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Old August 15th, 2006, 04:14 PM
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Arrow .... Glossary of Networking Terms ....

The glossary has grown too large for a single post so we split it up.

1394 - See IEEE 1394.

802.11b - The specification for wireless networking at a maximum transfer rate of 11 Mbps. Operates in the 2.4 GHz range.

802.11g - The specification for wireless networking at a maximum transfer rate of 54 Mbps. Operates in the 2.4 GHz range.

802.11n - The draft specification for wireless networking at a maximum transfer rate of 540 Mbps. Also, adds Multiple Input/Multiple Output (MIMO) to the 802.11 specification. Operates in either 2.4 GHz range or the 5 GHz range.

access point [AP] - In a wireless LAN, a transceiver connected to a wired network that links the two network types. Also, referred to as a Wireless access point [WAP].

Address Resolution Protocol [ARP] - The networking protocol used to determine a hardware (physical) address, such as a MAC address, for a given networking address, such as an IP address. On most computer systems, ARP information is cached and the arp command can be used to manually view and manipulate this cache.

adhoc mode - A wireless network made of direct connections between computers. An adhoc network does not make use of wireless network devices such as routers and WAPs.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line [ADSL] - a form of DSL that transfers information downstream and upstream at
different rates. It is usually the downstream (to the local network) rate that is higher.

Bluetooth - Bluetooth is the name given to a radio technology making transmission of signals over short distances( < 30ft [10m]) between telephones, computers and other devices. A network created using the Bluetooth technology is commonly referred to as a Personal Area Network [PAN] or piconet.

bridge - A device that connects two or more physical networks and allows messages to flow between them.

broadband - High capacity circuits along which many individual transmissions are multiplexed. It is commonly used
to refer to Cable, DSL, or Fiber Optic connections to the Internet.

cable modem - The device used to connect a PC or LAN to a cable television outlet in order to provide access to the Internet
or WAN. Cable modems do not operate at the same rate upstream (when sending information) and downstream (when receiving information).
It is usually the downstream rate that is higher.

category 5 cable [CAT5] - Cable that uses 4 pairs of twisted wire. This was cable commonly used in a 10/100 Ethernet
based networks but is being replaced with CAT5e.

category 6 cable [CAT6] - Cable that uses 4 pairs of twisted wire. This cable is designed to support high speed Ethernet (1000BaseT and 10000BaseT) networks.

Computer Browser Service - The Microsoft Windows service responsible for maintaining and supplying information on Windows workgroups or domains. In order for file or printer sharing to operate for a workgroup, there must be at least one computer in the workgroup that is running the Computer Browser Service.

crossover ethernet cable - This type of UTP cable derived its name from the way in which the RJ45 connectors were fitted to the cable.
Some of the wires cross over others so as to change the function of the cable. It is used to directly connect two computers or when attaching a computer to a hub. [picture]

crossover cable - See crossover ethernet cable.

Dynamic DNS [DDNS] - A system that allows the DNS name to IP address mapping of a computer to be updated in real time. This allows computers that do not have a statically assigned IP address to include in a DNS servers database.

dynamic IP address - An IP address that automatically assigned to a computer using DHCP. It is assigned on a lease basis, which varies from network to network, and may possibly change whenever the current lease expires. The IP addresses and lease times are managed by a DHCP server that may be running on another machine on the network or embedded in a network device such as a router.

Domain Name Service [DNS] - A distributed name to IP address system used by IP networks, including the internet, that maps a computer's name to its IP address.

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol [DHCP] - An Internet protocol for automating the configuration of computers that use TCP/IP. It is used to assign computers dynamic IP addresses along with other networking related system settings, such as DNS servers and netmasks.

De-Militarized Zone [DMZ] - A subnet or group of computers that reside between a protected LAN and the internet usually containing publicly accessible servers, such and web and ftp servers. It is also commonly used in the configuration of broadband routers to refer to computers that are to be made externally visible to the internet, even though a true DMZ is not created.

Digital Subscriber Line [DSL] - A digital communications technology that can provide high-speed transmissions over
standard copper telephone wiring. DSL is often referred to as xDSL, where the x stands for one or two characters
that define variations of the basic DSL technology. Currently, ADSL (Asymmetric DSL) is the form most likely to
be provided. See also ADSL, HDSL, SHDSL.

DSL Modem - The device used to connect a PC or LAN to a standard telephone wiring in order to provide high speed
access to the Internet or WAN.

enhanced category 5 cable [CAT5e] - Cable that uses 4 pairs of twisted wire. This cable is now commonly used in a 10/100 Ethernet based networks, but can support 1000BaseT networks.

ethernet - A widely used network that formed the basis for the IEEE 802.3 standard. Essentially, it is a 10 Mbps [10BaseT] or
100 Mbps network, although there is also a recently developed Gigabit Ethernet that operates at 10 times 100 Mbps speed.

fast ethernet - 100Mbps ethernet network. Also referred to as 100BaseT

firewall - A piece of security software that protects a network. It may run on a dedicated piece of hardware, be embedded in another network device, such as a router, or run as an application on a computer.

firewire - See IEEE 1394.

File Transfer Protocol [FTP] - A simple network protocol used to transfer files between computers.

gateway - The original Internet term for what is now called router or more precisely, IP router.

gigabit ethernet - 1000Mbps ethernet network. Also referred to as 1000BaseT. Makes use of all 4 pairs of wires in an ethernet connection, unlike the slower speed ethernet that only use 2 of pairs.

High Bitrate DSL [HDSL] - A form of DSL that transmits at 1.544 Mbps in both directions.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol [HTTP] - The protocol used to carry requests from a browser to a Web server
and to transport pages from Web servers back to the requesting browser.

hub - A hardware device to which nodes connect on star-wired networks. A passive hub simply acts
as a connection point; an active hub both acts as a connection point and has the ability to regenerate signals; an intelligent hub is one with additional capabilities, such as the ability to configure the network.

hotspot - A public wireless access point where you can connect your mobile computer to the Internet, using Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) technology. Most new laptops come with Wireless adapters built in. One can add wireless capabilities to mobile computers by use of a USB or PCMCIA wireless adapter.

IEEE 1394 - A high speed external bus commonly used to connect digital video and audio equipment to a computer. It can also be used to connect other external devices to a computer as well as networking multiple computers. The IEEE 1394a standard supports speeds up to 400 Mbps, while IEEE 1394b supports speeds up 800 Mbps. It is frequently referred to as firewire.

intelligent hub - A type of hub that, in addition to transmitting signals, has built-in capability for other network chores, such as monitoring or reporting on network status.

internet - A collection of networks interconnected by a set of routers
which allow them to function as a single, large virtual network.

Internet - (note the capital "I") The largest internet in the world consisting of large national backbone nets and a myriad of regional and local campus networks all over the world.

Internet Control Message Protocol [ICMP] - The protocol used to handle errors and control messages at the IP layer. This is the protocol used by ping.

Internet Connection Sharing [ICS] - Software used to allow a computer running Windows to share an internet connections with other Windows computers connected to it. It is available for Windows 98 2nd Ed. and comes with Windows XP.
[Note: Using ICS is no longer recommended as home routers offer a better solution]

Internet Protocol [IP] - The protocol used to transfer data from one computer to another over the Internet and other networks. It is typically layered under TCP, which is why "TCP/IP" is often used in the context of internet communication. Usually used to refer to IP version 4, but can also include IP version 6.

Internet Protocol version 6 [IPv6] - The latest standard for the IP protocol. To date the internet still is using IPv4 except for a few specialized IPv6 sites.

Internet Service Provider [ISP] - A company that provides access to the internet. It may provide dial-up service, broadband service, or both.

IP address (v4) - A 32-bit address assigned to hosts using TCP/IP. It usually shown as 4 decimal numbers separated by '.', such as in

IP address (v6) - A 128-bit address assigned to hosts using TCP/IP. The full form is eight 16 bit hexadecimal numbers separated by ':', such as in FEBC:A574:382B:23C1:AA49:4592:4EFE:9982. The full form can be shorten by omitting any part of the address which is all zeros. For example, 2002:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0a00:0001 can be written as 2002::a00:1.

IP-masquerading - See Network Address Translation.

IPsec (IP Security) - A framework of open standards for securing IP communication. The standards that are part of IPsec address the issue of authentication and encryption. IPsec is one of technologies that is used to implement VPNs. [While IPsec is optional for IPv4, it is required in an IPv6 implementation.]

latency - The elapsed time between the when data is sent on the network and the time a response to that data is received and processed. Latency is the sum of several delays affecting the transmission of data over a network (RTT + xmit time + processing time + queuing time). Latency can often be perceived in the responsiveness of a distributed environment, such as online games and the world wide web.

Local Area Network [LAN] - A network that is relatively limited in scope. For example, one that connects computers within a single building.

localhost - A 'special' hostname used to refer to the computer itself and is associated with the IPv4 address or the IPv6 address ::1. Pinging localhost is a simple test to determine if the computer's network stack is functioning properly.

Last edited by z1p; April 4th, 2009 at 04:06 PM. Reason: added ipsec
Old October 4th, 2006, 08:37 PM
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Networking Glossary part 2; M to Z

Maximum Transmission Unit [MTU] - The largest possible unit of data that can be sent on a particular network implementation.

Media Access Control [MAC] Address - A MAC address is a unique identifier the manufacturer attached to most forms of networking equipment. e.g. Each NIC has a different MAC address. A MAC address is usually present as 6 hexidecimal numbers separated by '-' or ':', such as 00-50-56-e5-25-55.

Medium Dependent Interface[MDI] - See uplink port.

modem - The name comes from 'MOdulator DEModulator'. The interface between a computer and a telephone line.

netmask - A bit mask used to specify the network prefix portion of an IPv4 IP address. It is usually represented as a 'dotted' decimal number where each 'dot' separated segment represents 8 bits. Common netmasks are for Class A Networks, for Class B Networks, and for Class C Networks. However, other netmasks can be used to divide a network into multiple subnets.

For IPv6 the network prefix is specified using a '/' notation, such as 2001:db8::/32. The number after the slash specifies the number of bits to use as the network portion of the IP address. The slash notation can also be used for IPv4 addresses and has in fact become the preferred notation.

network adapter - See Network Interface Card.

Network Address Translation [NAT] - The function in a router or firewall that replaces a local IP address in traffic to and from an external network, such as the internet, with a public IP address. Also, known as IP-masquerading.

Network Attached Storage[NAS] - A stand-alone file server device that attaches to the LAN and allows computers on the LAN to share the storage.

Network Interface Card [NIC] - The circuit board needed to provide network access to a computer. Network interface cards, or NICs, mediate between the computer and the physical media, such as cabling, over which transmissions travel. Also, referred to as a network adapter.

passive hub - A type of hub that passes signals along to all connected devices but has no additional capability.

passphrase - In wireless networking, it is one or more words used to create the encryption key for the network.

patch cable - See straight-through ethernet cable.

Personal Area Network [PAN] - A Bluetooth network consisting of 2 to 8 devices. Also, referred to as a piconet.

ping - A program used to test reachability of destinations by sending them an ICMP echo request and waiting for a reply. The term is also used as a verb: "Ping host X to see if it is up!"

Point to Point Protocol [PPP] - A protocol used to connect two nodes on a network. It is typically used in dial-up connections to the Internet and other networks.

Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet [PPPoE] - An implemention of PPP on top of the ethernet protocol used by many ISPs that provide DSL services.

Quality of Service [QoS] - Stands for quality of service, a term used generally to refer to performance at or above a certain standard. More specifically, QOS refers to the maximum amount of
delay and data loss considered acceptable for transmissions.

RJ-45 - A type of connector used with twisted-pair wiring; similar to, but larger than, a telephone jack.

Round-Trip Time[RTT] - The time it takes to transmit a data packet over a network and receive a response(ACK) back. This is one of the major components of network latency. While the ping command reports response times from a remote network device, this is not the same as RTT.

router - A network device that transmits message packets, routing them over the best route available at the time. Routers are used to connect multiple network segments, including those based on differing architectures and protocols. Hybrid routers that provide the features of a router, switch, and firewall are commonly used in small installations such as a home or small office.

Secure Shell [SSH] - A protocol used for secure communication between network devices. This is now commonly found on most new versions of Linux and Unix, but is also available for Windows. In addition to providing secure remote sessions between computers, it can be used used as a tunnel to secure and encrypt other protocols and applications. [Note: There are known vulnerabilities with SSH-1, so SSH-2 is preferred.]

SFTP[Secure FTP] - A version of FTP which uses SSH as a network protocol so that data transferred is encrypted during the network transfer.

static IP address - An IP address that is manually set on a computer so that it always uses the same IP address.

straight-through ethernet cable - This type of UTP cable derived its name from the way in which the RJ45 connectors were fitted to the cable. All the wires are run straight through so that pin 1 on one end is connected to pin 1 on the other end, etc. It is used to connect an individual computer, printer or other device to a network. [picture]

Subnet - A group of IP addresses with a common routing prefix. In IPv4 the netmask is used to define the bits in an ip address that should be used as its routing prefix. IPv4 has 3 classes of IP addresses, each has its own minimum number of routing prefix bits. (note: The fewer prefix bits, the larger the subnet can be.) IPv6, the number of bits in the routing prefix is specified after the IP address following a slash (i.e. 2001:db8:85a3::8a2e:370:7334/64). If the routing prefix is omitted from an IPv6 address it is assumed to be 64. The same slash notation can be used to specify an IPv4 IP address and its routing prefix (i.e.

switch - A network device capable of forwarding packets only to the port associated with the particular network address.

Symmetric DSL [SDSL] - A variation of HDSL that uses one pair rather than two pairs of wires and transmits at 1.544 Mbps.

Symmetric High-speed DSL [SHDSL] - An international standard for multi-rate symmetric DSL transmitted over a single copper pair at data rates of 192 kbps to 2.3 Mbps or over two copper pairs at 384 kbps to 4.6 Mbps.

Time To Live [TTL] - The maximum number of hops that a IP packet can make. Each router along an IP packet's path decrements the packet's TTL, if the TTL reaches 0, the packet is dropped and an error is returned to the sender.

Transmission Control Protocol [TCP] - The major transport protocol in the Internet suite of protocols. It is typically layered on top of the Internet Protocol (IP), which is why the term TCP/IP is frequently used.

TCP/IP - A protocol suite designed for enabling communications over interconnected, sometimes dissimilar, networks. It is supported by almost all networks and provides the basis of Internet communications.

Teredo - One of several IPv6 transition technologies. It is a tunneling protocol used to allow the use of IPv6 through a IPv4 NAT device. This is available on Windows Server 2003 and XP and it is installed and enabled by default on Windows Server 2008, Vistaans Windows 7. There are also implementations available for Linux and Mac OS X.

traceroute - On Unix based Operating Systems, like linux, it is a program that shows you the route over the network between the local machine and another network device, listing all the intermediate routers a connection must pass through to get to its destination. It can be used to help determine if there are network issues and where they are happening on the network.

tracert -On Windows based computers, it is a program that shows you the route over the network between the local machine and another network device, listing all the intermediate routers a connection must pass through to get to its destination. It can be used to help determine if there are network issues and where they are happening on the network.

Uniform Resource Locator [url] - The address for a resource (document) on the Internet.

Universal Naming Convention [UNC] - A Microsoft Windows notation for specifying a network resource on a LAN, usually a a shred file or folder. It is made of two pieces, the server supplying the resource and the path for the resource, in the form \\server\path. For example, the UNC for the share called shared_docs on the computer named my_pc would be \\my_pc\shared_docs

Universal Plug and Play [UPnP] - A set of computer network protocols whose purpose is to simplify the installation and management of network devices. It is available in the newer versions of Windows and some of the newer network devices designed for the home or small office.

Universal Serial Bus [USB] - A serial bus standard for connecting various devices. Commonly found in computers and video games, it allows devices to be connected and disconnected without requiring that the systems or devices be restarted. Low power device are able to obtain their power via the USB connection.

uplink port - An uplink port is a special port on network devices that reverses the transmit and receive circuits of the cable connected to it eliminating the need for a crossover cable. On some devices the port is labeled as the WAN port, while other provide a port that auto detects whether it should be crossed over. An auto detecting port is usually labeled MDI/MDI-X.

User Datagram Protocol [UDP] - A transport protocol in the Internet suite of protocols.

Unshielded Twisted Pair [UTP] - a cable that consists of two or more insulated conductors in which each pair of conductors are twisted around each other without a shielding metal layer. This is the style of cable used in most ethernet networks. See category 5 cable and category 6 cable.

Virtual Private Network [VPN] - A network that uses encryption and other technologies,
including tunneling, to provide secure communications over the Internet.

Wide Area Network [WAN] - A geographically dispersed network, one that relies on the linking of various network segments. A WAN can be one large network, or it can consist of a number of linked LANs.

Wi-Fi Protected Access [WPA] - A wireless network security standard providing more robust protection than WEP. When supported it should be chosen over WEP for securing a wireless network.

Windows Internet Naming Service [WINS] - The name resolution system used for Windows NT Server 4.0 and earlier operating systems. It has been largely replaced by DNS in Windows 2000 and later, but it supported by the newer versions of Windows.

Wired Equivalent Privacy [WEP] - The original security standard used in wireless networks to encrypt the wireless network traffic. While it does provide some protection to a wireless network, it has been shown to be easily cracked. Using WPA or WPA2 to secure a wireless network provides more protection.

Wireless Access Point [WAP] - A wireless transceiver connected to a wired network that links the two network types.

wireless router - A hybrid network device that provides the functionality of a router and a wireless access point[WAP]. It is commonly used in small installations, such as a home or small office, and usually also includes the capabilities of a firewall and a switch.

Wireless LAN [WLAN] - A local area network based either fully or in part on wireless transmission technologies, usually radio signals.

Wireless Zero Configuration - The WLAN configuration tool that is part of Microsoft XP. This service was renamed to WLAN AutoConfig in Vista.

WLAN AutoConfig - The WLAN configuration tool that is part of Microsoft Vista. This service replaces the Wireless Zero Configuration service that was found in XP.

workgroup - A loosely connected group of Windows based computers configured to advertise themselves under a common name. Typically used on small networks to share disk and printer resources. Linux and other versions of Unix can participate in a workgroup when running Samba.

Last edited by z1p; August 12th, 2010 at 03:00 PM. Reason: added SFTP
Old March 6th, 2007, 09:13 PM
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Feedback and comments about this glossary can be made in THIS THREAD.
Old May 8th, 2007, 11:23 PM
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Change Log

2007 march 6
Added 802.11n, IPv6 and TTL.

2007 March 9
Added Adhoc mode and NAS

Hi, today, we split it up, and added

2008 Oct 8
localhost & IP address v6

2009 Jan 6
Address Resolution Protocol[ARP] & Round-Trip Time[RTT]

2009 Jan 18
latency & Secure Shell [SSH]

2009 Mar 1
subnet & teredo[SSH]

2009 Apr 4

2009 Apr 18

2010 Aug 12
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