List of Technical Terms
Arpanet. The precursor of the Internet, the first “network of networks,” developed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the Department of Defense.
Browser. A piece of software that you run on your computer or smartphone to visit websites. Examples: Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome.
Domain. An area on the Internet, such as “CNN.com” or “Facebook.com.” Part of a URL.
Domain Name System (“DNS”). A service that translates symbolic domain names, such as CNN.com, to an actual numeric IP address.
Digital Subscriber Line (“DSL”). A kind of telephone service especially suitable for bringing Internet connections into a home.
Hardware. “The part of the computer you can kick.”
Host. A computer that provides a service – usually, the computer that serves pages from a website.
Hot Spot. Access to a Wi-Fi network, provided by a small computer.
http. The most common protocol used when browsing the Web. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transportation Protocol. The first part of a URL.
https. A secure version of the Hypertext Transportation Protocol, that uses SSL.
IANA. Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, a part of ICANN (see below) that is “responsible for the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources” (Wikipedia).
ICANN. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a “nonprofit organization that is responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces of the Internet” (Wikipedia).
IETF. Internet Engineering Task Force, a non-profit body that defines standards for Internet communications protocols.
Internet. The global network of networks that connects more than a billion computers around the world, including those in our homes and those that host the World Wide Web.
Internet Protocol (“IP”). The technical standard that defines precisely, bit by bit, the size and format of information packets that move data between computers on the Internet.
IP Address. A numerical address used to identify a computer on the Internet, so that information can be sent to it.
Internet Service Provider (“ISP”). A company (sometimes a telephone utility) that provides technical communication services facilitating the connection of computers via the Internet.
Modem. A device that helps move data between computers by translating that is in a digital format (ones and zeroes) on a computer into an analog signal that can be sent along a telephone line.
Protocol. A set of specialized rules and terms specifying how to act or communicate, as in the Internet Protocol, which is used to send information between two computers on the Internet.
Reboot. To restart a piece computer equipment, often by powering it off and on again.
Root Server. One of thirteen sets of computers, named from “A” to “M”, that control address translation on the Internet, via the Domain Name System (DNS).
Root Zone. The (invisible) top-level domain on the Internet, the one occupied by the thirteen root servers which directs traffic for all other domains – which lie underneath it – such as .com, .edu, and .org.
Router. A device which directs data from one set of computers to another set.
Server. A large and capacious computer, usually dedicated to a single purpose, such as hosting a website.
Software. A computer program, or collection of programs. Also, “computer code.”
SSL. Secure Socket Layer, a kind of encryption often used by web browsers to protect the csontents of s bank transaction online.
“Typosquatting”. The practically of registering a domain name representing an intentional misspelling of an extant and well-known domain (such as a bank or news website), often for the purpose of intercepting traffic intended for the correctly spelled domain.
Universal Resource Locator (“URL”). A full website address, including the protocol (e.g., “http”), service, e.g., “www”, and domain name (e.g., “cnn.com”). May optionally include additional data to be transmitted to the website, introduced by a slash (“/”) character.
Wi-Fi. A wireless network, made available by a hot spot which communicates wirelessly with connecting computers, and itself connects “upstream” to a larger network, either through an Internet Service Provider or a router.
World Wide Web (“www”). A world-wide set of websites reached via the Internet, which one can explore via a web browser such as Google Chrome.