomputer Centers
Program and a unit of the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. It was founded in 1986, and is responsible
for developing Mosaic, the web browser responsible for
launching the multibillion dollar dot-com explosion.
See Also: Browser, Mosaic
A term referring to a citizen of the Internet, or someone
who uses networked resources. The term connotes civic
responsibility and participation.
See Also: Netiquette, Internet, Spam, Trolling
A web browser created by Netscape
Communications Corporation. The Netscape browser was
originally based on the Mosaic program developed at the
National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). It
provided major improvements in speed and interface over
other browsers, but also engendered debate by being the
first to create browser-specific elements for HTML.
See Also: Browser, Mosaic, Internet Explorer, Server, WWW
A network is created any time 2 or more computers are
connected together to share resources. When 2 or more
networks are connected, it becomes an internet.
See Also: Internet, internet, Intranet
(Networked Information Center) - (Networked Information
Center) - Any office that handles information for a network
can be referred to as an NIC. The most famous of these is
the InterNIC, the original ofice of domain registration .
Another definition of NIC is Network Interface Card, which
plugs into a computer and adapts the network interface to
the appropriate standard.
See Also: Domain Names, Network
(Network Information Center) - a unique ID Code issued by
Registrars.com to identify contact persons associated with a
domain name. There can be up to 3 NIC handles per domain,
referred to as 'ADMIN / TECH / BILL', each having its own
area of responsibility.
See Also: Domain Names
(Network News Transfer Protocol) - The protocol used by
client and server software to move a USENET posting over a
TCP/IP network. Most common web browsers use an NNTP
connection to participate in newsgroups.
See Also: Browser, Newsgroups, TCP/IP, USENET
OC-3 and OC-12:
High-speed data links capable of
transferring data at 155 and 622 Megabits-per-second
respectively. OC-3ís and OC-12ís are replacing T-3ís as the
backbones of the Internet.
See Also: Backbone, bps, Internet, T-3
chunk of data. The TCP/IP protocol breaks large data files
into smaller "packets" for transmission over the Internet.
When the data reaches its destination, the protocol makes
sure that all packets arrived without error.
See Also: TCP/IP
A method of moving data around the
Internet that allows many people to use the same lines at
the same time. In packet switching, all data being
transferred from a machine is broken into packets, with each
packet having the address of its origin and destination.
This enables packets from different sources to be
simultaneously transferred, sorted and directed on the same
See Also: Internet, Packet
Ping: A program for determining if another computer is presently connected to the Internet.
Pixel: Shorthand for "picture element", a pixel is the smallest unit of resolution on a monitor. It is commonly used as a unit of measurement.
small piece of software that adds features to a larger
software application. Common plug-ins are those for web
browsers (RealAudio, QuickTime, etc.) or graphics programs
(Kai's Power Tools, DigiMarc, etc.)
See Also: Browser
Of Presence" or "Post Office Protocol") - A Point of
Presence usually refers to a city or location where a
network can be connected to. For example, if an Internet
company says they have a POP in Vancouver, this means they
have a local telephone number in Vancouver and/or a place
where leased lines can connect to their network. A second
definition, Post Office Protocol, refers to the way email
software (such as Eudora) retrieves mail from a mail server.
Almost all SLIP, PPP or shell accounts come with a POP
account as well.
See Also: SLIP, PPP, Leased-Line
definitions) - First and most frequently, a port is where
information goes into and/or out of a computer, such as the
serial port on a PC. Secondly, a "port" often refers to the
number appearing after the colon (:) in a domain name, such
as http://www.example.com:7000/. Thirdly, to "port"
something refers to translating a piece of software from one
computer platform to another (for example, from Windows to
See Also: Domain Name, URL
to Point Protocol) - The protocol that allows a computer to
use a phone line and a modem to make TCP/IP connections and
connect to the Internet.
See Also: IP Number, Internet, SLIP, TCP/IP
Protocol: Computer rules that provide uniform specifications so that all computer hardware and operating systems can communicate with each other.
PSTN: (Public Switched Telephone Network) - The regular telephone system.
A common video file format created by
Apple Computers. Video files found on the Internet are often
stored in this format, and require a browser plug-in to be
See Also: Midi, Plug-Ins
To pay a software company for a product
to receive the full working copy. Registration is most often
required for shareware programs, which may be partially
disabled or contain "nags" until registered.
See Also: Shareware
For Comments) - The process for creating a standard on the
Internet and the name of the result. New standards are
proposed and published online, as a Request For Comments.
Any new standards that are established retain the acronym
RFC. For example, the official standard for email is RFC
See Also: Email, Internet
computer or software package that handles the connection
between 2 or more networks. Routers spend all their time
looking at the destination addresses of the packets passing
through them to decide which route to send them on.
See Also: Network, Packet, Packet Switching
The F***ing Manual) - A commonly used abbreviation in online
forums and email, in response to foolish questions or
questions already answered in the FAQ. A repository of FAQs
can be found at
See Also: FAQ
Search Engine: A tool for locating information on the Internet by topic. Popular search engines include Yahoo, AltaVista, and HotBot.
Information that is used by the SSL
protocol to establish a secure connection. Security
Certificates contain information about its ownership,
issuer, valid dates, and an encrypted "fingerprint" that can
be used to verify the contents of the certificate. In order
for an SSL connection to be created, both sides must have a
valid Security Certificate.
See Also: SSL, Protocol, Certificate Authority
Server / Client:
A computer or software package that
provides a specific kind of service to client software on
other computers. The term can refer to a particular piece of
software (such as a WWW server) or to the machine that the
software is running on (such as a mail server). A single
server machine may have several different server software
packages running on it.
See Also: Client, Network, WWW
Software that is available on a limited
free trial basis. Some shareware applications are fully
featured products, while others may have disabled features
to encourage purchase of the full ("registered") version.
See also: Freeware, Register
Shell Account: A software application that allows use of another machines' Internet connection. Users do not have a direct Internet connection; instead, an Internet connection is made through a host computer's connection.
An ASCII text file containing the text
for someone's signature. Most email programs will
automatically attach a signature file to all messages sent,
eliminating the need to repeatedly type a closing.
See Also: ASCII, Email
Site: A single web page or a collection of related Web pages.
(Serial Line Internet Protocol) - A standard for using a
telephone line (or serial line) and a modem to connect a
computer to the Internet. SLIP is gradually being replaced
See Also: Internet, PPP
(Simple Mail Transport Protocol) - The main protocol used to
send email on the Internet. STMP consists of a set of rules
for how the sending and receiving programs should interact.
See Also: Client, Server
(Simple Network Management Protocol) - A set of standards
for communicating with devices connected to a TCP/IP
network, such as routers, hubs, and switches. Software for
managing devices via SNMP is available for every kind of
commonly used computer and is often bundled along with the
device they are designed to manage.
See Also: Network, Router, TCP/IP
Spam (or Spamming):
To send a message or advertisement to a
large number of people who did not request the information,
or to repeatedly send the same message to a single person.
"Spamming" is considered very poor Netiquette. CAUCE (The
Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email) is an
organization dedicated to removing spam from the Internet.
See Also: Netiquette, Netizen, Trolling
SQL: (Structured Query Language) - A specialized programming language for sending queries to databases. Each application will have its own version of SQL-implementing features unique to that application, but all SQL-capable databases will support a common subset of SQL.
Sockets Layer) - A protocol designed by Netscape
Communications to enable encrypted, authenticated
communication across the Internet. SSL is used mostly, but
not exclusively, in communications between web browsers and
web servers. A URL that begins with "https" instead of
"http" indicates an SSL connection will be used.
See Also: Browser, Server, Security Certificate, URL
OPerator) - Someone responsible for the physical operations
of a computer system or network. A System Administrator (or
Sysadmin) decides how often system maintenance should be
performed, and the Sysop performs those tasks.
See Also: Network
leased-line connection capable of transferring data at
1,544,000 bps. At maximum capacity, a T-1 line could move a
megabyte in less than 10 seconds.
See Also: Bandwidth, Bit, bps, Byte, Ethernet, Leased-line, T-3
leased-line connection capable of transferring data at
44,736,000 bps. This is fast enough to view full-screen,
full-motion video, which requires a transfer rate of at
least 10,000,000 bits-per-second.
See Also: Bandwidth, Bit, bps, Byte, Ethernet, Leased-line, T-1
(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) - This is
the suite of protocols that defines the Internet. Originally
designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is
now available for every major computer operating system. To
connect to the Internet, a computer must have TCP/IP
See Also: IP Number, Internet, Protocol, UNIX
Internet protocol allowing a PC to connect to a host
computer and use that computer as if you were locally
connected. This often provides the ability to use all the
software and capabilities of the host computer.
See Also: Host
An electronic device that interfaces a PC
with a host computer via an ISDN phone line. They are often
called "ISDN modems"; however, because they are digital,
Terminal Adapters are not modems at all.
See Also: Modem
A special-purpose computer with places to
plug in several modems on one side, and a connection to a
LAN or host machine on the other side. The terminal server
does the work of passing connections on to the appropriate
node. Most terminal servers can provide PPP or SLIP services
if connected to the Internet.
See Also: Host, LAN, Modem, Node, PPP, SLIP
The process of transferring data from a local computer to a
remote computer. When you copy a file from your computer to
a computer on the Internet, you are "uploading" that file.
See Also: Download
Resource Locator) - The standard method of giving the
address for any resource on the WWW. A URL might look like
this: http://www.example.com/examples.html. The most common
use of a URL is to enter it in a web browser to access that
page on the Internet.
See Also: Browser, HTTP, WWW
distributed bulletin board system that runs on news servers,
UNIX hosts, online services and bulletin board systems.
Collectively, USENET is made up of all the users who post to
and read newsgroup articles. The USENET is the largest
decentralized information utility available today.
See Also: Newsgroup, Posting, Thread
(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
See Also: Archie, Gopher
WAIS: (Wide Area Information Servers) - A commercial software package that allows the indexing of huge quantities of information, then makes those indices searchable across networks and the Internet. A prominent feature of WAIS is the ranking (scoring) of the search results, according to how relevant the hits are. See Also: Search Engine
WAV: (Waveform Audio) - A common audio file format for DOS and Windows computers (.wav).
A Microsoft Windows DLL file that provides the interface to
TCP/IP services and allows Windows to use web browsers, FTP
programs, and other Internet-related programs.
See Also: Browser, FTP, Internet, TCP/IP
Wide Web) - The technical definition of the WWW is the
global network of hypertext (HTTP) servers that allow text,
graphics, audio and video files to be mixed together. The
second, more loosely used definition is the entire range of
resources that can be accessed using Gopher, FTP, HTTP,
telnet, USENET, WAIS, and other such tools.
See Also: FTP, Gopher, HTTP, Telnet, Usenet, WAIS