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The world of computers if as vast as our imagination. With the speed of change within this world, is it any wonder that many of us feel like were falling behind?! Whether you are having trouble burning a CD or you don't even know what a CD is, we are here to help.We have be gun the process to provide a database of Term's and Definitions here you will find the Networking Glossary but you can rest assured that Cottage Computers will be here to help!
spacerNetworking Glossary
Term Definition
802.11a An IEEE wireless networking standard that specifies a maximum data transfer rate of 54Mbps and an operating frequency of 5GHz.
802.11b An IEEE wireless networking standard that specifies a maximum data transfer rate of 11Mbps and an operating frequency of 2.4GHz.
802.11g An IEEE wireless networking standard that specifies a maximum data transfer rate of 54Mbps, an operating frequency of 2.4GHz, and backward compatibility with 802.11b devices.
Access Point A device that allows wireless-equipped computers and other devices to communicate with a wired network. Also used to expand the range of a wireless network.
Adapter A device that adds network functionality to your PC.
Ad-hoc A group of wireless devices communicating directly with each other (peer-to-peer) without the use of an access point.
AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) An encryption method that supports these key sizes: 128-bit, 192-bit, and 256-bit.
Backbone The part of a network that connects most of the systems and networks together, and handles the most data.
Bandwidth The transmission capacity of a given device or network.
Beacon Interval Data transmitted on your wireless network that keeps the network synchronized.
Bit (Binary Digit) The smallest unit of information on a machine.
Boot To start a device and cause it to start executing instructions.
Bridge A device that connects two different kinds of local networks, such as a wireless network to a wired Ethernet network.
Broadband An always-on, fast Internet connection.
Browser An application program that provides a way to look at and interact with all the information on the World Wide Web.
Buffer A shared or assigned memory area that is used to support and coordinate different computing and networking activities so one isn't held up by the other.
Byte A unit of data that is usually eight bits long.
Cable Modem A device that connects a computer to the cable television network, which in turn connects to the Internet.
CSMA/CA(Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance) A method of data transfer that is used to prevent data collisions.
CTS (Clear To Send) A signal sent by a device to indicate that it is ready to receive data.
Daisy Chain A method used to connect devices in a series, one after the other.
Database A collection of data that is organized so that its contents can easily be accessed, managed, and updated.
DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name System) Allows the hosting of a website, FTP server, or e-mail server with a fixed domain name (e.g., and a dynamic IP address.
Default Gateway A device that forwards Internet traffic from your local area network.
DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) A protocol that lets one device on a local network, known as a DHCP server, assign temporary IP addresses to the other network devices, typically computers.
DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) Removes the router's firewall protection from one PC, allowing it to be "seen" from the Internet.
DNS (Domain Name Server) The IP address of your ISP's server, which translates the names of websites into IP addresses.
Domain A specific name for a network of computers.
Download To receive a file transmitted over a network.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) An always-on broadband connection over traditional phone lines.
DSSS (Direct-Sequence Spread-Spectrum) Frequency transmission with a redundant bit pattern resulting in a lower probability of information being lost in transit.
DTIM (Delivery Traffic Indication Message) A message included in data packets that can increase wireless efficiency.
Dynamic IP Address A temporary IP address assigned by a DHCP server.
EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) A general authentication protocol used to control network access. Many specific authentication methods work within this framework.
EAP-PEAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol-Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol) A mutual authentication method that uses a combination of digital certificates and another system, such as passwords.
EAP-TLS (Extensible Authentication Protocol-Transport Layer Security) A mutual authentication method that uses digital certificates.
Encryption Encryption is the manipulation of data to prevent accurate interpretation by all but those for whom the data is intended.
Ethernet An IEEE standard network protocol that specifies how data is placed on and retrieved from a common transmission medium.
Finger A program that tells you the name associated with an e-mail address.
Firewall A firewall is any of security schemes that prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to a computer network or that monitor transfers of information to and from the network.
Firmware The programming code that runs a networking device.
Fragmentation Breaking a packet into smaller units when transmitting over a network medium that cannot support the original size of the packet.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) A standard protocol for sending files between computers over a TCP/IP network and the Internet.
Full Duplex The ability of a networking device to receive and transmit data simultaneously.
Gateway A device that interconnects networks with different, incompatible communications protocols.
Half Duplex Data transmission that can occur in two directions over a single line, but only one direction at a time.
Hardware The physical aspect of computers, telecommunications, and other information technology devices.
Hacker A slang term for a computer enthusiast. Also refers to individuals who gain unauthorized access to computer systems for the purpose of stealing and corrupting data.
HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol) The communications protocol used to connect to servers on the World Wide Web.
IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) An independent institute that develops networking standards.
Infrastructure Currently installed computing and networking equipment.
Infrastructure Mode Configuration in which a wireless network is bridged to a wired network via an access point.
IP (Internet Protocol) A protocol used to send data over a network.
IP Address The address used to identify a computer or device on a network.
IPCONFIG A Windows 2000 and XP utility that displays the IP address for a particular networking device.
IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) A VPN protocol used to implement secure exchange of packets at the IP layer.
ISM band Radio bandwidth utilized in wireless transmissions.
ISP (Internet Service Provider) A company that provides access to the Internet.
LAN (Local Area Network) The computers and networking products that make up the network in your home or office.
LEAP (Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol) A mutual authentication method that uses a username and password system.
MAC (Media Access Control) Address A MAC address is the hardware address of a device connected to a shared network medium.
Mbps (Megabits Per Second) One million bits per second; a unit of measurement for data transmission.
mIRC An Internet Relay Chat program that runs under Windows.
Multicasting Sending data to a group of destinations at once.
NAT (Network Address Translation) NAT technology translates IP addresses of the local area network to a different IP address for the Internet.
NAT (Network Address Translation) Traversal A method of enabling specialized applications, such as Internet phone calls, video, and audio, to travel between your local network and the Internet. STUN is a specific type of NAT traversal.
Network A series of computers or devices connected for the purpose of data sharing, storage, and/or transmission between users.
NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) The protocol used to connect to Usenet groups on the Internet.
Node A network junction or connection point, typically a computer or work station.
OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) Frequency transmission that separates the data stream into a number of lower-speed data streams, which are then transmitted in parallel to prevent information from being lost in transit.
Packet A unit of data transmitted over a network.
Passphrase Used much like a password, a passphrase simplifies the WEP encryption process by automatically generating the WEP encryption keys for Linksys products.
PEAP (Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol) A protocol for transmitting authentication data, including passwords, over 802.11 wireless networks.
Ping (Packet INternet Groper) An Internet utility used to determine whether a particular IP address is online.
PoE (Power over Ethernet) A technology enabling an Ethernet network cable to deliver both data and power.
POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) A standard protocol used to retrieve e-mail stored on a mail server.
Port The connection point on a computer or networking device used for plugging in a cable or an adapter.
PPPoE (Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet) A type of broadband connection that provides authentication (username and password) in addition to data transport.
PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) A VPN protocol that allows the Point to Point Protocol (PPP) to be tunneled through an IP network. This protocol is also used as a type of broadband connection in Europe.
Preamble Part of the wireless signal that synchronizes network traffic.
RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) A protocol that uses an authentication server to control network access.
RJ-45 (Registered Jack-45) An Ethernet connector that holds up to eight wires.
Roaming The ability to take a wireless device from one access point's range to another without losing the connection.
Router A networking device that connects multiple networks together, such as a local network and the Internet.
RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol) A protocol that enables specialized applications, such as Internet phone calls, video, and audio, to occur in real time.
RTS (Request To Send) A networking method of coordinating large packets through the RTS Threshold setting.
Server Any computer whose function in a network is to provide user access to files, printing, communications, and other services.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) The standard e-mail protocol on the Internet.
SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) A widely used network monitoring and control protocol.
Software Instructions for the computer. A series of instructions that performs a particular task is called a "program".
SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) Market segment of professionals who work at home or in small offices.
SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) Firewall A technology that inspects incoming packets of information before allowing them to enter the network.
Spread Spectrum Wideband radio frequency technique used for more reliable and secure data transmission.
SSID (Service Set IDentifier) Your wireless network's name.
Static IP Address A fixed address assigned to a computer or device that is connected to a network.
Static Routing Forwarding data in a network via a fixed path.
Subnet Mask An address code that determines the size of the network.
Switch 1. A device that is the central point of connection for computers and other devices in a network, so data can be shared at full transmission speeds.
2. A device for making, breaking, or changing the connections in an electrical circuit.
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) A network protocol for transmitting data that requires acknowledgement from the recipient of data sent.
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) A network protocol for transmitting data that requires acknowledgement from the recipient of data sent.
Telnet A user command and TCP/IP protocol used for accessing remote PCs.
Throughput The amount of data moved successfully from one node to another in a given time period.
TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol) A version of the TCP/IP FTP protocol that uses UDP and has no directory or password capability.
TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) A wireless encryption protocol that periodically changes the encryption key, making it harder to decode.
TLS (Transport Layer Security) Is a protocol that guarantees privacy and data integrity between client/server applications communicating over the Internet.
Topology The physical layout of a network.
TX Rate Transmission Rate.
UDP (User Datagram Protocol) A network protocol for transmitting data that does not require acknowledgement from the recipient of the data that is sent.
Upgrade To replace existing software or firmware with a newer version.
Upload To transmit a file over a network.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) The address of a file located on the Internet.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) A security measure to protect data as it leaves one network and goes to another over the Internet.
WAN (Wide Area Network) A group of networked computers in a large geographical area. The best example of a WAN is the Internet.
WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy) WEP is a security protocol for wireless networks. WEP aims to provide security by encrypting data over radio waves so that it is protected as it is transmitted from one end point to another. A shared key (similar to a password) is used to allow communication between the computers and the router. WEP offers a basic, but satisfactory level of security for wireless data transmission.
WINIPCFG Windows 98 and Me utility that displays the IP address for a particular networking device.
WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) A group of computers and associated devices that communicate with each other wirelessly.
WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) A security protocol for wireless networks that builds on the basic foundations of WEP. It secures wireless data transmission by using a key similar to WEP, but the added strength of WPA is that the key changes dynamically. The changing key makes it much more difficult for a hacker to learn the key and gain access to the network.
WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) WPA2 is the second generation of WPA security and provides a stronger encryption mechanism through Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which is a requirement for some government users.
WPA-Personal A version of WPA that uses long and constantly changing encryption keys to make them difficult to decode.
WPA-Enterprise A version of WPA that uses the same dynamic keys as WPA-Personal and also requires each wireless device to be authorized according to a master list held in a special authentication server.

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Microsoft Sales & Support (800) 426-9400
Microsoft Free Virus & Security 888-PC Safety
Apple (800) 500-7078
Dell Inc - Main # (888) 560-8324
Dell Inc - Alt # (800) 915-3355
HP & Compaq Products Support (800) 474-6836
Compaq Presario PC products 800-652-6672
HP & Compaq General Sales 800-752-0900
Sony Main # (888) 476-6972
Linksys Tech Support (800) 326-7114

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