Below is a table which contains terms that are used when describing particular areas of the
Internet and its components. Our aim here is provide you with the ability to understand more
about the Internet and the jargon used when describing and its many components.
A small self-contained application which can run on its own or inside
another program (e.g. Web browser)
A file attached to email in the format it was created in, useful for
documents and graphics in particular.
Main high speed Internet links between a country's major Internet providers,
e.g. There is an Australian backbone and a US backbone.
The amount of stretch in a network connection -- the amount of data that can be transferred at any one time.
Modem speed measurement of one signal per second. 300 baud = 300 bits per
second, but higher than 300 baud one signal may contain more than one bit.
A file in pure data form, with no text
A binary unit.
Bits per second; data movement speed on a modem, also Kbps (Kilobits per
second) and Mbps for mega bits per second.
A high bandwidth network. Generally used to describe connections greater than 256Kbps.
Memory store for regularly accessed or recently used data.
An individual's computer and the program it uses to request information
from a server computer/program.
Making a file smaller by condensing data. It is used for faster
transfer and/or storage of files.
A packet of data stored on your hard drive by a Web site, which is sent back
to the Web server when information is required.
A part of the address hierarchy a machine is placed in; e.g..
berk.com.au here 'berk' is in the com.au domain.
domain name server
Computer that listens and forwards data to specific addresses.
domain name system
System of converting numeric IP address to domain names and back again.
Loading information from another computer into your own; the opposite is "upload".
Method of coding data so that it can only be read by the people it is
intended for (in theory).
Network hardware and software that limits access between an internal network
and the rest of the Internet. Generally achieved by blocking tcp ports.
Software and utilities made freely available. Although you don't have to pay any fees, freeware is still covered by copyright.
File Transfer Protocol. The most common way of transferring files over the Internet.
A machine connected to two networks; acts as a transfer point.
An information retrieval system, common in the early days of the Net but now superseded by the WWW.
The top of an email or newsgroup message that lets you know where the
message came from and when it was posted.
Link on a web-page pointing to a different Web-page. Commonly appears as blue, underlined text.
Text that includes hyperlinks to other documents.
Menu options/links are hidden under a graphic, so that you can click on an
imaginary button and it actually does some thing.
A free, UNIX-like operating system
A list of subscribers to a discussion group, who all receive the discussion by
mail; also used as a way of distributing newsletters.
A net site that contains exactly the same information as another elsewhere in the world. Used to spread the load on popular sites.
Modulator/demodulator. A device which converts digital signals to analogue signals, suitable for transmission over a phone line
A moderator ensures all contributions to a newsgroup are suitable before posting
A term for those who are new to the Internet.
A discussion group on a specific topic.
A data packet sent out from one computer to another to test the
availability and performance of a connection. The response is referred to as a pong.
An add on feature for your browser that increases functionality, such as providing multimedia capabilities.
The specific channel used by a network service, e.g. the Web typically uses port 80.
A server used to seek requests on behalf of another computer.
A device used to transfer packets from a computer on one network (LAN) to other
computers on other networks via the fastest and most efficient route.
A program that searches indexes of addresses using keywords; the depth of the search is up to you and/or the extent of its index.
Any computer that stores information and makes it available to outside users.
Copyright protected software that is publicly distributed on the condition that if a user trials a program and decides to keep using it,
they must pay for it.
Not spiced ham, but just as repulsive to most people. Spam is an unsolicited piece of advertising sent via email or posted to a
System administrator. An individual who maintains a computer network.
A method of delivering data in a steady flow to perform a task 'live', such as
playing sounds or tracking action in a networked game.
A service which allows your computer to remotely login to another machine via a command line.
The world-wide network of newsgroups.
World Wide Web
A system of interlinked, multi-media pages used to disseminate information. The most widely-used Internet service.
See World Wide Web
A software compression format, files can be unzipped with applications such as WinZip