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Home > Computer Articles > Internet Glossary

Ultimate Internet Glossary

This Internet glossary defines the most commonly used web terminology you are likely to see while reading about Internet service providers and the World Wide Web.


ADSL: A DSL line with different upload speed from its download speed.

Ajax: Stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. It’s a special way of including content in a web page that allows Javascript code to fetch and display data from a server without re-fetching the entire page.

Anchor text: The clickable, visible part of a hyperlink that’s clearly visible. It often determines what page ranking a page receives from search engines.

Apache: Most common web server software currently in use on the internet.

Applet: Java program that can be embedded into a web page. Applets can usually only connect to printers or modems on the system that they are accessing the Internet from.

Application Server: Piece of software that makes other piece of software available over a network.

ASP: Stands for Application Service Provider. It’s a business that runs multiple applications on their own servers and then charges others a fee to access those applications.

Atom: Special protocol used for sharing content and syndicating, similar to RSS.

Backbone: Series of high-speed lines or connections that make up the major pathway inside a network.

Bandwidth: The amount of available data consumed by communication resources like the Internet. It refers the amount of data that is either available to be used to download things or the amount of data available to download.

Baud: Refers to how many bits a modem can send and receive in a second.

BBS: Stands for Bulletin Board System, a meeting and announcement system that lets users interact and upload files that are completely computerized.

Binary: Information that consists entirely of ones and zeroes, the language of the computer.

Bit: Single digit number that’s in base-2 (either a zero or one). Bandwidth is measured in bits-per-second.

Blog: An online journal. Blogs can be either personal or professional.

BPS: Stands for bit-per-second, the most common measurement of how fast data is transferred from one place to another.

Broadband: Refers to the connection to the Internet that has much greater bandwidth than modems.

Browser: Any client software that allows one to access the Internet (Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, etc).

Byte: Set of bits that make up a single character – there are usually 8 bits to a byte.

Certificate Authority: Issuer of security certificates that shows if a site is verified safe.

Client: Software that contacts and obtains data from a server on another computer.

Cookie: Information that web pages save and send back as a way to identify a user so that on subsequent visits, the users are recognized.

CCS: Stands for Cascading Style Sheet. It refers to the standard for specifying the appearance of texts and other elements most often used in websites.

Cyberspace: Refers to the Internet itself and all the information stored on it.

DHTML: Stands for Dynamic HyperText Markup Language. It’s used to refer to pages that use HTML, JavaScript and CCS to allow users to interact with a web page or show simply animation.

Domain: The name that identifies an Internet site and separates it from other sites. Often, the domain name will have 2 or more parts that are separated by dots (i.e. yahoo.com or mail.yahoo.com).

Download: The transfer of data – usually in the form of files – from a separate computer on the computer that a user is operating.

DSL: Stands for Digital Subscriber Line, a method of moving data over phone lines that’s faster than a regular phone line.

DNS: Stands for Domain Name System which helps users navigate the Internet by translating IP addresses into addresses that are easier to remember (i.e. 111.111.111.1 into www.yahoo.com).

Email: Messages sent from one server to another via computer.

Ethernet: Common method of networking computers in an LAN.

FDDI: Stands for Fiber Distributed Data Interface, a standard way of transferring data on optical fiber cables at a speed or around 100,000,000 bits-per-second.

Firewall: Software and hardware that interact with each other to protect a computer by separating it into two or more parts on a network.

FTP: Stands for File Transfer Protocol, a method of moving files between two separate sites on the internet. It lets users log in to another internet site remotely so that they can retrieve or move files that are stored on another site that also requires a login.

Gateway: Hardware or software that translates between two different protocols.

GIF: Stands for Graphic Interchange Format, a type of image file that is most commonly used for animated images.

Gigabyte: One of the largest measurements of data used, typically about 1000 or 1024 megabytes.

Homepage: Refers to either the first page a browser loads when it opens or the main page for any website on its own.

Host: A computer and/or network that stores data that is available for access by other computers.

HTML: Stands for HyperText Markup Language, the coding that creates documents for use on the Internet.

HTTP: Stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, the protocol that tells browsers where to go to find information.

Hypertext: Any kind of text that contains a link to some other site, most commonly found in documents where clicking on a phrase opens up a web page.

IP Number: Number that’s unique to every computer system on the Internet.

ISP: Stands for Internet Service Provider which is any company that provides Internet access to users.

Java: Program language that is used to build systems that involve more than one computer across a network.

Javascript: Refers to programming language used in web pages that’s included in HTML files.

Kilobyte: Data measurement that’s made up of either 1000 or 1024 bytes.

Megabyte: Data measurement made up of either 1000 or 1024 kilobytes.

Open Source Software: Software whose actual programming is free for all to experiment with and build on.

Server: Computer that provides specific services to client software that’s running on that computer, often overseeing multiple computer operations.

Terabyte: Data measurement that’s made up of 1000 gigabytes.

Upload: Transfer of data from one computer to another.

Virus: Harmful piece of computer programming that interferes with normal operations.


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