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Access Provider
Company that sells Internet connection. Known variously as Internet Access or Service Providers (IAPs or ISPs).

ActiveX
Microsoft's standard that allows software components to interact with one another in a networked environment regardless of the language they were created in.

ADSL
Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line. High-speed copper wire connections at up to 6 Mbps downstream and 640 kbps up.

Anonymous FTP server
A remote computer, with a publicly accessible file archive, that accepts "anonymous" as the log-in name and an email address as the password.

Archie
A program that searches Internet FTP archives by filename.

ASCII
The American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A text format readable by all computers. Also called "plain text."

Bandwidth
The size of the data pipeline. The higher the bandwidth, the faster data can flow.

Baud rate
The number of times a modem's signal changes per second when transmitting data. Not to be confused with bps.

Binary file
All non-plain text files are binaries, including programs, word processor documents, images, sound clips, and compressed files.

Binhex
A method of encoding, commonly used by Macs.

Bps
Bits per second. The rate that data is transferred between two modems. A bit is the basic unit of data.

Browser
A program, such as Netscape, that allows you to download and display Web documents.

Client
A program that accesses information across a network, such as a Web browser or newsreader.

Crack
To break a program's security, integrity, or registration system, or fake a user ID.

Direct connection
A connection, such as SLIP or PPP, whereby your computer becomes a live part of the Internet. Also called full IP access.

DNS
Domain Name System. The system that locates the numerical IP address corresponding to a host name.

Domain
Part of the DNS name that specifies details about the host, such as its location and whether it is part of a commercial (.com), government (.gov), or educational (.edu) entity.

Download
Transfer of a file from one computer to another.

File
Anything stored on a computer, such as a program, image, or document.

Finger
A program that can return stored data on UNIX users or other information such as weather updates. Often disabled for security reasons.

Firewall
A network security system used to restrict external traffic.

Flame
Abusive attack on someone posting in Usenet.

Frag
Network gaming term meaning to destroy or fragment.

FTP
File Transfer Protocol. The standard method of transferring files over the Internet.

GIF
Graphic Image File format. A compressed graphics format commonly used on the Net.

Gopher
A menu-based system for retrieving Internet archives, usually organized by subject.

GUI
Graphic User Interface. A method of driving software through the use of windows, icons, menus, buttons, and other graphic devices.

Home page
Either the first page loaded by your browser at start-up, or the main Web document for a particular group, organization, or person.

Host
A computer that can allow you to connect to another computer.

HTML
HyperText Markup Language. The language used to create Web documents.

HyperText links
The "clickable" links or "hotspots" that connect pages on the Web to each other.

Image map
A Web image that contains multiple links. Which link you take depends on where you click.

IP
Internet Protocol. The most important protocol on which the Internet is based. It defines how packets of data get from source to destination.

IP address
Every computer connected to the Internet has an IP address (written in dotted numerical notation), which corresponds to its domain name. Domain Name Servers convert one to the other.

ISDN
Integrated Services Digital Network. An international standard for digital communications over telephone lines, which allows for the transmission of data at 64 or 128 kbps.

ISP
Internet Service Provider. A company that sells access to the Internet.

Java
Platform independent programming language designed by Sun Microsystems. http://www.sun.com

JPEG
A graphic file format that is preferred by Net users because its high compression reduces file size, and thus the time it takes to transfer.

MIME
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. A recent standard for the transfer of binary email attachments.

Mirror
A replica FTP or Web site set up to share traffic.

Modem
MOdulator/DEModulator. A device that allows a computer to communicate with another over a standard telephone line, by converting the digital data into analog signals and vice versa.

MPEG
A compressed video file format.

Multithreaded
Able to process to multiple requests simultaneously.

Name server
A host that translates domain names into IP addresses.

NNTP
Network News Transfer Protocol. The standard for the exchange of Usenet articles across the Internet.

Node
Any device connected to a network.

Packet
A unit of data. In data transfer, information is broken into packets, which then travel independently through the Net. An Internet packet contains the source and destination addresses, an identifier, and the data segment.

Packet loss
Failure to transfer units of data between network nodes. A high percentage makes transfer slow or impossible.

Ping
A program that sends an echo-like trace to test if a host is available.

POP3
Post Office Protocol. An email protocol that allows you to pick up your mail from anywhere on the Net, even if you're connected through someone else's account.

POPs
Points of Presence. An access provider's range of local dial-in points.

PPP
Point to Point Protocol. This allows your computer to join the Internet via a modem. Each time you log in, you're allocated a temporary IP address.

Protocol
An agreed way for two network devices to talk to each other.

Robot
A program that automates Net tasks like collating search engine databases. Also called a Bot.

Server
A computer that makes services available on a network.

SLIP
Serial Line Internet Protocol. A protocol that allows your computer to join the Internet via a modem and requires that you have a pre-allocated fixed IP address configured in your TCP/IP setup. It's slowly being replaced by PPP.

SMTP
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The Internet protocol for transporting mail.

Streaming
Delivered in real time instead of waiting for the whole file to arrive, eg, Real Audio.

Stuffit
A common Macintosh file compression format and program.

TCP/IP
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The protocols that drive the Internet.

Telnet
An Internet protocol that allows you to log on to a remote computer and act as a dumb terminal.

Trumpet-Winsock
A Windows program that provides a dial-up SLIP or PPP connection to the Net.

UNIX
An operating system used by most service providers and universities. So long as you stick to graphic programs, you'll never notice it.

URL
Uniform Resource Locator. The addressing system for the World Wide Web.

Usenet
User's Network. A collection of networks and computer systems that exchange messages, organized by subject into Newsgroups.

UUencode
A method of encoding binary files into text so that they can be attached to mail or posted to Usenet. They have to be UUdecoded to convert them back. The better mail and news programs do this automatically.

Zip
PC file compression format that creates files with the extension .zip using PKZip or WinZip software. Commonly used to reduce file size for transfer or storage on floppy disks.

Zmodem
A file transfer protocol that, among other things, offers the advantage of being able to pick up where you left off after transmission failure.

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