Net Terms Explained

ADSL Backbone
Bandwidth Bit Bps Byte CGI cgi-bin Domain Name E-mail E-mail Aliasing E-mail Auto-responding E-mail Forwarding Encryption FTP FrontPage Gigabyte Hits IP Address ISDN Kilobyte Listserv MegabyteNewsgroups ODBC Database POP Server Router SMTP SSL Statistics SQL T1 Line T3 Line Terabyte URL USENETNet Slang


"Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line" A method for transferring data over normal phone lines.
An ADSL circuit is much faster than a normal phone connection, download data at speeds of up to 1.544 megabits per second, and upload data at speeds of 128 kilobits per second, thus the Asymmetric part of the acronym.
Another common configuration would be 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. ADSL is often used as an alternative to ISDN, allowing higher speeds in cases where the connection is always to the same place.

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

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The maximum amount of data that can travel a communications path in a given time, usually measured in seconds. If you think of the communications path as a pipe, then bandwidth represents the width of the pipe that determines how much data can flow through it all at once. It is usually measured in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB).

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(Binary digit) - A single digit number in base-2, in other words, either a 1 or a zero. The smallest unit of computerised data. Bandwidth is usually measured in bit-per-second.

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(Bits-per-second) - A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another.
eg. a 33.6 modem can move 33,600 bits per second.

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A set of Bits that represent a single character. Usually there are 8 bits in a byte, sometimes more, depending on how the measurement is being made.

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Common Gateway Interface (CGI)

The interface program that enables an Internet server to run external programs to perform a specific function. Also referred to as Gateway or CGI 'scripts', these programs generally consist of a set of instructions written in a programming language like C or PERL that process requests from a browser, execute a program and format the results in HTML, so they can be displayed in the browser. Gateway scripts are commonly used to add interactivity to a web page by allowing users to do things like fill out and submit forms for processing (as in an order form for an online catalogue); query databases by submitting search requests; and register or gain access to password-protected areas of a site. CGI scripts are also used to implement a variety of tracking and measurement systems on a website. CGI scripts are often used to accomplish tasks which are not supported by basic HTML such as a mail form, a counter or a guest book.

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The most common name of a directory on a web server in which CGI programs are stored. The bin part of cgi-bin is a shorthand version of binary, because most programs used to be referred to as 'binaries'. In real life, most programs found in cgi-bin directories are text only files - scripts that are executed by binaries located elsewhere on the same machine.

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Domain Name

The unique name that identifies an Internet site. The Internet is made up of hundreds of thousands of computers and networks, all with their own domain name or unique address. Domain names always have two or more parts separated by dots. A given server may have more than one domain name, but a given domain name points to only one server.

Once a system administrator registers a unique domain name, sub-addresses can be assigned to the machines and people on the local network. Each domain name corresponds to a unique IP Address

Domain names typically consist of some form of the organisation's name and a suffix that describes the type of organisation. For example Registration is on a first come, first served basis. The domain name suffix is assigned based on the type of organisation. the main suffixes on the internet are:-


Short for electronic mail, e-mail consists of messages, often just text, sent from one user to another via a network. E-mail can also be sent automatically to a number of addresses.

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E-mail Aliasing

Once your domain name is active world-wide, you can set-up e-mail aliasing under your domain name. For example would respond to all e-mail addressed to and rather than setup separate e-mail accounts, All e-mail sent to either of these will be forwarded to the single e-mail account

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Autoresponders reply to incoming e-mails automatically. An autoresponder could be used to send a standard text file to anyone e-mailing, for example,, which notifies that person that the recipient is away from the office, and will respond to all incoming e-mail after a certain time or date.

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E-mail Forwarding

This automatic feature allows an individual to forward a new e-mail account to an existing e-mail account. This eliminates the need to setup additional e-mail clients or a client that supports multiple e-mail accounts.

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A way of coding the information in a file or e-mail message so that if it is intercepted by a third party as it travels over a network it cannot be read. Only the person or persons that have the right type of decoding software can unscramble the message. See SSL.

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An acronym for File Transfer Protocol - a very common method of transferring one or more files from one computer to another. FTP is a specific way to connect to another Internet site to retrieve and send files. If you want to upload files to a remote computer, you will need to use an FTP client program to transfer files. To use FTP you need to know the name of the file, the computer where it resides, and the directory it's in. You can work on HTML documents, graphics, and scripts locally and then upload files to your web site when ready.

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Microsoft FrontPage extensions need to be setup for your account. This would allow you to use the easy-to-use Microsoft FrontPage program to create and maintain your website. You often need to request that FrontPage extensions be installed within your web site when placing an order for domain web hosting services or contact us directly. Microsoft provides direct support for all FrontPage users.

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1000 or 1024 Megabytes, depending on who is measuring.

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As used in reference to the World Wide Web, a hit means a single request from a web browser for a single item from a web server; thus in order for a web browser to display a page that contains 3 graphics, 4 "hits" would occur at the server: 1 for the HTML page, and one each of the 3 graphics. Hits are often used as a very rough measure of load on a server.

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IP Address

A numeric code that uniquely identifies a particular computer on the internet. Just as a street address identifies the location of your home or office, every computer or network on the Internet has a unique address, too. Internet addresses are assigned to you by an organisation called InterNIC. You register your address with InterNIC as both a name (, which is referred to as the domain name, and a number (, which is generally referred to as the IP address or IP number.

Because the numeric addresses are difficult to understand or remember, most people use names instead like A software database program called Domain Name Service (DNS) tracks the names and translates them into their numerical equivalent so that the computers can understand what they are and find them. See Domain Name.

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An acronym for Integrated Services Digital Network. ISDN lines are connections that use ordinary phone lines to transmit digital instead of analog signals, allowing data to be transmitted at a much faster rate than with a traditional modem.
An ISDN line can offer you inexpensive, high-bandwidth connections, but you may have to buy special equipment (like routers and switchers) that allow ISDN to communicate with your internal networks.

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A thousand bytes. Actually, usually 1024 (2^10) bytes.

See also Byte, Bit

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The most common kind of maillist, Listservs originated on BITNET but they are now common on the internet.

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A million bytes. technically 1024 kilobytes.

See also Byte, Bit,Kilobyte

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Electronic discussion groups consisting of collections of related postings (also called articles) on a particular topic that are posted to a news server which then distributes them to other participating servers. There are thousands of newsgroups covering a wide range of subjects. You must subscribe to a newsgroup in order to participate in it or to track the discussion on an on-going basis. Unlike with a newspaper, subscribing to a newsgroup does not cost anything.

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ODBC Databases

An ODBC compliant database enables a Web developer to bring a set of data onto the web with the functionality of SQL.

See also SQL Database Server

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POP Server

A server using the Post Office Protocol, which holds users' incoming e-mail until they read or download it.

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A piece of hardware or software that connects two or more networks. A router functions as a sorter and interpreter as it looks at addresses and passes bits of information to their proper destination.

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An acronym for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, SMTP is the protocol used for routing e-mail across the Internet.

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Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

A protocol developed by Netscape Communications Corporation for securing data transmissions in commercial transactions on the Internet. Using public-key cryptography, SSL provides server authentication, data encryption, and data integrity for client/server communications.

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The graphical usage statistics feature creates graphs that graphically depict the amount of traffic to your site, which documents are being accessed, and who is accessing them.

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SQL Database Server

The Microsoft (TM) SQL Database Server offers advanced, scalable database solutions that take advantage of Web technology. It is the only RDBMS that includes integrated, automatic HTML generation features. The SQL server is capable of processing over 10 million transactions per day and works seamlessly with existing Microsoft internet and development technologies.

See also ODBC

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T1 Line

A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 1,544,000 bits-per-second. At maximum theoretical capacity, a T-1 line could move a megabyte in less than 10 seconds. That is still not fast enough for full-screen, full motion video, for which you need at least 10,000,000 bits-per-second. T-1 is the fastest speed commonly used to connect networks to the Internet.

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T3 Line

A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 44,736,000 bits-per-second. This is more than enough to do full-screen, full-motion video.

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1000 gigabytes

See also Byte, Kilobyte

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(Uniform Resource Locator) - The standard way to give the address of any resource on the Internet that is part of the World Wide Web (WWW).

The most common way to use a URL is to enter into a WWW browser program, such as Netscape or Internet Explorer

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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 decentralised, with over 10,000 discussion areas, called newsgroups.

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Net Slang

Boinking:- Meeting face to face someone with whom you have made contact on the Net.

Bounce:- When e-mail fails to get through to its destination.

Box:- A computer

Braindump:- Saying everything you know about a topic, but more than everybody really wants to hear.

Dead tree edition:- The paper version of a book or article that is also available on the Net.

Electronic Anarchy:- The state of freedom and lawlessness that exists on the Net. There are few rules and restrictions, so you can do and say what you want.

Electrotransvestism:- Pretending to be a member of the opposite sex when sending messages over the Internet.

Eyeball Search:- To read a page on-screen.

Eyeball Candy:- Programs which look nice, but aren't particularly useful.

Flame Bait:- A controversial newsgroup message that is likely to attract angry messages.

Flame Mail:- Angry or rude messages sent to a member or members of a newsgroup.

Flame War:- An argument carried out by members of a newsgroup.

Gronk Out:- What you do when you have had enough of using the Net and stop for the day.

Infobahn, Information Superhighway:- Slang words for the Internet.

Lurking:- Reading the messages sent to a newsgroup without sending any yourself.

Net cop, Net Judge, Net police:- Someone who thinks it is their duty to tell other Net users how to behave. These terms are usually insults.

Net Evangelist:- Someone who tries to persuade other people to start using the Net.

Net Guru:- An expert who is respected for their knowledge of the Net and how it works.

Netiquette:- Rules about the proper way to behave when using the Net.

Net Surfer:- Someone who travels around the Net looking for interesting places to visit and people to talk to.

Net Traffic:- Data moving around the Net.

Newbie:- A new Net user or a new member of a newsgroup.

Newbie Hunting:- Looking out for new Net users who aren't sure of what they are doing, and teasing them.

Noise:- An ongoing conversation in a newsgroup. Noise usually implies that it is a conversation which isn't very relevant to the topic of the newsgroup.

Shouting:- Writing messages in UPPER CASE letters lets everyone know you are angry.

Snail Mail:- Normal mail delivered by the post office, as opposed to e-mail sent over the net.

Spamming:- Sending lots of messages to a newsgroup, a mailing list or an individual.

Virtual Journey:- The imaginary distances you travel to sites on the Net, even though you stay in one place.

Virtual Relationships:- A friendship or relationship that starts on the Net.

Wired:- Feeling odd from having spent too much time staring at a computer screen. It can also simply mean connected to the Net.

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