Communications is a full service Internet Service Provider.
Glossary of Internet Terms
- Acceptable Use Policy
Internet connectivity providers may restrict the way in which their networks
are used. The Acceptable Use Policy defines the rules for using the network.
See IP Address or E-Mail Address.
- Anonymous FTP
Some FTP sites allow users to use the word "anonymous" as a User ID and their
e-mail addresses or "guest" as a Password when they log in. This allows the
users to bypass local security and gain limited access to download public
files on the FTP site. This type of access is not available on all FTP sites,
and may be restricted to a maximum number of anonymous users on others. See
File Transfer Protocol.
A software tool for finding files on the Internet. Some Archie clients can
FTP files once they are located.
FTP sites are known as archives, a collection of files stored on a machine
connected to the Internet.
A security process for ensuring user identity. The most commonly seen method
of authentication is the entry of User ID and Password for access.
A high-speed line or series of connections that form a network's major pathway.
Bandwidth is often loosely referred to as the amount of data which can be
sent through a network connection, and is usually measured in bits per second.
It actually refers to the difference, measured in Hz, between the lowest and
highest frequencies of a given transmission.
Commonly used to refer to modem speed, measured by how many bits it can receive
or send per second (bps).
Binhex is the common acronym for BINary HEXadecimal. It refers to a method
for converting non-text files into ASCII files. This conversion method is
used most often with Macintosh files.
When a user sends e-mail and it fails to reach the recipient for any reason
(for example, an incorrect address, network failure, etc.), the message will
return to the user - it "bounces" back. An undelivered e-mail message will
usually come back with a subject line saying something like "Undeliverable
Mail" or "Message Undeliverable."
Software that allows a user to look at various Internet resources. For example,
Netscape Navigator is a World Wide Web browser, and NewsWatcher is a Use Net
A common acronym used in online communications meaning "by the way."
Acronym for "Common Gateway Interface." CGI is a set of rules describing how
a World Wide Web server communicates with other software on the same machine.
For example, a CGI program may be used to take data from the Web server and
use it in a database search query.
Another term for IRC.
A program used to contact and obtain data from another computer on the Internet.
Each Client works with one or more kinds of Server programs. For example,
a Web Browser is a type of Client used to access World Wide Web resources.
Crackers are users who try to gain illegal access to computers. They may be
malicious or merely curious in their intentions. See Hacker.
A term coined by fantasy writer William Gibson for the "world of computers
and the society that gathers around them," and used ad nauseum by government,
marketing, and other buzzword gurus.
- Data Encryption Key
DEKs are used to encrypt and decrypt message text. They are a form of data
security often used in e-mail to keep messages from being read by others than
the intended recipient. A common encryption program is PGP (Pretty Good Privacy).
- Dedicated Line
A communications line used solely for computer connections. For example, a
second telephone line added to a user's home for modem use is a dedicated
line. Larger network entities such as Internet providers use special types
of dedicated lines like T1s and T3s for high speed, high volume connections.
- Dialup Connection
A Dialup Connection is a common method of accessing the Internet that uses
phone lines to connect computers via modem. Your SkyPoint account is a Dialup
Domains are "regions" on the Internet, sometimes referred to as "sites." A
Domain usually corresponds to an IP Address or an area on a Host.
- Domain Name
A Domain Name identifies an Internet site, and consists of at least 2 words
separated by dots. For example, "skypoint.com" is a Domain Name.
- E-mail (Electronic
E-mail is a method for sending and receiving messages between users over a
- E-mail Address
An e-mail address is made up of several parts. The first part, the User ID,
identifies a unique user on a Server. The "@" symbol (pronounced "at") separates
the User ID from the Host name. The host name identifies the server computer.
For example, your e-mail address ends with the host name "skypoint.com." By
convention, e-mail addresses are written in all lowercase letters with no
Encryption, a security measure, encodes data sent over the Internet so that
it may only be decoded and used by the intended recipient.
Acronym for "Frequently Asked Questions." FAQs are large, informational text
files written by users who are knowledgeable about a particular, usually specialized
subject and find it easier to record the answers in a document rather than
answer the same questions over and over. FAQs are available on many FTP sites,
World Wide Web pages, and News Groups.
- File Transfer Protocol
FTP is the most common way of uploading (putting) and downloading (getting)
files on the Internet. It can be used with a series of commands in a text-based
system or through a graphical software application such as Fetch or ws_ftp
which simplifies the process. Many Internet sites have archives of information
and other materials accessible by FTP.
A negative response to an e-mail or news group posting. Flaming once was a
linguistic art form involving flowery and often sarcastic language, but has
recently degenerated into any sort of passionate derogatory response. They
now may include any response from an impassioned negative oratory, to a crude
comment, to a mail bomb.
- Flame War
Some online discussions degenerate into a series of flames against the debators
rather than their positions. A flame war will generally shut down a meaningful
discussion for days at a time until the participants tire of the activity.
See File Transfer Protocol.
Typically used in its nontechnical meaning, a mechanism for providing access
to another, dissimilar system. For example, some non-Internet online services
such as Prodigy now provide some Internet access. That service access would
often be referred to as a gateway to the Internet. The correct meaning is
any hardware or software that translates between networks that normally could
not communicate. For example, a company network's internal e-mail format might
be translated into an Internet e-mail format for outside communications. The
translation mechanism is a gateway.
A menu-based search and retrieval tool used for research. Gopher sites store
information much like FTP sites. Some common search tools are Veronica and
A user with in-depth understanding of computers, networks, and the Internet.
Often mistakenly seen as malicious, Hackers are known for technical wizardry
in doing things on a computer system that most people would find difficult,
unlikely, or impossible.
- Home Page
The main World Wide Web Page of a person, organization, or business.
A computer on a network or the Internet containing services available to other
users. Users communicate with hosts using client programs such as Web browsers.
Acronym for HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the coding language used to
create hypertext documents for use on the World Wide Web. The codes indicate
to a Web browser how the text or graphics should appear, and which text should
be linked to another file on the Internet.
Acronym for HyperText Transport Protocol. HTTP is a protocol for moving hypertext
files across the Internet. It is the most important protocol used in transferring
files across the World Wide Web.
Text, either words or phrases, that contains links to other files on the World
Wide Web. Selecting this text will cause the other document to be retrieved
A uncontrolled, unadministered collection of networks using TCP/IP protocols.
It is not an organization, corporation, or other entity. The moment a user
logs on, he or she becomes a part of the Internet. It is also sometimes known
as the "Net."
Any time two or more different networks are connected, they form an internet.
This usage of "inter" is similar to its usage in "interstate" or "international."
- Internet Relay Chat
- Internet Service
A company whose network is linked to the Internet through a dedicated communication
line (usually a high speed line like a T1) and which offers the use of other
dedicated communication lines to companies or individuals to access the Internet.
A user will commonly dial up an ISP whose computers will connect him or her
to the Internet for a fee. SkyPoint is an ISP.
A private network for internal use within an entity such as a company that
uses similar software to that found on the Internet. For example, some companies
create Web Pages on their networks accessible only by their employees.
- IP Address
Every Internet resource has a unique numerical IP Address, similar to having
a telephone number. The IP Address consists of 4 parts separated by dots,
such as the SkyPoint address, 220.127.116.11. When software "calls" the IP Address,
it is connected to the computer that owns the number.
Acronym for Internet Relay Chat. IRC is a "party line" where users can "chat"
in real-time by typing their comments to each other.
Acronym for Integrated Services Digital Network. A way that telephone companies
can increase the amount of data transmitted over regular telephone lines.
In contrast to the highest (current) available speed over standard analog
phone lines of 38,800 bps, ISDN lines can transfer data at up to 128,000 bps.
A programming language specifically designed for writing programs that can
be safely downloaded from the Internet and run without danger of harm from
viruses or other sources. Small Java programs, called "Applets," can be used
to add fancy functions to World Wide Web Pages such as animations and calculators.
A telephone line that is rented exclusively 24 hours, 7 days a week for communication
between fixed locations. High speed connections such as T1 and T3 lines require
a leased line.
- Login or Logon
Noun: the User ID that allows a user to gain access to a computer system and
that identifies his or her account to other users. Verb: the act of entering
a computer system during authentication.
Passively watching the conversation on an IRC channel, in a News Group, a
mailing list, or any other applicable Internet communication device. Beginners
often lurk in order to get up to speed on what is occurring in the communications
group or learn the group's etiquette.
- Mail Bomb
A large number of e-mails or a huge e-mail sent with malicious intent to clog
a user's e-mail box. Mail bombs are often sent in reprisal for a breach of
- Mail List or Maillist
A list of e-mail addresses for mass mailings. Often used for semi-private
communication by members on the list.
- Mirror Site
Some World Wide Web Pages and FTP sites have become so popular that users
have trouble connecting to them because of the high traffic volume. The structure
of and information on those sites is often duplicated on Mirror Sites so that
users can access the information elsewhere.
A person who manages moderated News Groups or mail lists. A moderator can
decide whether a message is appropriate to the forum and allow it to be posted,
or later remove it.
Acronym for Multi-User Dungeon, Dimension, or Domain. A text or graphically
based multi- user environment where users can engage in games, communication,
or any other activity a group of users might imagine. One significant feature
of a MUD is that users can create things that remain after they leave and
interact with others in their absence, so that the "world" is built collectively
A network is created when 2 or more computers are connected together so that
resources can be shared.
- News Group
The name for discussion groups on the Usenet. Each news group is dedicated
to a certain subject. As of January, 1997, over 20,000 News Groups existed
on the Usenet.
Acronym for Network News Transfer Protocol. A standard protocol used for the
distribution, retrieval, and posting of news articles on the Usenet.
Any single computer connected to a network.
A standard unit of data sent across a network.
A code, known only to the user to whom it belongs, to gain access to a locked
system. A good password should contain both letters and nonletters, and should
not be easy to guess either based on information about the User or because
it is a short, simple combination.
Acronym for Packet Internet Gopher. The easiest way to tell if an Internet
connection has been made or to time one's response is to send a PING (a request)
to the Internet host and wait for a PONG (a reply). When an address is PINGed,
the response will include the number of seconds it took to make the connection.
- POP or POP3
Acronym for Post Office Protocol. POP refers to the way that e-mail software
like POPmail gets mail from a mail server.
Sending an article to a News Group.
Acronym for Point to Point Protocol. A communications protocol that lets a
computer use a telephone line and a modem to make TCP/IP connections and become
part of the Internet. Your SkyPoint Dialup account uses PPP.
A "language," a set of formal descriptions of message formats and transmission
rules, spoken by computers to help them exchange information.
A computer that provides network services such as files or World Wide Web
resources. A single machine may have several different server software packages
running on it, thus acting as several servers on the network.
A file that can automatically be attached to the bottom of e-mail or a News
Group posting that identifies the sender. Many users use a variety of characters
to make their signatures more distinctive, or include a favorite quote or
means to communicate outside the Internet.
Acronym for Serial Line Internet Protocol. A standard for connecting a computer
to the Internet as a real Internet site using a modem and a telephone line.
SLIP is gradually being replaced with PPP.
Acronym for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. SMTP is an e-mail transfer protocol.
It transfers mail from server to server, and an end-user transfers mail to
his or her machine from the server using POP.
- Spam or Spamming
Spamming is an inappropriate use of a mail list or other Internet communications
medium for "junk mail" mass-broadcast. A common form of Spamming is posting
messages to a large number of News Groups where the post's content is inappropriate
to the News Groups' subject matter.
- T1 and T3 Lines
Leased-line high speed connections. A T1 line is the most common line used
in connecting networks to the Internet. A T3 line is approximately 40 times
faster than a T1 and is capable of carrying full-screen, full-motion video.
Acronym for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. TCP/IP is the
standard communications protocol required for Internet computers.
The command and program used to login from one Internet site to another.
A type of operating system. UNIX is the most common operating system for Internet
Acronym for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is the standard way to write the
address of a World Wide Web Page. Users enter URLs into a Web browser as an
"address" for a particular page. For example, SkyPoint's World Wide Web page
is found at www.skypoint.com.
Usenet is a world-wide system of discussion groups (News Groups). It is completely
decentralized, with messages passed between hundreds of thousands of machines.
As of January, 1997, over 20,000 News Groups existed on the Usenet.
- World Wide Web (also
Web, WWW, and W3)
The Web is a collection of hypertext servers and the documents they house.
To access these files, a user needs a Web browser. When a browser accesses
a page, the server uses HTTP to send the document to the user's computer.
These documents may include text, graphics, sound, and video.