The following web hosting glossary contains a list of terms and their meaning used on and off the internet. They are here as a reference.
Domain name extension used for commercial enterprises.
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). It is a file name extension for graphic content.
.jpg or .jpeg
File name extension for images in JPEG format.
File name extension for files with video sequences. A QuickTime player is needed in order to play such a file.
.mpg or .mpeg
Filename extension for files in MPEG format.
File name extension for files compressed with PKZIP program or similar.
Cabling used for Fast Ethernet.
Cabling used for Ethernet.
An Active Channel is frequently updated information residing on a Web server. Users can subscribe to the channel if they have a CDF (Channel Definition Language) and a capable browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox etc.)
ActiveX is a brand name referring to a set of Microsoft’s technologies and services based on COM (Component Object Model) widely released in 1997. On the Internet, ActiveX can be used with IE versions 3 and above and with Netscape Navigator though plug-ins. ActiveX control is a COM object, written as a DLL in a programming language like Visual Basic, which follows ActiveX standards. Once downloaded, ActiveX controls have a large degree of freedom, presenting a security risk. ActiveX controls have to be digitally signed by their creator. Major competitor to ActiveX controls are JavaBeans. Some hosts support ActiveX server components for ASP.
These are unique identifiers of a web page. URL (Uniformed Resource Locator) is more frequently used for this purpose.
ADN refers to Advanced Digital Network. It is a 56kbps dedicated communication line.
ADO refers to ActiveX Data Objects. Different data sources can be accessed in the same way within a single data model. The data can be located in various locations, like spreadsheets, databases or ordinary files.
ADSL refers to Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Loop. It is used for High speed Internet access using the telephone line. It uses line-adaptive modulation and provides data speeds from 384kbps to 1.5 Mbps (upstream and downstream speeds are usually different). Unlike the dial up, it doesn’t block the telephone line.
AIFF refers to Audio Interchange File Format. It is a High quality audio file format introduced by Apple.
Anonymous FTP (Anon FTP)
A method for downloading and uploading files using FTP protocol without having a username or a password. In place of a username, word “anonymous” is used, and in place of a password, email address is usually used. If a hosting plan offers this service, your users will be able to download or upload files with FTP without having their own account.
SMTP server that allows sending anonymous email messages. It removes or changes the “From” field of all messages that it processes.
American National Standards Institute
Apache is an open-source (source code is freely available and can be shared) HTTP Web server software. According to Netcraft survey, it is currently the most popular web server on the Net. It is usually run on Unix operating system versions like Linux or BSD, but it can also be run on Windows. It is a full-featured server with many powerful add-ons freely available. Apache’s major competitor is Microsoft’s IIS.
Most often refers to a small Java program designed to run in a Web browser. Java applets run in a sandbox, so they can’t perform unauthorized functions like file reading or opening Net connections to other computer from your computer.
An online database of anonymous ftp sites and their contents. It allows searching the ftp repositories using file name queries.
Archives are large files containing valuable data. Archives are often compressed to save space.
This is a server that contains archives. It can be accessed by FTP, E-mail or HTTP.
It is one of the most popular compression formats.
ARPA refers to Advanced Research Projects Agency. It is US governmental organization, responsible for creating the ancestor of today’s Internet.
Network created by ARPA in 1969.
ASCII refers to American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It is a standard for coding text files. Every character has an associated number and any text can be represented by a sequence of numbers.
ASP refers to Active Server Pages. ASP is Microsoft’s server-side scripting technology. An Active Server Page has an .asp extension and it mixes HTML and scripting code that can be written in VBScript or JScript. ASP is distributed with Microsoft’s IIS web server, so most host using IIS will also offer ASP for dynamic web programming. ASP.NET is the next version of ASP. Other popular server-side scripting languages are Perl, PHP, Cold Fusion, TCL, Python, and JSP.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
A set of network protocols designed for multimedia transmission. Data is partitioned into cells (53 bytes each) and passed along a virtual circuit. ATM allows for building very high speed networks.
Attachment is a part of an email message. It is usually a file (a data file or a multimedia file) or a webpage. It is not a part of the text of the message; instead it is attached to the message.
AU is Audio file format for Unix systems.
Authentication is used to confirm the identity of the other party involved in the data transmission.
AVI is Audio/Video Interleave. It is Audio file format used by Microsoft Windows.
B Channel refers to Bearer Channel. It is a 64 Kbps communication channel in ISDN.
It is a main high-speed network connection composing the Internet. The backbones are operated by major telecommunications companies like Sprint, MCI, or AT&T.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred over the network in a fixed amount of time. On the Net, it is usually expressed in bits per second (bps) or in higher units like Mbps (millions of bits per second).
Basic Rate Interface (BRI)
A BRI line is one of two access methods for ISDN (the other one is Primary Rate Interface – PRI). A BRI has two 64 Kbps B channels and one 16 Kbps D channel.
The rate at which bits are transmitted over a communication link is called Baud rate. Baud is the number of transitions (that are used to encode bits) that take place in one second.
Data represented in binary format uses only two digits – 0 and 1.
FTP client mode used to transfer binary files (multimedia files, executables and other data files). It is not suitable for transferring normal text files.
BIT means Binary DigIT. It is the smallest unit of information, comprising of either a 1 or 0.
The speed at which bits are transmitted over a communication link is the bit rate. It is expressed in bits per second (bps).
The part of an email message that contains the actual text of the message.
Bookmark is a means of storing a frequently visited website address. It makes easier to access the website in the future.
An automated piece of software that can be used in chat rooms or to crawl the web.
A network device used to connect two LANs using different cabling.
Broadcasting is sending a data packet to all machines on the network.
Computer program that allows to search the World Wide Web. It displays the content of the web pages. Examples are Mosaic, Netscape, Mozilla, Opera and Internet Explorer.
The process in which the web site tries to determine what kind of web browser the user is using. This is done to suit the website to the particular capabilities of the browser.
Popular programming languages (C++ includes objects) that can be used to create server programs that run after compilation. C and C++ were not designed specifically for web programming, but they can still be useful, especially because mature compilers producing very fast code and large code libraries already exist.
A cable modem is used for connecting to the Internet using the cable TV infrastructure. It offers high speed Internet access.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
A style-sheet determines how the HTML document is displayed by the browser. The current version of CSS is version 2 (CSS2).
CCIT refers to Comite Consultatif International Telegraphique et Telephonique (International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee). It is an International telecommunication standards body.
CERN refers to Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire. It is a nuclear research laboratory where the World Wide Web was invented.
It is the Digital ID used for SSL transactions. It includes owner’s public key, the name of the owner, the issuer, hostname and the expiry date.
A company trusted by a browser maker that issues digital certificates that are supposed to guarantee that the company is what it claims to be for use in encrypted digital transactions though SSL. Verisign is the biggest certificate authority.
CGI isCommon Gateway Interface. It is a standard for interfacing web servers with an executable application. A CGI program can be written in any language like Perl or C/C++ and it is often stored in a special directory like /cgi-bin. CGI is often used to process data from HTML forms.
A directory on the server where the executable CGI scripts reside.
Channel Definition Format (CDF)
A way of defining the server-push channels for accessing frequently changing web content.
CHAP refers to Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol. It is an authentication protocol used in PPP protocol. CHAP uses a username and a password.
A computer program that requests a service from the server program, usually over the network.
A network architecture system is divided into two parts: the client and the server.
Connecting many computers and making them appear as one machine. This is done to increase reliability and performance.
Putting a web server in a dedicated facility that provides high-speed Internet connection, security, environment, backup power, and technical support. Unlike the dedicated server, the client controls both hardware and software.
It is the server appliance made by Cobalt specifically for hosting companies. Newest RaQs are Linux-based and provide an easy-to-use interface. RaQs have no features that can’t be had in a regular Linux box but they offer pre-installed programs and Cobalt’s support.
ColdFusion is an easy to use server-side scripting language developed by Allaire. It comes with ColdFusion Studio, a visual IDE. Other popular server-side scripting languages are ASP. Perl, PHP, TCL, Python, and JSP.
Command line interface is opposite of the GUI (Graphical User Interface). It is a way of interacting with a computer system using the keyboard and a text-only display. It is usually more powerful, but less user-friendly than a GUI.
Control Panel (CPanel)
Control panel included in web hosting packages is an online web-based application that allows you to easily manage different aspects of your account. Most control panels will let you upload files, add email accounts, change contact information, set up shopping carts or databases, view usage statistics, etc.
A Cookie is a piece of data that is saved in the user’s browser by the web server. It is used to customize user’s browsing experience.
CPU refers to Central Processing Unit. It is the brain of the computer.
Crawler is also known as spider. It is an automated software that retrieves web pages and follows the hyperlinks contained in them. It is used to generate indexes used by search engines.
It is ISDN signaling channel. It runs at 16 or 64 Kbps.
In Web hosting, the total size of files transferred by an account in a month. Sites with a lots of graphics, downloads, or streaming audio or video and a lot of visitors will require plans with more available transfer.
Data in a structured format stored on a web server. It is basically the collection of data. Most popular type is a relational database. The most common query (information retrieval) language for relational databases is SQL.
Similar to co-location, except that you lease or rent hardware from a Web host. The main advantage over co-location is easier upgrade and usually better support. Getting a dedicated server or co-locating is necessary for sites that outgrow shared servers because they use a lot of bandwidth and resources or they require total control over software environment.
Data Encryption Standard – an U.S. government approved cipher. It is easy to break in its simplest form, but used multiple times with key of at least 128 bits provides good security.
DHCP is Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. It is an automated way of obtaining an IP address in the Local Area Network.
Dialup access is a way of connecting a computer to the Internet using a modem and the telephone line. It is rather slow and blocks the telephone line.
DNS is Domain Name System. Internet service that maps Internet domains into corresponding IP addresses. DNS database is distributed and replicated among many DNS servers, so when you change your domain’s IP address, the changes take a while to propagate.
Domain name is an easy-to-remember address that can be translated by DNS into server’s IP address. Domain names are hierarchical. Domain’s suffix indicates which TLD (top level domain) it belongs to, for example .com, .gov, .org, .net, or .jp. Recently ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) added several new TLDs, like .biz, .pro., and .museum.
DSL is Digital Subscriber Line. It is a better way of connecting a computer to the Internet using the telephone line. It’s faster than the dialup and doesn’t block the telephone line. However, it is more expensive because the special equipment is required.
Using web and Internet technologies in conducting the business activities. It is also expanding end enhancing traditional business practices by means of the Internet.
EIA is Electronic Industries Association. It is an industry trade organization involved with definition of standards for electrical consumer products. It works jointly with the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association).
Electronic Mail (E-Mail, email)
Email is one of the most popular Internet services. Basically it’s the transmission of text based messages. An email message can also contain more structured elements, like tables, images and multimedia. It can also be used to send various data files, by means of attachments. You have to have an email account in order to be able to use this service.
Encryption means encoding data using a cryptographic cipher. Encrypted data can be read (decrypted) only by an authorized entity.
Ethernet is Local Area Network (LAN) protocol, invented by Xerox Corporation. It is a broadcast protocol that uses CSMA/CD method and utilizes electrical cables. It can run at various speeds: 10Mbps, 100Mbps and even 1000Mbps. IEEE 802.3 standard describes Ethernet. Word Ethernet is also sometimes used to describe the implementation that runs at the speed of 10Mbps.
A part of the company’s network that is made accessible for some group of people. It is sometimes protected by a password or some other kind of authentication. It allows users to access some of the non-public data, eg. a person’s credit card balance.
FAQ is Frequently Asked Questions. It lists of frequently asked questions and answers to them are used as a way of sharing knowledge on the web. They are a very good way of finding solutions to different problems. Some companies include them in their websites to minimize the number of Customer Support inquiries.
Fast Ethernet is the implementation of Ethernet standard that operates at the speed of 100Mbps.
FCC means Federal Communications Commission. It is a US telecommunications regulatory organization. It controls standards that pertain to electronic and electromagnetic transmission and also licenses the frequencies and bandwidth for the commercial use.
FDDI is Fibre Distributed Data Interface. It is a very high speed network protocol. It uses fibre-optics cable, and is mainly used as the backbone network protocol due to its speed. It is also often the choice for critical applications due to its reliability.
Fibre Optic Cable
A cable used for transmitting data as a light wave. A fibre optic cable is composed of one or more optical fibres. It is more expensive that copper wire, but offers higher transmission speeds and allows for communication over larger distances.
Last three or four letters of a file name that appear after the dot. Used to designate the type of file and the format used.
Screening network packets for certain properties, such as the source or destination address, protocol used or even a pattern in the data. It is used in firewalls in order to decide if the traffic is to be forwarded or rejected. It provides the basis for network security.
A Unix program used to display information about users of the system. It can be used remotely.
Firewall refers to either software-only or separate software and hardware combination that serves to protect an internal network or a computer from attacks and unauthorized access by sitting between the Internet and the internal network.
An insulting email message sent to an individual as punishment for not adhering to the netiquette. It can be sometimes seen in the newsgroups or on internet message boards.
FPU is Floating Point Unit, A part of the computer responsible for high precision mathematical operations.
It is a fast packet switching protocol. Used mainly in Wide Area Networks. It differs from ATM in that packets can have variable length.
Microsoft’s server-side applications that lets users of FrontPage Web site creation tool to incorporate “web-bots” that perform pre-packaged function like full-text Web site searching or adding a hit counter. FrontPage extensions are also available for Unix-based operating systems but some hosts refuse to use them because of potential security holes.
FTP is File Transfer Protocol. The Internet protocol defines how to download and upload files between a client and an FTP server. The popular client FTP programs are CuteFTP and WS_FTP. Major browsers also have FTP capability.
Using email messages to access the FTP sites. It requires a special software installed on the server.
A network device used to translate between two different protocols. It interconnects two networks that use incompatible protocols.
GIF means Graphics Interchange Format. It is a graphic file format invented by Compuserve. Its one of the most widely used formats for internet and web. It uses a lossless compression method, thus ensuring that the quality of the image is not lowered.
Gigabit Ethernet is the Ethernet standard implementation that runs at 1000Mbps.
1 Gb= 1024 Megabytes.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
A way of interacting with computer that relies on graphical symbols. Most often requires a mouse. It is less powerful then the command-line interface, but is more user-friendly and is easier to learn for users without technical background.
Hexadecimal color-notation system
It is a way of defining colours. Uses RGB scheme and associates a two digit hexadecimal number with each base colour (red, green and blue).
In the WWW world “hit” is used to describe a single request made by a web browser. The data transmitted by the web server in response to the request is a text file or a binary file (images, audio, video, executables and other data).
Main web page owned by a company, organization or an individual. This is the page that is initially displayed when user makes a request for a particular domain name.
A networked computer dedicated to providing a certain kind of service. Usually refers to a computer that stores the website files and has a web server running on it.
(Hypertext Mark-up Language). It is the language in which web pages are written. It allows the images to be combined with text and offers wide range of formatting capabilities. One of the most important features of HTML is hypertext, which allows web pages to be liked one to each other. HTML relies on tags, which have the following form:
HTTP is Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. The main protocol used to transfer and receive data over the World Wide Web. The latest version of HTTP is 1.1. Basic HTTP transaction involves a WWW browser connecting to a server, browser sending a request to the server specifying its capabilities and which document is requested, server responding with the required data, and closing of the connection.
Hub is a network device that is used for connecting computers on a Local Area Network (LAN). It forwards all the packets it receives to all of its ports.
A part of the web page that links to another web page is hyperlink. By clicking on a hyperlink user redirects the browser to another page. The word hyperlink is sometimes shortened to just “link”.
A text on the web page that is linked to another webpage. Browsers usually display hypertext as underlined and in blue colour.
IEEE is Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. It is an organization that ensures that electronic devices produced by different companies can interoperate. IEEE developed the 802 family of standards that govern computer networks.
Microsoft Internet Information Server. Microsoft’s Web server that comes built-in with Windows NT Server 4 and Windows 2000 server.
An image displayed on the webpage that has different areas that are hyperlinks. By clicking on different parts of the image browser can be redirected to another webpage, or can display modified version of the current one.
IMAP is Internet Message Access Protocol. A method allowing a client email program to access remote messages stored on a mail server. The protocol includes operations for creating, deleting, and renaming mailboxes, checking for new messages, message parsing, searching, and setting and clearing flags. IMAP was originally developed in 1986 at Stanford.
The word Internet refers to all the computer networks worldwide that are connected together. TCP/IP is the de facto standard protocol set for Internet.
An extremely fast network that connects major cities. Most often it utilizes T3 circuits and provides the bandwidth of 45Mbps.
Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP)
A network control protocol running on top of the IP protocol. It is used by Internet hosts to maintain information related to multicast. All machines that want to use the multicast have to have the IGMP implemented.
The organization that handles domain name registrations. See http://www.internic.net/
A part of an organization’s network that is private. Only authorized individuals have access to the intranet. Besides that an intranet is very similar to the Internet in a sense that it offers the same services and uses the same protocols.
(Internet Protocol) is tha main protocol used on the Internet.
Internet Protocol Address. A unique number identifying all devices connected to the Internet. This number is usually shown in groups of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by periods, for example 22.214.171.124.
IP packet is the basic data chunk that can be sent over the Internet. All the data is partitioned into IP packets on the sending computer and reassembled on the receiving computer.
IPX means Internet Packet Exchange. A Novell’s proprietary network protocol.
IRC means Internet Relay Chat. It is a Multi-user chat service. IRC users can go into public or private channels to discuss a topic or transfer files. IRC servers are connected into networks. The most popular IRC client program is mIRC. Many hosts are vary of letting customers access IRC because of a possibility of a denial of service attack on the whole network.
ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network. An international standard that governs the transmission of both voice and data. It uses a digital circuits and has speed of 64Kbps. It can be used for normal telephone service as well as data transmission.
ISO: International Organisation for Standardisation. A Geneva-based international organization that develops and publishes various international standards.
ISP: Internet Service Provider. A company that provides its subscribers with Internet access. Customers have a username and a password and can dial-up or use a cable or DSL line to connect to ISP’s network which is connected to the Internet. The biggest ISP is AOL.
ITU: International Telecommunication Union, Formerly CCITT. Another international standards body concerned with telecommunications.
A popular compression format. Also a name of a compression utility.
Sun’s popular programming language. Java is a platform-independent (at least in theory), crash-protected, object-oriented language that can be used to write applets that run in a browser, servlets that run server-side, or independent programs. Java’s syntax is similar to that of C++.
Java class files
The file or set of files that contain the code for a Java applet.
Servlets are programs written in Java that run on a Web server and can produce dynamic pages. Also see JSP.
Java Virtual Machine (JVM, Java Runtime Environment)
A set of programs that allow for Java applets to be run on a particular computer system.
Java Database Connectivity – a mechanism allowing Java applets to access different databases.
JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is an image compression format designed for the Internet. Uses lossy compression, meaning that the quality of the image can be lowered.
Java Server Pages. Extension of Java Servlet technology for combining Java server-side programs and HTML. JSP pages have an extension .jsp.
Kilobits per second. 1Kbps = 1024bps.
Protocol for transferring files over the modem connection. It’s very slow.
I Kb= 1024 bytes.
LAN is Local Area Network. A network of devices (computers, printers, hubs) occupying a small area. Usually LANs do not span more than one building. LANs are very fast compared to WANs.
A LAN Modem is used to connect multiple computers to some other network (eg. ISP) over a phone line. It has a built in hub functionality.
It is a dedicated communication line. User is charged a flat fee instead of being billed per minute of usage.
It is the process of configuring the ISDN line by the service provider to suit user’s particular needs and to assure hardware compatibility. It’s due to the fact that ISDN is not completely standardized.
Another name for connection. Sometimes refers to a physical line.
A free UNIX-like operating system developed by Linus Torvalds. Linux and FreeBSD are very often used by hosting companies as their operating systems.
An alias for an individual that is used for identification and authentication when accessing a computer system. Usually it is a sequence of characters and digits.
A compression scheme is lossless when decompressed file is exactly the same as the original. This is needed for compressing executable programs and data files.
A lossy compression allows for the quality of the compressed data to be diminished after decompression. It is suitable for audio, video and image compression.
Lempel Ziv Welch compression – a popular compression algorithm.
MAC: Media Access Control. A network protocol used to control the access to the network by different devices.
Media Access Control addresses (also hardware or physical address). Every device on the Local Area Network has an unique MAC address. It is used to identify devices and to control access to the network using MAC protocol.
A way of having a group discussion with list subscribers by email. Emails are sent to all list subscribers. Popular mailing list programs, like Listserv and Majordomo, allow for automated subscription and un-subscription from a mailing list. Some hosting plans allow creation of mailing lists.
The Internet host (together with the appropriate software) that is used to send, receive and forward email messages.
A powerful computer used for computing-intensive tasks.
MegaBytes (MB) per second, 1 MB = 1,048,576 bytes
Megabits (Mb) per second, 1Mb = 1,048,576 bits
1MB = 1024 KiloBytes = 1,048,576 bytes
MegaHertz = 1.000.000 Hertz
Microsoft’s low-end relational database included with the MS Office suite.
Microsoft’s RAD tool for creating relational databases. FoxPro is a part of Microsoft’s Visual Studio.
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft’s high-end SQL database running on Windows systems.
MIME: Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions is a method of including binary data and other multimedia content within email messages.
An FTP site that stores the exact content of some other site. Mirroring is done in order to minimize the load on a particular server and also to increase reliability.
Miva’s XML based server-side scripting language. Available for multiple platforms.
Browser-based storefront development and management system for merchants.
MOdulator-DEModulator. A device used to transform digital data sent by a computer to analog format suitable for transmission over a telephone line. It also transforms analog signals back to the digital form. A modem is required for the dial up connection to the Internet.
An extremely popular lossy audio compression format. Widely used over the Internet.
MPEG: Motion Picture Experts Group. It is a video compression format for movies or animations.
mSQL (Mini SQL)
Light-weight relational database.
A message that is sent to a specific group of hosts.
Most popular open-source relational database. Many Unix-based plans allow MySQL databases.
Informal set of rules that should be followed when using internet services like email, message boards and newsgroups. Describes what it means to be “well behaved” while interacting with other people online.
A company that developed one of the most popular web browsers: Netscape Navigator.
A group of electronic devices connected together that are able to communicate with each other.
Network management can be defined as a set of activities (e.g. network monitoring, gathering and analyzing the statistics, adjusting network configuration) performed in order to increase the network performance and availability.
A virtual Internet place where people exchange thoughts, ideas and interests, amuse themselves and do a zillion other things, all by means of text messages.
An application that allows to use newsgroups.
Network Interface Card – a part of the computer hardware responsible for connecting a particular machine to the local area network.
(Network News Transfer Protocol) An Internet protocol that describes how the newsgroups messages are distributed, stored, posted and retrieved.
OC-1, OC-3, OC-12, OC-24, OC-48
Optical Carrier transmission speeds, used in fiber optic networks conforming to SONET standard. OC-1 is 51.85 Mbps. Higher levels are multiples of that speed.
ODBC: Open Database Connectivity. It is a standard allowing applications to access different databases in an uniform way.
The state of the computer when it is not connected to the network (i.e. it is not online).
The state of a computer when it is connected to the network and communicate with other machines.
A software heart of the computer. It is a set of programs that manage the hardware resources of a computer, provide the environment for application programs to run and provide the user interface. Most known operating systems are: different flavors of Unix (SunOs, HP-UX, Irix, FreeBSD, Linux,…), MacOS and Windows.
(Open System Interconnection). A network standard developed by ISO and CCITT. It describes the way in which protocols of different layers communicate. This enables machines of different vendors to communicate over the network.
Name for a basic web document. Websites usually consist of many (web) pages.
PAP: Password Authentication Protocol. PAP is the authentication protocol used over PPP connections.
A peer-to-peer network is a collection of computers that can communicate and share information, but that don’t have any kind of hierarchical structure. This is the opposite of the client/server model.
Open source CGI scripting programming language, written in 1987. Still, one of the most popular web programming languages mostly due to its powerful text-manipulation facilities. A huge number of Perl scripts are available for download.
PHP is an free, open-source server-side scripting language. PHP code can be embedded in HTML. PHP files usually have extensions like .php or .php3. PHP language style is similar to C and Java. Other popular server-side scripting languages are ASP, Perl, ColdFusion, TCL, Python, and JSP.
PKZIP or PKUNZIP
Popular compression and decompression programs.
An add-on piece of software that can extend the features of an existing application. For example Netscape browser plug-ins allow displaying of new types of web content, that the browser can’t display on its own.
POP: Post Office Protocol. It is popular but inflexible email retrieval standard. All messages are downloaded at the name time and can only be manipulated on a client machine. Current version is POP3. Also see IMAP.
A socket on the computer or other network device used to connect it to the network.
PPP: Point to Point Protocol. It is a network protocol widely used to connect computers to the Internet. Most often used on a telephone line.
PRI: Primary Rate Interface. Its one of the two ISDN access methods. 23 of 64 Kbps B channels and 1 64 Kbps D channel constitute a PRI.
A set of rules by following which two parties can communicate. The TCP/IP protocol suite is the basis of todays Internet.
PSTN: Public Switched Telephone Network. The set of all the traditional telephone lines and the entire infrastructure that comes with it.
Interpreted programming language, sometimes offered by hosts for server-side scripting.
RAID: Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks. Type of disk, often used on servers, where several physical disks are combined into an array for better speed and fault tolerance.
Level 0 implements data striping where file blocks are written to separate drives. Does not provide fault tolerance, because failure of one drive will result in data loss.
Level 1 implements data mirroring. Data is duplicated on two drives either through software or hardware. Provides faster read performance than a single drive.
Level 2 – not used in practice. Data is split at bit level at written to multiple drives.
Level 3 – requires at least 3 drives. Data block is striped at byte level across drives and error correction codes (parity info) is recorder on another drive. Provides fault tolerance but slower writing performance.
Level 4 – Similar to Level 3 but provides faster performance because it uses blocks for striping.
Level 5 – Similar to Level 4 but improves performance but also striping parity info across multiple drives.
Level 6 – Similar to Level 5 but also uses second parity scheme for better fault tolerance.
Level 7 – Proprietary RAID design by Storage Computer Corporation. Faster than other levels because it uses multiple levels of cache and asynchronous I/O transfers.
In addition multiple RAID levels can be combined to improve performance or reliability.
Raw access data updated in real-time that can be downloaded and used by any statistics program. Typically each line show the user’s IP, date and time of the access, what kind of request was done, which document was requested, HTTP status code, bytes transferred, referrer, and user agent info. If a host doesn’t have statistics, you’ll need access to raw logs to identify who your site’s visitors are. Analyzing raw logs can also provide more detailed look at site accesses than stats.
Resellers are usually smaller companies that still try to build their customers base. They don’t own the server with user accounts but can perform most administrative functions.
A standard connector that is used to connect to the telephone line.
A standard connector that is used to connect to the Ethernet network.
A network device (can be a dedicated computer) that is used to connect two or more networks together and route packets between them.
A public key cryptosystem developed by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman. It can be used to encrypt session keys and to generate digital certificates.
Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions – a way of making email messages more secure. S/MIME uses digital certificates to attest the message origin and encryption to ensure that message could not be read while in transit.
A programming language in which programs are the series of commands that are interpreted and then executed one by one. It doesn’t require the compilation phase, for the price of lower performance.
An Internet service that stores a vast number of web pages and allows for fast searching among them. Also, a piece of software that implements a website search functionality.
An online form in which a query to the web pages database is specified.
A search engine uses search indexer to provide faster search.
An archived file that is also an executable program. The original archived file is decompressed when that program is run.
Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP)
Another network protocol used to connect computers to the networks. Similar to PPP.
A networked computer that handles client requests for Web pages.
A company that provides access to the Internet, usually for a fee.
All the data exchange between two parties, starting when the connection is established and ending when connection terminates.
Initial fee charged by a host to set up your hosting account. You can review it in our TOS section.
Software that allows users to select products from a Web catalogue, modify their choices, calculate prices, review their choices, and order them. Many hosts with e-commerce plans offer installed shopping carts, but you can always get a shopping cart of your choice instead.
Secure HTTP. A version of HTTP protocol that uses encryption to assure that the traffic between the server and the browser cannot be eavesdropped on. It should be considered mandatory for all e-commerce applications.
A few lines of text that are automatically attached at the end of each email message by the email client. Usually it’s some personal identification or an (un)interesting quote.
An applet that has a digital signature to confirm that it originates from the legitimate server.
SLIP: Serial Line Internet Protocol – a standard way of connecting a computer to the internet via the telephone line.
SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Very popular protocol used to transfer email messages across the Internet mail servers. .
SNMP: Simple Network Management Protocol. A most widespread protocol used for network management.
Unsolicited email sent in mass quantities to multiple receipents, most often for marketing purposes. Highly annoying and constituting one of the most serious netiquette violations.
An automated software that retrieves web pages and follows the hyperlinks contained in them. It is used to generate indexes used by search engines.
SPX: Sequenced Packet Exchange. A proprietary Novell network protocol used in conjunction with IPX.
Structured Query Language. Limited programming language used for updating and performing queries on relational databases. All databases share a common subset of SQL. Most popular SQL databases available with hosting plans are MySQL and MS SQL.
Secure Shell. Developed by SSH Communications Security, it is a standard for encrypted terminal Internet connections. SSH programs provide strong authentication and encrypted communications, replacing less secure access methods like telnet.
Server-Side Includes. It instructs the server to include some dynamic information in a Web page before it is sent to a client. This dynamic information could be current date, an opinion poll, etc. Many hosts require that SSI pages have .shtml extension to reduce the load on servers by not having to parse non-SSI pages.
Secure Sockets Layer. It is a protocol developed by Netscape to provide encryption for commercial transactions data that should be protected while travelling over the Internet, like credit card numbers. SSL uses https protocol. Before using SSL in commerce, you’ll also need to get is a certificate from a Certificate Authority.
Static (or dedicated) IP
If a host offers a static IP, it means that your site will be assigned a unique and unchanging IP address. See the FAQ for some possible advantages of using a static IP.
STP: Shielded Twisted Pair. Cabling consisting of pairs of insulated wires wrapped in metal to minimize interference.
Playing multimedia files (audio and video) without requiring a full download. Audio and video are compressed but they still may require a lot of bandwidth. Most popular streaming media formats are Real Audio/Video.
Using World Wide Web is often referred to as “surfing the web”.
A switch is a network device that forwards packets. Switches are more intelligent than hubs in a sense that they forward packets only to the necessary ports and not to all the ports.
Dedicated telecommunications line providing 1.5 Mbps of bandwidth. Consists of 24 individual channels 64 Kbps each, that can be configured for voice or data transmission. T1 lines can be leased by businesses that required a dedicated Net connection of with higher reliability than a DSL and faster than an ISDN line but are still quite expensive.
Dedicated telecommunications line providing 44 Mbps of bandwidth. T3 lines are often used by ISPs to connect to the Internet backbone.
TCL: Tool command language. Simple scripting language and library often used for GUI, string-manipulation, testing, and integration of multiple components.
TCP: Transmission Control Protocol- is the most important of the network protocols used in the Internet.
TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. This protocol suite is the de facto standard for the today’s Internet. TCP is a higher level protocol that runs on top of the IP protocol.
Character-based protocol for connecting with remote systems. Still popular among hosts, but it is being replaced by much more secure SSH access.
1 TB=1024 gigabytes
TIA: Telecommunications Industry Association. It is another telecommunications standards organization.
TLD: Top Level Domain. The domain name elements at the right, such as .com, .org or .gov. Recently, new TLDs like .pro or .museum were added to supplement older TLDs. ccTLDs (country code TLDs), like .uk or .fr are used per-country.
A computer program that lists network hosts visited by a packed on the way to its destination. Very useful for network debugging.
Data packets being transmitted over a network.
A pair of wires twisted one around the other. Very common in the networking applications.
A 16 bit ISO 10646 character set. It can accommodate way more characters that ASCII, thus allowing for easier internationalization.
A family of multi-user operating systems, first developed by AT&T Bell Laboratories in the 1970s and then licensed to many universities. A basis for Linux, a very popular operating system among web hosts.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator is a way of addressing used for world wide web. An URL consists of the type of service (protocol), then the host name and then the file on the host.
Network of all the newsgroups in the Internet.
UTP: Unshielded Twisted Pair. Similar to the STP, but without the shielding metal layer. It is more prone to interference but is less bulky that the STP cables.
It is a method of sending binary files using email – similar in purpose to MIME.
A stand-alone application used to display files of different formats. For example a QuickTime move viewer or a JPG file viewer.
A virus is a malicious program written to do as much harm as possible. Viruses can spread themselves over the network.
VPN: Virtual Private Network. A virtual private network is a method of accessing the private network in a secure way over public communication lines and networks.
W3C: World Wide Web Consortium. An international industry consortium that develops standards for the World Wide Web.
An audio file format. Very accurate, but offers no compression, thus resulting in very large files.
A person responsible for the maintenance of a particular website.
An Internet service allowing to obtain the information about the domain name owner.
Wide Area Network (WAN)
A set of computers that are to far apart to constitute a LAN. In fact, WANs are very often composed of a number of Local Area Networks interconnected together.
World Wide Web (or Web) is the most popular Internet service. It allows access to the information and services from the web servers. A web browser is needed to use the Web.
XML: Extensible Mark-up Language. A meta-language, abbreviated version of SGML, used to specify other document types used on the Web. Accepted as a format in 1998 to replace dependence on HTML extensions. MSIE 5.5 and Netscape 6 both support XML.
A program that can XML documents and access their content.
A file transfer protocol. Rather slow.
Your Mileage May Vary
Popular file transfer protocol. It is faster than XMODEM.
A popular compression utility.
A file transfer protocol. It’s the fastest of XMODEM and YMODEM and thus the most popular.