Glossary Help

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line A high-speed connection that sends data over existing copper phone lines. ADSL provides download speeds of up to 1 million
bits per second--that's 35 times faster than a standard 28.8Kbps modem connection.

Anonymous FTP

An FTP session that does not require a user ID and password you simply use Anonymous as your log in name.

Anti-Virus Software
Software written specifically to combat harmful
viruses. Anti-Virus software seeks and removes viruses from your computer. Norton AntiVirus and McAfee VirusScan are two popular Anti-Virus programs that are compatable with most computers.

A small
Java program.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange: This is a global standard of code numbers, used by computers to represent all upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and punctuation.

A feature that sends an automated reply to incoming email. For example, when customers send email to your address, an autoresponder can send a standard message back to them.

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A high-speed line (or a series of connections) that forms a major pathway within a

The amount of data you can send through a connection, usually measured in
bits per second. A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits. A 56K modem can move about 56,000 bits (3.5 pages of text) in one second.

A paid advertisement in the form of a graphic (usually rectangular in shape) displayed on a Web page. When viewers click on a banner, they are taken to the advertiser's Web site.

Bulletin Board System: A computerized meeting system. BBS users can have discussions, make announcements, and upload or download files. There are thousands of BBSs around the world; many of them rely on a direct modem-to-modem connection over a phone line, using a single computer.

This is the smallest measure of computerized data, either 1 or 0. Eight bits equal one byte, or one character.

Bits per second: A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 28.8K modem can move 28,800 bits per second, or about 3600 characters per second.

client program used to view various kinds of Internet resources. You use a browser (e.g., Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer) to view Web pages from your computer.

A byte is a set of 8
bits that represent a single character.

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Certificate Authority
An issuer of
Security Certificates used in SSL connections.

Common Gateway Interface: A protocol that allows a Web page to run a program on a Web server. Forms, counters, and guestbooks are common examples of CGI programs.

A program (or software) used to interact with a
server. A Web browser is a specific kind of client.

A cookie is a piece of information sent to a
browser by a Web server upon accessing a Web site. The next time the browser accesses that site, the server retrieves the information. This is how some Web pages "remember" your previous visits; for example, an E-Commerce site might use a cookie to remember which items you've placed in your online shopping cart. Cookies can also store user preference information, log-in data, etc.

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Data Transfer
In general, any outward-bound traffic from a Web site is considered to be data transfer. Each time a Web page, image,
MIDI file, etc. is loaded, data transfer is generated.

A collection of data: part numbers, product codes, customer information, etc. It usually refers to data organized and stored on a computer that can be searched and retrieved by a computer program.

Domain Name System: A system of servers located throughout the Internet that handle Internet connections and the routing of email.

Domain Name
A unique name that identifies one or more Web sites. A domain name acts as a permanent Web address and provides a professional, prestigious Web presence. Compare these two Web addresses (


In the first URL, the domain name "" is owned by someone else. If you moved your business Web site to another Web host, you'd need a new URL--and you'd have to notify your customers of your new address. The second URL contains an example of a custom domain name that you own: "" If you ever move your site, your address will stay the same.

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Electronic Mail: Messages sent from one person to another via computer. Email can also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses via a
mailing list.

A method of encoding a file for security reasons. Encryption is often used to protect credit card numbers from third parties during online purchases.

A private
network, built for specific users (business clients) who don't have access to a company's intranet.

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A combination of hardware and software, used to protect a network from unwelcome traffic. A firewall can be used to separate a
LAN into two or more parts, or to control network traffic.

FrontPage is a
WYSIWYG Web page editor by Microsoft. To use FrontPage to create and maintain your Web site, your hosting service must install "extensions" (CGI programs that provide the server side implementation of FrontPage) for your account. Quickhosts offers FrontPage extensions.

File Transfer Protocol: A common method of sending and receiving files on the Internet. You might use FTP to upload HTML files to your Web
host from your own computer. A user ID and password are needed to use FTP, unless Anonymous FTP is allowed.

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Graphic Interchange Format: A type of image file. GIF files are graphics or pictures, often used on Web pages. Because GIF files contain a maximum of 256 colors, this file format is ideal for simple graphics with minimal shading or color variation. Other types of graphics are better suited for the
JPEG file format.

Gigabyte (GB)
One billion

To be more accurate, one gigabyte actually contains 1,073,741,824 bytes. Since the prefix "giga" is associated with one billion, the term gibibyte is used to define 1,073,741,824 bytes.

Any picture or image file within a Web page. Graphics are usually in
GIF or JPEG format.

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A single request from a Web browser for a single item from a Web server. When a browser displays a Web page that contains 2 graphics, 3 hits occur at the server: 1 hit for the HTML page itself, plus a hit for each of the two graphics.

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  1. A computer system accessed by a user from a remote location. In the case of two computer systems connected via modem, the "host" is the system containing the data and the "remote" is the computer at which the user is working.
  2. A computer that is connected to a TCP/IP network, including the Internet. Each host has a unique IP address.
  3. As a verb, "host" means providing the infrastructure for a computer service. A company that hosts a Web server may provide the hardware and software needed to run that server, but does not supply all the content on that server. Quickhosts provides hosting services by running and maintaining the server, while allowing customers to maintain their own Web site content.

HyperText Markup Language: The coding language used to create Web pages.

HyperText Transfer Protocol: The protocol for moving hypertext files across the
World Wide Web. When you enter a URL in your browser to visit a Web page, an HTTP command is sent to the Web server. This command tells the server to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.

Any text within a document that is linked to another location. The other location could be within the same document, or a different document. Clicking hypertext with your mouse will activate the link. This glossary is made up of hypertext, containing many links.

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Image Map
graphic used for multiple navigation on a Web page. Image maps contain HTML code that turn specific areas of graphics into links.

The actual number of people who've seen a specific Web page. Impressions are much more accurate than
hits when discerning how much traffic your Web page actually receives. Impressions are sometimes called "page views."

The vast collection of interconnected networks that use
TCP/IP protocols.

An organizaton operated by Network Solutions that controls the registration of new domain names. When you purchase a
domain name, the InterNIC will bill you $70 for the first two years of ownership and $35 per year thereafter.

A private
network inside a company or organization that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but only for internal use.

IP Number (IP Address)
The unique 4-part number assigned to each and every computer linked to the Internet (e.g., When you connect to the Internet, your ISP assigns you an IP number for the duration of your connection.
DNS converts domain names into IP addresses.

Internet Relay Chat: A method of real time communication, powered by a network of servers.

Integrated Services Digital Network: A high-speed connection that sends data over phone lines at speeds of up to 64,000
BPS per channel. An ISDN connection can use one or two channels; at two channels, it provides download speeds of up to 128,000 BPS.

Internet Service Provider: A company that provides access to the Internet. is an ISP.

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Java is a programming language invented by Sun Microsystems. Java programs (or "applets") can be downloaded from the Internet to your computer. They are often used to enhance Web pages. Common Java applets used on Web pages include animation, calculators, and counters.

A scripting language that interacts with HTML source code, allowing for interactive Web sites. JavaScript is used for things such as "rollover buttons" (graphics that change color when you run your mouse over them), rotating banners, MIDI jukeboxes, pop-up windows, etc.

Joint Photographic Experts Group: a type of image file, similar to
GIF. Whereas the GIF file format is limited to 256 colors or less, JPEG files use millions of colors and can often be compressed to a smaller kilobyte size, making Web pages load faster.

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Kilobyte (KB)
A thousand

To be more accurate, one kilobyte actually contains 1024 bytes. Since the prefix "kilo" is associated with 1000, the term kibibyte is used to define 1024 bytes.

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Local Area Network: A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building.

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Metropolitan area Network: A network confined to a campus small series of buldings.

Mail Forwarding
An email feature that forwards email from one address to another. When you sign up for an Quickhosts hosting plan, you'll receive a domain email account ( You might also have an email address provided by your local
ISP. With mail forwarding, all email addressed to will be sent to your "real" email address.

Additional mail forwarding options include the ability to forward different email to specific addresses on the Internet. For example, email addressed to could forward to your "real" email address (provided by your ISP), while could forward to a different email address.

Mailing List
A group discussion conducted through email messages, specific to a topic or common interest. When a message is sent to a mailing list, each list subscriber receives a copy.

Megabyte (MB)
A million
bytes; a thousand kilobytes.

To be more accurate, one megabyte actually contains 1,048,576 bytes. Since the prefix "mega" is associated with one million, the term mebibyte is used to define 1,048,576 bytes.

META tag
Hidden HTML code that contains information about a Web page, such as who created the page, what the page is about, and which keywords best describe the page's content. Some search engines use this information to list and categorize Web pages by topic.

Musical Instrument Digital Interface: A digital sound file, often used to play music on Web pages.

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions: The standard for attaching non-text files (such as graphics, spreadsheets, word processor documents, sound files, etc.) to email messages.

A device that connects your computer to a phone line. It transforms digital computer data into analog data; the analog data is then sent through a telephone line to a second computer. A modem on the receiving end transforms the analog data back into the digital format, so that the receiving computer can read it.

Mini SQL: A lightweight database engine designed to provide fast access to stored data.

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The informal rules of Internet etiquette.

Derived from the term citizen, referring to a citizen of the
Internet. The term implies civic responsibility and participation.

Two or more computers connected together for the purpose of sharing resources.

An Internet forum at which people meet to discuss a variety of topics. Newsgroups are typically accessed through a news reader, a program on your computer that connects you to a news server on the Internet.

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Operating System
This is the software that manages a computer system. Windows 95 is an OS.

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A unit of measurement for graphics or monitor
resolution. A pixel is one dot on a computer screen. Most computer monitors are set to a resolution of 800 x 600, meaning 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels high.

Software programs that enhance other programs or applications on your computer. There are plug-ins for Internet browsers, graphics programs, and other applications.


  • Post Office Protocol: a method of retrieving email from a server.
  • Point Of Presence: a telephone number that provides dial-up Internet access. ISPs usually provide several POPs so users can gain Internet access with local phone calls.

Point to Point Protocol: The protocol that allows a computer to use a telephone line and a modem to make
TCP/IP connections, connecting users to the Internet.

A standard for the exchange of information. There are several different types of protocols (e.g.,
FTP, TCP/IP) used by various computers and software programs.

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Random Access Memory: This is reusable computer memory, available to all programs on a computer. A computer with 32M of RAM has about 32 million bytes of memory that programs can use. RAM is read/write memory, as opposed to
ROM which is read-only memory.

Client software that plays audio and video media. Providers of news, entertainment, sports, and business content can create audio and video multimedia content, and deliver it online to audiences worldwide. To create your own RealPlayer files and offer them on your Web site, your hosting service must install special "extensions" for your account.

Resolution (Screen or Monitor)
The way things appear on your computer monitor. Resolution is measured in
pixels. The lower the resolution, the larger things appear on your screen. Most computer monitors are set at 800 x 600 resolution, meaning 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels high. Some people's monitors are set at 1024 x 768 or higher. Others are set at 640 x 480. When designing a Web site, keep in mind that your Web pages will look different to viewers depending on their monitor resolutions.

Read-Only Memory: This is a computer's unchangeable memory. It's used to store programs that start the computer and run diagnostic functions.

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Search Engine
A directory of Internet content. Search engines use
spiders to search for Web pages, and then list those pages according to the content they contain. When you use a search engine to find specific information, the search engine provides a detailed list of Web pages that best match your inquiry. Popular search engines include Excite, Snap, Yahoo, and Infoseek.

Security Certificate
Information used to establish a secure connection by
SSL protocol. In order for an SSL connection to be created, both sides must have a valid Security Certificate, issued by the Certificate Authority.

A computer or program that manages
network resources. The term can refer to a program, or to the machine on which the program is running. A single server machine could be running several programs, thus providing different services to users on the network.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol: A protocol used to send email from one
server to another.

Spam (or Spamming)
Junk email or junk
newsgroup posts. Spam is usually some sort of advertising, inappropriately sent to a mailing list or newsgroup. Spam not only wastes the recipient's time, but also misuses network bandwidth.

An Internet program (used by a
search engine) that explores the Web at large. Spiders collect and index Web page addresses based on content found at those pages.

Structured Query Language: A specialized programming language used to send queries to databases. Many Web-based programs use SQL to store and retrieve information about users and products from databases.

Secure Sockets Layer: A protocol designed by Netscape to enable encrypted communications across the Internet. It provides privacy, authentication, and message integrity. SSL is often used in communications between
browsers and servers. A URL that begins with "https" indicates that an SSL connection will be used on the Web page.

During an SSL connection, each side sends a
Security Certificate to the other. Both sides then encrypt what they send, ensuring that only the intended recipient can decode it.

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A connection capable of carrying data at 1,544,000
bits per second. T-1 is most commonly used to connect LANs to the Internet.

A connection capable of carrying data at 44,736,000
bits per second.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol: This is the suite of protocols that defines the
Internet. Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is now available for every major computer operating system. Your computer must have TCP/IP software to be connected to the Internet.

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A computer operating system. UNIX is designed to be used by many people at the same time and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.

Uniform Resource Locator: The standard way to display an address on the World Wide Web
(WWW). A URL is accessed through a Web browser and looks like this:

UNIX to UNIX Encoding: A method for converting files from Binary to ASCII so that they can be sent across the Internet via email.

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A virus is a malicious program whose sole intent is to cause problems on a computer. There are
Anti-Virus programs, such as McAfee and Norton Utilities, created to combat viruses.

Virus Hoax
Occasionally, rumors are started about viruses that do not exist. These are merely hoaxes.

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Web or WWW
World Wide Web: This commonly refers to the massive, global collection of
hypertext (HTTP) servers that allow concurrent viewing of Internet data. The term "dub,dub,dub" is a shortened, spoken version of "WWW."

What You See Is What You Get (pronounced "wizzy-wig"): A program that displays a document on your screen exactly as it would appear when printed or published online. The term usually applies to
HTML editors, such as Microsoft FrontPage. These WYSIWYG editors can show you how your Web page will appear online, as you're editing the document.

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Zone Information Protocol: This is a method of compressing computer data or files into a small size, so they can be transferred quickly over the Internet. There are programs built specifically to zip files, such as WinZip.

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