Internet and Computer Terms
A list of some commonly used terms on the Internet
With technology constantly evolving in the Internet realm, there seems to be an endless amount of technical terms that people attempt to become familiar with. Below are some common terms and its meaning. Due to the substantial amount of information available, we have split each term in alphabetical order within sections. Simply click on a letter that corresponds to the word you are seeking.

Active X
Developed by Microsoft, this technology enables software applications to run within an HTML page.

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
A technology that enables digital information to be transmitted through the use of a phone line at a high bandwidth.

The implementation of advertising mediums, such as banner ads, within a software application.

An open source HTTP server.

A program that is embedded on a web site.

This is the de facto world-wide standard for the code numbers used by computers to represent all the upper and lower-case Latin letters, numbers, punctuation, etc. There are 128 standard ASCII codes each of which can be represented by a 7 digit binary number: 0000000 through 1111111.

ASP (Active Server Pages)
A platform that some web developers utiltize to make a database-driven site in order to operate a site that requires dynamic content.

Auto Responder
Similar to a voice messaging system in various homes and businesses, it is simply a program that sends out a pre-contsructed e-mail messages to new recipients.

The main line of a series of connections within a network.

Amount of data transferred through a connection.

BBS (Bulletin Board System)
An application used to post messages and files within a certain network.

A software that is used to display various kinds of Internet resources.

A data area that has temporarily stored information used by programs and devices to allow various speeds of data to be transmitted at differrent times.

A unit of data that consists of approximately 8 Bits.

An area that stores temporary information. For example, most browsers place sites you have visited into a cache section to avoid having to download the same resources again in order to speed up the load time when you revisit.

Certificate Authority
A company that issues security certificates used to enable SSL connections.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)
A program that many sites use to display translate data from a web server onto various Internet mediums such as a a web page.

An information file that is stored on your computer by a web site that you have visited to enable it to recognize your history and preferences in regards to that particular site.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheet)
A data format that some sites use in order to organize the style appearance of a site.

Information that has been rendered into a form that is suitable for processing.

An area where data is stored and organized.

Domain Name
A unique name identifer used to distinguish various sites on the Internet.

DNS (Domain Name System)
A function that translates an existing domain name into an Internet Protocol address(Example, 64.xx.xx.xx). Web servers require an actual IP address to process the site. To simply matters for the users from having to remember constant numbers in order to access a site, the DNS automatically associates the domain name with an IP address so that you can simply enter the site by entering a URL such as

DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service)
An attempt to overwhelm a system with a constant flood of requests that the system cannot handle.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
A technology used to transfer data at high rates over a standard telephone wire without having to compromise the regular use of your telephone line.

Easter Egg
This term is mostly used as a way to describe about some form of surprise. For example, various sites sometimes have contests where there is a hidden image on the site and whoever finds it wins a prize.

E-book (Electronic Book)
An e-book is similar to a traditional print book except it is published in a medium that is meant to be viewed using a computer.

E-mail (Electronic Mail)
A computer-stored message that is transferred to another device. The most common form of an e-mail today is where people exchange plain text messages to each other.

An emoticon is when one uses keyboard letters and symbols in an attempt to create some form image to represent a facial expression. You usually have to view it from a sideways perspective and they are most commonly used in chatrooms and forums. For example, if you were posting up a message to say "This game is fun!", you may want to add a happy face emoticon to further enhance your level of enthusiasm to make it more apparent to others in which it would become something like "This game fun! :)".

A technology used to network various computers within a local area network.

A favicon is simply an image that is next to a site's listing within your bookmarked sites list. For example, in Internet Explorer under the "Favorites" section, beside the names of the site that do not use a customized image simply obtain a standard icon of the Explorer image.

Fiber Optic
This simply refers to a technology medium that is used in the transmission of electrical impulses at fast speeds.

Commonly refers to a type of tool used on the Internet to research an individuals association with a site.

Most commonly refers to program used to distinguish a private network from an open public network to determine the level of accessibility available to certain groups.

Although this technically refers to programming codes that are free to use, a lot of people on the Internet sometimes use this as a term to indicate that a particular software can be used at no cost.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
A process used to transfer files and information to a server.

A particular spot within a network that serves as an entrance to other networks.

GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)
A file format used to save images.

A unit used to measure the amount data that can be stored. One gigabyte is proximately one-thousand and twenty-four megabytes.

A system where individuals can exchange files directly with each other without the need of a central storage host like a web site. Many people also classify this peer-to-peer sharing.

Usually refers to a program that stops responding to any form of activity.

When used in the computer world, people sometimes use this term as a way to indicate that the halt in activities is just temporary for an unknown reason. For example, many hosts could use this to indicate if something temporarily went wrong such as for twenty seconds the data transfer appeared to of froze.

A hit is a term used on the Internet to describe the amount of times a resource has been requested from the server. This could be anything ranging from a single image file to a page request. For example, if you had a page with nothing more that two pictures of your vacation photos, in most cases that would count as three hits. One for the page request itself and the other two coming from the images.

A computer that is connected to a network and is responsible for distributing information and resources to other computers.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
Symbols and codes that are used to create content that are meant to be viewed over the worldwide web.

HTTP (Hyper Text Transport Protocol)
A branch of rules used for exchanging various resources, such as multimedia clips and plain text, onto the worldwide web.

A text or phrase that is interactively linked to another document or resource.

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)
A private organization that is responsible for the allocation of various resources and data to maintain the information of various Internet protocols.

InterNIC (Internet Network Information Center)
In the past, this was a term developed through the cooperation of Network Solutions and the U.S. government that was given to define the registration business of domain names for the worldwide web which originally consisted of a .com, .net and .org.

IP Number (Internet Protocol Number)
A number that contains information about a sender or receiver's network that is connected to the Internet.

IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
A system where various individuals utilize a specific software that enables users to create and participate in a live text-based chatroom.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
An advanced method of transferring data through an ordinary and copper telephone wire at fast rates.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A company that offers services for individuals to enable them to access content and resources that are related to the Internet.

A common programming language used on the web to incorporate various interactive features.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
Although it technically stands for the group of individuals that developed this type of image compression algorithm, it is most commonly used to describe a type of image format that is frequently used.

A measurement of memory that consists of approximately 1,024 bits

Kbyte (Kilobyte)
A measurement of memory that consists of approximately 1,024 bytes.

Kbps (Kilobits Per Second)
A measurement of the bandwidth speed that a current resource or data can be transmitted at.

LAN (Local Area Network)
A group of devices that share some form of central communication that enables resources to be distributed to everyone within the geographic area.

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)
A technology used on various monitors to display information.

List Server
A program that handles requests and operations of a mailing list.

Usually refers to a site's access history which contains information about every resource request that the server has received.

A pre-programmed list of instructions and commands that can be executed by a single action. For example, a macro could be that every time you press the letter "A" on the keyboard, it will automatically write out your name.

MB (Megabyte)
A measurement of the amount of memory that consists of approximately 1,048,576 bytes.

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)
Music that is played and created through the use of digitized synthesizers. Unlike a recorded music file in a format such as an MP3, midi's are played back dynamically. In a sense, think of midi's as listening to a live orchestra as oppose to a pre-recorded soundtrack.

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
An extension of the e-mail protocol, it enables people to exchange other types of mediums such as video clips and audio files.

Generally refers to resources that have been copied and are now also residing in another location. For example, a lot of people create mirror sites to store large multimedia files to increase the amount of places that people can download them.

A technology that compresses audio files into a small file size while still maintaining a high level of audio quality.

A software program that obtains programming which constantly presents the user with pop-ups and alert messages when some form of specific action is executed. A lot of programs use this as a way to remind you to register for a product. NetBIOS (Network Basic Input/Output System) - A program that enables applications located on different computers to communicate with each other.

A term to describe about guidelines in regards to the way you should conduct yourself in various places on the Internet. For example, most people discourage offensive behaviors such as someone attempting to undermine a beginner on the Internet for not knowing how to use an application.

Two or more computers that are interlinked in a fashion where resources between the two computers are shared.

NIC (Network Interface Card)
A device that enables computers to connect onto a network.

A program that allows users to find an IP address that corresponds with a particular host name or vice versa.

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
Hardware and equipment that derive from components that were made by a particular company which is then resold under a different label.

Open Relay
An SMTP e-mail server that allows third-party members to broadcast various types of mail to its users. Is generally notorious for allowing a constant stream of spam messages.

Open Source
This term is used to describe about a software program in which its source code is freely available for individuals to modify for their own use. Think of it as some type of dessert that you made, which a lot of people enjoy, and you then make the recipe openly available for everyone which they can then use or modify to their own liking.

A unit of data that travels across the Internet from one place to another.

A programming language used to develop scripts.

A software program that bundles a group of files together which it then compresses into a single file for future use. Think of it as stuffing your items into a box.

An Internet program that enables users to determine an IP address's existence and status of operation.

An extra add-on feature to a particular product that expands its capabilities.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
A file format used to compress images.

A set of procedures used to direct the flow of data that is transmitted between computers.

POP (Post Office Protocol)
A protocol that is used for the retrieval of e-mails from various servers.

PPP (Point to Point Protocol)
A protocol used in the communication of two computers through the use of a serial interface.

Usually means a request that is made to a particular database, such as a search engine.

Some form of task that is waiting to be processed.

A multimedia technology developed by Apple that is used for the creation, playback and storage of various text, sound, animation and videos.

On the Internet, this usually refers to a browser function that enables one to re-download contents on a page to ensure that you are viewing the most recent form of the page.

The top level of a hierarchy.

A device used to send a source of information to multiple destinations.

RTF (Rich Text Format)
A file format used to store information created with a word processor.

A computer that has been specifically configured to act like a facilitator that provides services to other computers.

SSI (Server Side Includes)
A variable file that enables a file to be processed before it fully reaches the requestor.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol)
A protocol used to send e-mail on the Internet.

A term used to describe about unsolicited messages and offers to unexpecting individuals. Think of it as junk mail or some uninvited door-to-door sales person trying to pitch you a product.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
A protocol used to process encrypted data through the Internet. You will notice this present on most online shopping sites to secure information such as a credit card number during a transaction.

A connection that is capable of transmitting data at speeds up to 1.544 million bits per second.

A connection that is capable of transmitting data at speeds up to 44.736 million bits per second.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
A set of communication protocols.

A program used to access the database of another computer.

A measurement of memory that consists of approximately 1000 gigabytes.

A utility that identifies the information path between one computer to another on the Internet.

A type of operating system.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
A standard method of providing an Internet address over the worldwide web to access its content.

A global system where individuals exchange messages in a discussion group environment.

Commonly refers to a program that analyzes errors in the program coding of a project.

Usually a term used to undermine a product for its ineffectiveness or failure to be fully created.

WAN (Wide Area Network)
A network that is accessible beyond its local area of residence.

Is a term used to identify software that has been tampered in fashion where users can bypass its copy-protection. Also known as pirated software.

A database maintained by Network Solutions that enables individuals to retrieve information about an Internet organization.

XML (Extensible Markup Language)
A type of language used on the Internet to display information.

Is a term that was used to describe about software and programs that were only capable of displaying yearly dates utilizing two-digit spaces, such as identifying 1999 as "99", and was therefore feared that a massive database confusion was going to occur. It was feared that when the year 2000 arrived, dates would be displayed as "00" and would disrupt programs into thinking that time has gone back.

A protocol used to correct errors on a high data modem.

Zone File
A file that contains instructions for resolving an Internet domain to the appropriate IP address.