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Computer Network Terms

Below are some important terms used in Computer Networking:

Domain Name System (DNS)

DNS is a directory service that provides a mapping between the name of a host on the network and its numerical address. DNS is required for the functioning of the internet. DNS is a service that translates the domain name into IP addresses. This allows the users of networks to utilize user-friendly names when looking for other hosts instead of remembering the IP addresses. For example, suppose the FTP site at EduSoft had an IP address of, most people would reach this site by specifying Therefore, the domain name is more reliable than IP address.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

A Uniform Resource Locator, more commonly known as a URL, is the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. It is the mechanism used by browsers to retrieve any published resource on the web. For example, is the URL used to locate this website. A URL is the most common type of Uniform Resource Identifier (URI), the generic term used for all types of names and addresses that refer to objects on the World Wide Web. An IP address can be directly used in replacement of a URL, but since it's relatively inconvenient, it's not often used.

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application layer protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web, where hypertext documents include hyperlinks to other resources that the user can easily access, for example by a mouse click or by tapping the screen in a web browser.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is a set of communication guidelines that allow software to transmit an electronic mail over the internet is called Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It is a program used for sending messages to other computer users based on e-mail addresses.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

FTP is a standard internet protocol provided by TCP/IP used for transmitting the files from one host to another. It is mainly used for transferring the web page files from their creator to the computer that acts as a server for other computers on the internet. It is also used for downloading the files to computer from other servers. It provides the sharing of files, used to encourage the use of remote computers and also transfers the data more reliably and efficiently.

Active Server page (ASP)

ASP uses scripting on the server to generate content that is sent to the client's web browser via HTTP response. The ASP interpreter reads and executes all script code between <% and %> tags, the result of which is content generation. These scripts were written using VBScript, JScript, or PerlScript. The


directive, the

<script language="manu" runat="server" /> 

syntax or server configuration can be used to select the language. In the example below, Response.Write Now() is in an HTML page; it would be dynamically replaced by the current time of the server.

Web Server Management

Web server is a computer where the web content is stored. Basically web server is used to host the web sites but there exists other web servers also such as gaming, storage, FTP, email etc. Web site is collection of web pages while web server is a software that respond to the request for web resources. Web server management software is software designed to run on web servers to manage all of its aspects via a web interface. These software types are often referred to as a "control panel" as they offer the interface panel to control the server.

Transport Layers Security (TLS)

Transport Layer Security is a security protocol designed to facilitate privacy and data security for communications over the Internet. A primary use case of TLS is encrypting the communication between web applications and servers, such as web browsers loading a website. TLS can also be used to encrypt other communications such as email, messaging, and voice over IP (VoIP). In this article we will focus on the role of TLS in web application security.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is an encryption-based Internet security protocol. It was first developed by Netscape in 1995 for the purpose of ensuring privacy, authentication, and data integrity in Internet communications. SSL is the predecessor to the modern TLS encryption used today.

Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP )

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol is a suite of communication protocols used to interconnect network devices on the internet. TCP/IP can also be used as a communications protocol in a private computer network (an intranet or an extranet). The entire Internet Protocol suite -- a set of rules and procedures -- is commonly referred to as TCP/IP. TCP and IP are the two main protocols, though others are included in the suite. The TCP/IP protocol suite functions as an abstraction layer between internet applications and the routing/switching fabric.

Open System Interconnection (OSI)

The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model is a conceptual model created by the International Organization for Standardization which enables diverse communication systems to communicate using standard protocols. In plain English, the OSI provides a standard for different computer systems to be able to communicate with each other.

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is a procedure for mapping a dynamic Internet Protocol address (IP address) to a permanent physical machine address in a local area network (LAN). The physical machine address is also known as a Media Access Control or MAC address.

Local Area Network (LAN)

LAN stands for Local Area Network. It's a group of computers which all belong to the same organisation, and which are linked within a small geographic area using a network, and often the same technology (the most widespread being Ethernet). A local area network is a network in its simplest form. Data transfer speeds over a local area network can reach up to 10 Mbps (such as for an Ethernet network) and 1 Gbps (as with FDDI or Gigabit Ethernet). A local area network can reach as many as 100, or even 1000, users. By expanding the definition of a LAN to the services that it provides, two different operating modes can be defined: In a "peer-to-peer" network, in which communication is carried out from one computer to another, without a central computer, and where each computer has the same role. In a "client/server" environment, in which a central computer provides network services to users.

Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

MANs (Metropolitan Area Networks) connect multiple geographically nearby LANs to one another (over an area of up to a few dozen kilometres) at high speeds. Thus, a MAN lets two remote nodes communicate as if they were part of the same local area network. A MAN is made from switches or routers connected to one another with high-speed links (usually fibre optic cables).

Wide Area Network (WAN)

WAN (Wide Area Network or extended network) connects multiple LANs to one another over great geographic distances. The speed available on a WAN varies depending on the cost of the connections (which increases with distance) and may be low. WANs operate using routers, which can "choose" the most appropriate path for data to take to reach a network node. The most well-known WAN is the Internet.

Personal Area Network (PAN)

A personal area network, is a computer network organized around an individual person within a single building. This could be inside a small office or residence. A typical PAN would include one or more computers, telephones, peripheral devices, video game consoles and other personal entertainment devices.

Network Interface Unit (NIU)

A network interface unit (NIU) or network interface device, is a device that serves as a common interface for various other devices within a local area network (LAN), or as an interface to allow networked computers to connect to an outside network.

Network Interface Card (NIC)

A network interface card (NIC) is a hardware component without which a computer cannot be connected over a network. It is a circuit board installed in a computer that provides a dedicated network connection to the computer. It is also called network interface controller, network adapter or LAN adapter.

Media Access Control (MAC)

Medium access control (MAC, also called media access control) sublayer is the layer that controls the hardware responsible for interaction with the wired, optical or wireless transmission medium. The MAC sublayer and the logical link control (LLC) sublayer together make up the data link layer. Within the data link layer, the LLC provides flow control and multiplexing for the logical link (i.e. EtherType, 802.1Q VLAN tag etc), while the MAC provides flow control and multiplexing for the transmission medium.

Bits Per Second (BPS)

In data communications, bits per second is a common measure of data speed for computer modems and transmission carriers. As the term implies, the speed in bps is equal to the number of bits transmitted or received each second. Larger units are sometimes used to denote high data speeds.

Gigabyte Per Second (GGPS)

1Gbps is equal to 1,000 Megabits per second (Mbps), or 1,000,000,000 bits per second. Gbps is commonly used to measure data transfer speeds between hardware devices.

Kilohertz (KHz)

Kilohertz is commonly used to measure the frequencies of sound waves, since the audible spectrum of sound frequencies is between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. One kilohertz is equal to 1,000 hertz. Like hertz, kilohertz is used to measure frequency, or cycles per second. Since one hertz is one cycle per second, one kilohertz is equal to 1,000 cycles per second.

Electronic Mail (E-mail)

E- mail is information stored on a computer that is exchanged between two users over telecommunications. More plainly, e-mail is a message that may contain text, files, images, or other attachments sent through a network to a specified individual or group of individuals

Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML)

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It allows the user to create and structure sections, paragraphs, headings, links, and blockquotes for web pages and applications. It is the set of markup symbols or codes inserted into a file intended for display on the Internet. The markup tells web browsers how to display a web page's words and images.

Dynamic HTML (DHTML)

DHTML stands for Dynamic HTML, it is totally different from HTML. The browsers which support the dynamic HTML are some of the versions of Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer of version higher than 4.0. The DHTML is based on the properties of the HTML, javascript, CSS, and DOM (Document Object Model which is used to access individual elements of a document) which helps in making dynamic content. It is the combination of HTML, CSS, JS, and DOM. The DHTML make use of Dynamic object model to make changes in settings and also in properties and methods. It also makes uses of Scripting and it is also part of earlier computing trends.

eXtensible Markup Language (XML)

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. The World Wide Web Consortium's XML 1.0 Specification of 1998 and several other related specifications—all of them free open standards—define XML.

Shielded Twisted pair (STP)

STP Cabling is twisted-pair cabling with additional shielding to reduce crosstalk and other forms of electromagnetic interference (EMI). The outer insulating jacket contains an inner braided copper mesh to shield the pairs of twisted cables, which themselves are wrapped in foil.

Unshielded Twisted pair (UTP)

Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) is a ubiquitous type of copper cabling used in telephone wiring and local area networks (LANs). There are five types of UTP cables -- identified with the prefix CAT, as in category -- each supporting a different amount of bandwidth. UTP cable is a 100 ohm copper cable that consists of 2 to 1800 unshielded twisted pairs surrounded by an outer jacket. They have no metallic shield. This makes the cable small in diameter but unprotected against electrical interference. The twist helps to improve its immunity to electrical noise and EMI.

Uniform Resource Name (URN)

With a Uniform Resource Name, various items (resources) can be given a unique name. This is especially of interest on the internet, as there, different people and applications encounter each other – and in doing so make exchanges related to specific objects. With a clear identifier, you can be sure that all participants are talking about the same content.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is the industry term for the company that is able to provide you with access to the Internet, typically from a computer. If you hear someone talking about the Internet and they mention their "provider," they're usually talking about their ISP.

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME)

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME) is a standard which was proposed by Bell Communications in 1991 in order to expand limited capabilities of email. MIME is a kind of add on or a supplementary protocol which allows non-ASCII data to be sent through SMTP. It allows the users to exchange different kinds of data files on the Internet: audio, video, images, application programs as well.

Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP)

Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) is a simple protocol that works with TCP/IP for communication over serial ports and routers. They provide communications between machines that were previously configured for direct communication with each other.

Point to Point Protocol (PPP)

Point - to - Point Protocol (PPP) is a communication protocol of the data link layer that is used to transmit multiprotocol data between two directly connected (point-to-point) computers. It is a byte - oriented protocol that is widely used in broadband communications having heavy loads and high speeds. Since it is a data link layer protocol, data is transmitted in frames. It is also known as RFC 1661.

Network Time Protocol (NTP)

The Network Time Protocol (NTP) is a networking protocol for clock synchronization between computer systems over packet-switched, variable-latency data networks. In operation since before 1985, NTP is one of the oldest Internet protocols in current use. NTP was designed by David L. Mills of the University of Delaware.

Post Office Protocol (POP)

Post Office Protocol (POP) is an application-layer Internet standard protocol used by e-mail clients to retrieve e-mail from a mail server. POP version 3 (POP3) is the version in common use.

Internet Mail Access Protocol (IMAP)

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is a standard email protocol that stores email messages on a mail server, but allows the end user to view and manipulate the messages as though they were stored locally on the end user's computing device(s). IMAP allows you to access your email messages wherever you are; much of the time, it is accessed via the Internet.

Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)

he Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is a network layer protocol used by network devices to diagnose network communication issues. ICMP is mainly used to determine whether or not data is reaching its intended destination in a timely manner. Commonly, the ICMP protocol is used on network devices, such as routers. ICMP is crucial for error reporting and testing.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line. Some VoIP services may only allow you to call other people using the same service, but others may allow you to call anyone who has a telephone number - including local, long distance, mobile, and international numbers. Also, while some VoIP services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone, other services allow you to use a traditional phone connected to a VoIP adapter.

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)

Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is one of the most common protocols used in VoIP technology. It is an application layer protocol that works in conjunction with other application layer protocols to control multimedia communication sessions over the Internet.

Global system for mobile communication (GSM)

It is a digital cellular technology used for transmitting mobile voice and data services. The concept of GSM emerged from a cell-based mobile radio system at Bell Laboratories in the early 1970s. GSM is the name of a standardization group established in 1982 to create a common European mobile telephone standard.

GSM is the most widely accepted standard in telecommunications and it is implemented globally. GSM is a circuit-switched system that divides each 200 kHz channel into eight 25 kHz time-slots. GSM operates on the mobile communication bands 900 MHz and 1800 MHz in most parts of the world. In the US, GSM operates in the bands 850 MHz and 1900 MHz. GSM owns a market share of more than 70 percent of the world's digital cellular subscribers. GSM makes use of narrowband Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) technique for transmitting signals. GSM was developed using digital technology. It has an ability to carry 64 kbps to 120 Mbps of data rates. Presently GSM supports more than one billion mobile subscribers in more than 210 countries throughout the world. GSM provides basic to advanced voice and data services including roaming service. Roaming is the ability to use your GSM phone number in another GSM network. GSM digitizes and compresses data, then sends it down through a channel with two other streams of user data, each in its own timeslot.

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)

General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) is a packet-based wireless communication service that promises data rates from 56 up to 114 Kbps and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile phone and computer users. The higher data rates allow users to take part in video conferences and interact with multimedia Web sites and similar applications using mobile handheld devices as well as notebook computers. GPRS is based on Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication and complements existing services such circuit-switched cellular phone connections and the Short Message Service (SMS).

Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)

Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is a sort of multiplexing that facilitates various signals to occupy a single transmission channel. It optimizes the use of available bandwidth. The technology is commonly used in ultra-high-frequency (UHF) cellular telephone systems, bands ranging between the 800-MHz and 1.9-GHz.

Wireless in Local Loop (WLL)

Local loop is a circuit line from a subscriber’s phone to the local central office (LCO). But the implementation of local loop of wires is risky for the operators, especially in rural and remote areas due to less number of users and increased cost of installation. Hence, the solution for it is the usage of wireless local loop (WLL) which uses wireless links rather than copper wires to connect subscribers to the local central office

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

PSTN (public switched telephone network) is the world's collection of interconnected voice-oriented public telephone networks. PSTN stands for public switched telephone network, or the traditional circuit-switched telephone network.

Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution (EDGE)

EDGE (also known as Enhanced GPRS or EGPRS) is a data system used on top of GSM networks. It provides nearly three times faster speeds than the outdated GPRS system. The theoretical maximum speed is 473 kbps for 8 timeslots but it is typically limited to 135 kbps in order to conserve spectrum resources. Both phone and network must support EDGE, otherwise the phone will revert automatically to GPRS.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is an application layer protocol that facilitates communication in the form of text. The chat process works on a client/server networking model. IRC clients are computer programs that users can install on their system or web based applications running either locally in the browser or on a third party server. These clients communicate with chat servers to transfer messages to other clients. IRC is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums, called channels, but also allows one-on-one communication via private messages as well as chat and data transfer, including file sharing.

Short Message Service (SMS)

SMS (short message service) is a text messaging service component of most telephone, Internet, and mobile device systems. It uses standardized communication protocols to enable mobile devices to exchange short text messages. An intermediary service can facilitate a text-to-voice conversion to be sent to landlines

Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA)

Time-division multiple access (TDMA) is a channel access method for shared-medium networks. It allows several users to share the same frequency channel by dividing the signal into different time slots. The users transmit in rapid succession, one after the other, each using its own time slot.

Universal Mobile Telephone System (UMTS)

UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service) is a third-generation (3G) broadband, packet-based transmission of text, digitized voice, video, and multimedia at data rates up to 2 megabits per second (Mbps).

Java Server Pages (JSP)

Java Server Pages (JSP) is a server-side programming technology that enables the creation of dynamic, platform-independent method for building Web-based applications. JSP have access to the entire family of Java APIs, including the JDBC API to access enterprise databases. This tutorial will teach you how to use Java Server Pages to develop your web applications in simple and easy steps.

Practical Extraction and Reporting Language (PERL)

Perl is a general-purpose programming language originally developed for text manipulation and now used for a wide range of tasks including system administration, web development, network programming, GUI development, and more. Perl is a stable, cross platform programming language. Though Perl is not officially an acronym but few people used it as Practical Extraction and Report Language. It is used for mission critical projects in the public and private sectors. Perl is an Open Source software, licensed under its Artistic License, or the GNU General Public License (GPL). Perl was created by Larry Wall. Perl 1.0 was released to usenet's alt.comp.sources in 1987. At the time of writing this tutorial, the latest version of perl was 5.16.2. Perl is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. PC Magazine announced Perl as the finalist for its 1998 Technical Excellence Award in the Development Tool category.

Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP)

he PHP Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) is a programming language that allows web developers to create dynamic content that interacts with databases. PHP is basically used for developing web based software applications. This tutorial helps you to build your base with PHP.

National Science Foundation Network (NSFnet)

National Science Foundation Network. NSFNET is a wide area network started by the NSF (National Science Foundation) that handled a bulk of early Internet traffic. It went online in 1986 and during the late 1980s and early 1990s was a crucial backbone to ARPANET and the Internet. During 1990 and 1991, NSFNET was restructured and created a not-for-profit entity and a for-profit subsidiary for commercial development of the network.

MOdulator-DEModulator (MODEM)

Modem is a hardware component that allows a computer or another device, such as a router or switch, to connect to the Internet. It converts or "modulates" an analog signal from a telephone or cable wire to digital data (1s and 0s) that a computer can recognize. Similarly, it converts digital data from a computer or other device into an analog signal that can be sent over standard telephone lines.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language such as HTML. CSS is a cornerstone technology of the World Wide Web, alongside HTML and JavaScript

Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)

WAP is a protocol designed for micro-browsers and it enables the access of internet in the mobile devices. It uses the mark-up language WML (Wireless Markup Language and not HTML), WML is defined as XML 1.0 application. It enables creating web applications for mobile devices. In 1998, WAP Forum was founded by Ericson, Motorola, Nokia and Unwired Planet whose aim was to standardize the various wireless technologies via protocols.

Internet Information Services (IIS)

Internet Information Services (IIS) is a flexible, general-purpose web server from Microsoft that runs on Windows systems to serve requested HTML pages or files. An IIS web server accepts requests from remote client computers and returns the appropriate response. This basic functionality allows web servers to share and deliver information across local area networks (LAN), such as corporate intranets, and wide area networks (WAN), such as the internet.

Wide Area Information Servers (WIAS)

WAIS (Wide Area Information Servers) is an Internet system in which specialized subject databases are created at multiple server locations, kept track of by a directory of servers at one location, and made accessible for searching by users with WAIS client programs. ... The user can then retrieve the full text.

Packet InterNet Groper (PING)

Ping is a utility associated with UNIX, the Internet, and TCP/IP networks. Since most network operating systems now support TCP/IP, they also include a Ping utility. Ping is the equivalent to yelling in a canyon and listening for the echo. You "ping" another host on a network to see if that host is reachable from your host. The command takes the form ping ipaddress, where ipaddress is the numeric IP address of the host you want to contact.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web. Founded in 1994 and currently led by Tim Berners-Lee, the consortium is made up of member organizations that maintain full-time staff working together in the development of standards for the World Wide Web. As of 21 October 2019, W3C had 443 members. W3C also engages in education and outreach, develops software and serves as an open forum for discussion about the Web.

Open Source Software (OSS)

Open source software (OSS) is software that is distributed with its source code, making it available for use, modification, and distribution with its original rights. Source code is the part of software that most computer users don’t ever see; it’s the code computer programmers manipulate to control how a program or application behaves. Programmers who have access to source code can change a program by adding to it, changing it, or fixing parts of it that aren’t working properly. OSS typically includes a license that allows programmers to modify the software to best fit their needs and control how the software can be distributed.

Free Livre and Open Source Software (FLOSS)

Free and open source software (FOSS), also known as free/libre open source software (FLOSS) and free/open source software (F/OSS), is software developed by informal collaborative networks of programmers. The source code is licensed free of charge, encouraging modifications and improvements.

Network File System (NFS)

The Network File System (NFS) is a client/server application that lets a computer user view and optionally store and update files on a remote computer as though they were on the user's own computer. The NFS protocol is one of several distributed file system standards for network-attached storage (NAS).

Registered Jack-45 (RJ-45)

A registered jack (RJ) is a standardized physical network interface for connecting telecommunications or data equipment. The physical connectors that registered jacks use are mainly of the modular connector and 50-pin miniature ribbon connector types. The most common twisted-pair connector is an 8-position, 8-contact (8P8C) modular plug and jack commonly referred to as an RJ45 connector

Carrier Detect (CD)

Carrier detect (see modem lights) is a control signal between a modem and a computer that indicates that the modem detects a "live" carrier that can be used for sending and receiving information.

Clear – to-Send (CTS)

Clear to Send (CTS) is a control frame employed in the medium access control (MAC) layer protocol IEEE 802.11 RTS/CTS. The protocol uses the concept of Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (MACA) in wireless networks. The RTS/CTS (Request to Send / Clear to Send) mechanism aims to reduce frame collisions introduced by the hidden terminal problem. CTS frame is sent by the receiver after it gets the RTS frame prior to receiving of the actual data frame.

Data Terminal Equipment (DTE)

Data terminal equipment (DTE) is an end instrument that converts user information into signals or reconverts received signals. These can also be called tail circuits. A DTE device communicates with the data circuit-terminating equipment (DCE). The DTE/DCE classification was introduced by IBM.

Data Communication Equipment (DCE)

Data Communications Equipment (DCE) can be classified as equipment that transmits or receives analogue or digital signals through a network. ... A common DCE example is a modem which works as a translator of digital and analogue signals. DCE may also be responsible for providing timing over a serial link

Data Terminal Ready (DTR)

Data Terminal Ready is a control signal present inside an RS-232 serial communications cable that goes between a computer and another device, such as a modem. This is a one-way "high-low" signal going from the computer to the modem (or, in RS-232 terminology, "from DTE to DCE").

It is present on pin 4 of a DE-9 serial port, or pin 20 of a DB-25 port.

File Allocation Table (FAT)

A file allocation table (FAT) is a file system developed for hard drives that originally used 12 or 16 bits for each cluster entry into the file allocation table. It is used by the operating system (OS) to manage files on hard drives and other computer systems. It is often also found on in flash memory, digital cameras and portable devices. It is used to store file information and extend the life of a hard drive.

Resources: Tutorial point, Wikipedia, geeksforgeeks, Javapoint

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