Glossary of Internet Technology Terms.

Browse our glossary of definitions for some common and some not-so-common technology terms.

Access Provider

A company that sells Internet connectivity.


A Java-like Microsoft language that permits web-originated programs to be run from Microsoft Explorer browser.


An alternative name for an object, such as a variable, file, or device.

Anonymous FTP (UNIX only)

Allows for users to access your web site with standard File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client software in order to upload/download files without supplying a unique username and password (anonymous). With the advent of the current HTTP specifications and browsers, however, this is fairly moot, since the same can be done through your browser.


A high-level program that can be included in an HTML page, most often an image. The program's code is then executed by the browser. Note: Many older browsers cannot interpret Java applets and disregard them.


Applications software (also called end-user programs) includes database programs, word processors, and spreadsheets. Figuratively speaking, applications software sits on top of systems software because it is unable to run without the operating system and system utilities.


A program that enables you to search for files anywhere on the Internet by filename.


The precursor to the Internet, ARPANET was a large wide-area network created in 1969 by the United States Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA).




The process of identifying an individual, usually based on a username and password.

Backbone (Internet Backbone)

A backbone is a large transmission line that carries data gathered from smaller lines that interconnect with it. On the Internet or other wide area network, a backbone is a set of paths that local or regional networks connect to for long-distance interconnection.

Backup Generator

A alternative source of power, in the event that the standard electrical services are interupted. Normally, these devices deliver power on a temporary basis, and run on natural gas or desiel fuel.


The process of copying files so that they are preserved in the case of equipment failure or catastrophe. If files are damaged on the server, we resort to the backup copy to restore the files back to the machine.


The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. For digital devices, the bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second(bps) or bytes per second. Web hosting accounts usually offer bandwidth amounts in gigabytes per month.

Banner Advertising

A graphic advertising image on a web site.

Baud rate

The speed rate of a data channel - expressed as bits per second (bps) - which is usually used when referring to the speed of modems.


Bulletin Board System. An electronic message center. Most bulletin boards serve specific interest groups.


Pertaining to a number system that has just two unique digits. Computers are based on the binary numbering system, which consists of just two unique numbers, 0 and 1.


Short for binary digit, the smallest unit of information on a machine. A single bit can hold only one of two values: 0 or 1.


A test used to compare performance of hardware and/or software.


HTML tag used to enclose the body (all the text and tags) of the HTML document.


Nearly all web browsers support a bookmarking feature that lets you save the address (URL) of a web page so that you can easily revisit the page at a later time.


Short for web browser, a software application used to locate and display web pages. Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer are the most common.


Eight bits; the fundamental unit of personal computer data.


Pronounced cash, a special high-speed storage mechanism. It can be either a reserved section of main memory or an independent high-speed storage device. Your browser has a cache in it to store the pages you have looked at.


European Particle Physics Laboratory, the developers of the World Wide Web.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)

The scripting language used to write gateway scripts for CERN and NCSA web servers. CGI programs are the most common way for web servers to interact dynamically with users. Many HTML pages that contain forms, for example, use a CGI program to process the form's data once it's submitted.


Real-time communication between two users via computer. Once a chat has been initiated, either user can enter text by typing on the keyboard and the entered text will appear on the other user's monitor.


One of the leading manufacturers of network equipment. Cisco's primary business is in Internet working products, such as routers, bridges, and switches.

Click-through Rate

In web advertising, the click through rate is the number of clicks on an advertisement (such as a banner ad) is expressed as a percentage of the number of times that the page where the ad appears was downloaded. Thus, the click through rate would be 10% if one in ten people who viewed the advertisement clicked on it, and landed on the advertisers' site.

Client/Server Architecture

A network architecture in which each computer or process on the network is either a client or a server. Servers are powerful computers dedicated to managing disk drives (file servers), printers (print servers), or network traffic (network servers). Clients are PCs or workstations on which users run applications. Clients rely on servers for resources, such as files, devices, and even processing power.

Co-located Server

Some companies own a server, but want to locate it in the secure environment of a web hosting provider. That way they can take advantage of the fastest possible connections to the Internet while handing over day-to-day management of the site.


A computer buzzword that refers to a program or device's ability to link with other programs and devices.


A message given to a web browser by a web server. The browser stores the message in a text file called cookie.txt. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.


Pronounced demon or damon, a process that runs in the background and performs a specified operation at predefined times or in response to certain events. The term daemon is a UNIX term, though many other operating systems provide support for daemons, though they're sometimes called other names. Windows, for example, refers to daemons and system agents and services. Typical daemon processes include print spoolers, e-mail handlers, and other programs that perform administrative tasks for the operating system.


A database is a structured set of records, such as a mailing list. A web browser can access a public database by Perl Scripts. There are many ways for a user to find information in a database. When the data is structured as a table in a single file, a user need only browse the page and use the browser's "find" feature. However, to search a relational database spread over many files, a sophisticated CGI script is required to access the data.

Data Transfer

The outward bound traffic from a web site, with the exception of e-mail. Any HTML, graphic, audio or video file that is accessed by someone viewing your site is included. High rates of data transfer indicate a heavily trafficked site.

Dedicated Line

A permanently connected telephone line between two computer systems. Dedicated lines make up the bulk of the Internet.

Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is a single computer in a network reserved for serving the needs of the network. For example, some networks require that one computer be set aside to manage communications between all the other computers. A dedicated server could also be a computer that manages printer resources. In a web hosting context a dedicated server is a server allocated to one customer.


An "on ramp" to the Internet-the service which allows one to "dial" into the Internet through their communication lines.

Digital Certificate

An attachment to an electronic message used for security purposes. The most common use of a digital certificate is to verify that a user sending a message is who he or she claims to be, and to provide the receiver with the means to encode a reply.

Digital Picture

A photograph stored in a format recognizable and usable by computers.


A major division on a hard drive or server used to divide and organize files.


A directory is a web site that focuses on listing web sites by individual topics. A search engine lists pages, where as a directory lists web sites. On the World Wide Web, a directory is a subject guide, usually organized by major topics and subtopics. The best-known directory is Yahoo! Many other sites now use a Yahoo!-like directory including major portal sites like Excite, Netscape, Lycos, CNET, MSN, and Niche portals like (for gardeners), (for investors), (for Windows NT administrators), etc. are also considered directories.

Disk Storage Space

In a shared hosting environment, the amount of server disk storage allocated to your account. This space can be used to store HTML and graphics files, programs or scripts, mail messages, compressed files, or other files that make up your web site. This does not include the log files, as they are owned by the processes on the server.


Short for Digital Linear Tape, a type of magnetic tape storage device. DLTs are half an inch wide and the cartridges come in several sizes ranging from 20 to over 40 GB. DLT drives are faster than most other types of tape drives, achieving transfer rates of 2.5 MBps.


Short for Domain Name System (or Service), an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name might translate to


The name for a company, organization, or individual's Internet connection. Individual computers within this domain all end with the domain as a part of their host name.


To transfer a file from another computer to your computer.

Dynamic Web Pages

Web pages more animated and more responsive to user interaction than previous versions of HTML. Dynamic web pages are constructed using the DHTML language (standard HTML, style sheets and programming).

E-commerce (electronic commerce)

The purchasing of goods and services over the Internet.

E-mail (electronic mail)

A communication system that allows you to send text, files and/or graphical messages over the Internet.

E-mail Autoresponders/Lists

An autoresponder will send a standard response e-mail message (based on a text file you specify) to anyone who sends an e-mail to a specific e-mail address (which you specify) at your domain.

E-mail Hosting

Instead of having a server at your company location, your ISP can host your email for you using their server.


The translation of data into a secret code. Encryption is the most effective way to achieve data security. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it. Unencrypted data is called plain text; encrypted data is referred to as cipher text. Most e-commerce software applications utilize encryption technology.


A local-area network (LAN) protocol developed by Xerox Corporation in cooperation with DEC and Intel in 1976. Ethernet uses a bus or star topology and supports data transfer rates of 10 Mbps. It is one of the most widely implemented LAN standards. A newer version of Ethernet, called 100Base-T (or Fast Ethernet), supports data transfer rates of 100 Mbps. And the newest version, Gigabit Ethernet supports data rates of 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second.


An extranet is a private network that uses Internet protocols and public telecommunications lines. An extranet can be viewed as part of a company's intranet that is extended to users outside the company. The main purpose of an extranet is to share information with individuals or groups outside a company, such as suppliers, customers and partners.


Frequently Asked Questions - the role of these is to answer the majority of questions commonly asked by newcomers. FAQs provide a means by which questions that are frequently asked can be collated into one document. The majority of FAQs are posted on the USENET in related groups.

File Formats

The patterns and standards used to store a program on a disk. Examples are GIF, JPEG, AIFF.

File Server

A file server is a computer and storage device dedicated to storing files. Any user on the network can store files on the server.


A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both.


HTML documents designed with fill-in text boxes, lists of options, and other elements that allow the user of the form to send information back to the web server. (E.g. registration form, order form, etc.)


An HTML tag introduced by Netscape to allow partitioning of the browser window into independent document display areas.

Frame Relay

A packet-switching protocol for connecting devices on a Wide Area Network (WAN). Frame Relay networks in the U.S. support data transfer rates at T-1 (1.544 Mbps) and T-3 (45 Mbps) speeds. In fact, you can think of Frame Relay as a way of utilizing existing T-1 and T-3 lines owned by a service provider. Most telephone companies now provide Frame Relay service for customers who want connections at 56 Kbps to T-1 speeds.


Copyrighted software given away for free by the author. Although it is available for free, the author retains the copyright, which means that you cannot do anything with it that is not expressly allowed by the author. Usually, the author allows people to use the software, but not sell it.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

The primary method for accessing files via the Internet.

Gb (Gigabit)

In data communications, a gigabit is one billion bits (1,073,741,824 bits to be exact). Bit - the smallest unit of data in a computer. A bit has a single binary value, either 0 or 1.

GB (Gigabyte)

In data communications, a gigabyte is one billion bytes (1,073,741,824 bytes to be exact). Byte - a group of eight binary digits processed as a unit by a computer and used especially to represent an alphanumeric character.


A popular type of image file format. Stands for Graphic Image Format.


2 to the 30th power (1,073,741,824) bytes. One gigabyte is equal to 1,024 megabytes. Gigabyte is often abbreviated as G or GB.


A menu-based information system on the Internet popularized because of its ability to interconnect different Gopher sites on the same menu.


A class of software that helps groups of colleagues (workgroups) attached to a local-area network organize their activities. Typically, groupware supports the following operations: scheduling meetings and allocating resources, e-mail, password protection for documents, telephone utilities, electronic newsletters, file distribution. Groupware is sometimes called workgroup productivity software.

Hits Counter

A hits counter is a tool that allows a Webmaster to determine how many times a particular page is accessed.

Home Page

The first page that you intend people to see at your web site.

Host Name

The name of a computer on the Internet, used to identify it in the URL naming scheme.

Hosting, Web Hosting

To provide the infrastructure for a computer service. For example, a company like Sterling hosts web servers. This means that we provide the hardware, software, and communications lines required by the server, but the content on the server may be controlled by the customer.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

The coding scheme used to format text for use on the World Wide Web.

HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol)

The transmission standard used to send HTML documents across the World Wide Web.


A special type of database system, invented by Ted Nelson in the 1960s, in which objects (text, pictures, music, programs, and so on) can be creatively linked to each other.

Image Map

An image map is a graphic image defined in terms of x and y coordinates so that a user can click on different areas of the image and be linked to different destinations. You make an image map by defining each of the sensitive areas in terms of their x and y coordinates (that is, a certain horizontal distance and a certain vertical distance from the left-hand corner of the image). With each set of coordinates, you specify a URL that users will be linked to when they click on that area.


The general term used to describe the worldwide network of computers and services encompassing some 20-40 million computer users and dozens of information systems including e-mail, Gopher, FTP, and the World Wide Web.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft's web browser. Like Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer enables you to view web pages. Both browsers support Java and JavaScript. Internet Explorer also supports ActiveX.


An intranet is a private network that is contained within a company or enterprise. The main purpose of an intranet is to share company information and computing resources among employees.

IP Address

Every computer connected to the Internet has to have an address. This is expressed in two ways: as an IP address in dotted decimal form, e.g.; or by a more memorable machine name, e.g. Each computer has a unique IP address, allowing computers to address the data that they send to the correct computer on the Internet.


An Integrated Serviced Digital Network allows you to send digital information at speeds of 128Kb over the normal telephone network. Just like a telephone call, you dial the number of the computer you are calling and establish a digital connection. It takes only a few milliseconds and the cost is the same as a normal telephone call.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

A company that provides access to the Internet. For a monthly fee, the service provider gives you a software package, username, password and access phone number. Equipped with a modem, you can then log on to the Internet and browse the World Wide Web and USENET, and send and receive e-mail. In addition to serving individuals, ISPs also serve large companies, providing a direct connection from the company's networks to the Internet. ISPs themselves are connected to one another through Network Access Points (NAPs).


Short for Independent Software Vendor, a company that produces software.


A programming language designed for program execution on the client side, i.e., in a browser. It is best for creating applets and applications for the Internet, intranets and any other complex distributed network.


A proprietary scripting language by Netscape that adds author-specified user events to static pages.


Joint Photographic Experts Group, ISO/CCITT standard for compressing still images (grayscale or color). Image files.


Short for kilobyte. When used to describe data storage, KB usually represents 1,024 bytes. When used to describe data transfer rates, KB represents 1,000 bytes.


In text editing and database management systems, a keyword is an index entry that identifies a specific record or document or a searchable term extracted from a data set during indexing.


Short for Local Area Network or a computer network that spans a relatively small area. Most LANs are confined to a single building or group of buildings. However, one LAN can be connected to other LANs over any distance via telephone lines and radio waves. A system of LANs connected in this way is called a wide-area network (WAN).


The text or graphic used in an HTML document to jump from one document to another. Typically underlined.


Developed by Linus Torvalds at the University of Helsinki (Finland), is a UNIX-like operating system. It provides computer users a free or very low-cost operating system comparable to traditional and usually more expensive UNIX systems.

Log File

A file that lists actions that occurred. For example, web servers maintain log files listing every request made to the server. With log file analysis tools like WebTrends, it's possible to get a good idea of where visitors are coming from, how often they return, and how they navigate through a site. Using cookies enables Webmasters to gather even more detailed information about how individual users are navigating through a site.

Majordomo List Server

A program, written in Perl language, that automates management of and distribution to e-mail lists.

Mb (Megabit)

In data communications, a megabit is one million bits (1,048,576 bits to be exact). Bit - the smallest unit of data in a computer. A bit has a single binary value, either 0 or 1.

MB (Megabyte)

In data communications, a megabyte is one million bytes (1,048,576 bytes to be exact). Byte - a group of eight binary digits processed as a unit by a computer and used especially to represent an alphanumeric character.

Merchant Account

An Internet merchant account allows a merchant to process credit cards online and to have the funds electronically transferred into his/her bank account.

Merchant Payment Center

A merchant payment center consolidates and automates the tasks of establishing a merchant bank account and accessing a payment gateway for online transaction processing.

Meta Tag

Meta tags can be used to specify to search engines how you want your document to be indexed. It contains valuable information for search robots to use in adding your pages to their search indexes. In the absence of any other information, some search engines will index all words in your document (except for comments), and will use the first few words (e.g. 250 characters) as a short abstract to serve back. But meta tags can be used to specify additional keywords and a short description, which can be used to index the web page and therefore control the indexing of the web site.

MHz (Megahertz)

A million cycles of electromagnetic currency alternation per second and is used as a unit of measure for the "clock speed" of computer microprocessors.

Microsoft FrontPage Extensions

FrontPage extensions are available on both Unix and NT in order for you to use the FrontPage web site creation software to build your web site. Support for FrontPage software is provided by Microsoft.


Short for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, a specification for formatting non-ASCII messages so that they can be sent over the Internet. Many e-mail programs now support MIME, which enables them to send and receive graphics, audio, and video files via the Internet mail system. In addition, MIME supports messages in character sets other than ASCII.


Stands for MOdulator/DEModulator - a device that translates the digital information from your computer into analogue signals that can be passed down an ordinary telephone line. This allows one computer to 'talk' to another computer using the telephone line as a medium.


One of the first graphical browsers. Developed by the NCSA, this browser fueled the growth of the Web. It is available in versions for Windows, Mac, and UNIX.


The original name for Netscape's browser, now called Navigator. Some people claim that the term is a contraction of Mosaic Godzilla (e.g., Mosaic killer), since Mosaic was the number one web browser at the time Netscape began developing its product. The term Mozilla is still used by many web developers and appears in server log files that identify the browsers being used.


Documents that combine text, graphics, sound, movies, or other media.


A true multi-user, multi-threaded SQL (Structured Query Language) database server. SQL is the most popular database language in the world. MySQL is a client/server implementation that consists of a server daemon mysqld and many different client programs/libraries.

Name-based Hosting

Name-based hosting or IP-less hosting is a method for hosting more than one unique site from a single IP address.


A popular commercial graphical browser. It is available in versions for Windows, Mac, and UNIX.

NICs/Dual NICs

A computer circuit board or card that is installed in a computer to allow a connection to a network.


Short for Networks Operations Center. Normally provides 24x7 monitoring of the Network including: real-time network status, performance reporting, real-time alarming, event correlation and forecasting.


In networks, a processing location. A node can be a computer or some other device, such as a printer. Every node has a unique network address, sometimes called a Data Link Control (DLC) address or Media Access Control (MAC) address.

NT (Windows NT)

An advanced version of the Windows operating system. Windows NT is a 32-bit operating system that supports preemptive multitasking. There are actually two versions of Windows NT: Windows NT Server, designed to act as a server in networks and Windows NT Workstation for stand-alone or client workstations.


An optical fiber that transmits data between two network devices. An OC-3 line runs at three times (3 x 51.84 Mbps) the base rate.


Stands for original equipment manufacturer. OEMs buy computers or components in bulk and build or customize them for a particular application. They then sell the customized computer under their own name.

Online Stores

A database of your products and services that customers browse on the Web, select the items they want, and purchase.

Open-Source Software

Software that is developed, tested, and improved through public collaboration. It is distributed with the intent that the source code will be shared among others, ensuring an open future collaboration.


A piece of a message transmitted over a packet-switching network. One of the key features of a packet is that it contains the destination address in addition to the data. In IP networks, packets are often called datagrams.

Parked Domains

A parked domain is a reserved domain name that does not load any web site. It sits in wait on a name server to be used by its owner at a later date.

Payment Gateway

As it applies to e-commerce, a payment gateway is software that is hosted on a server that links an online store to a process that verifies that a customer, who is placing a credit card order, has the credit available and that the order should be accepted. Later, when the merchant is ready to submit the charges for processing, the payment gateway accepts them and submits the charges to a payment processor who facilitates the transfer of funds to the merchant.


Popular Extraction and Report Language, the most widely used language for programming CGI applications.


Short for Picture Element, a pixel is a single point in a graphic image. Graphics monitors display pictures by dividing the display screen into thousands (or millions) of pixels, arranged in rows and columns.

POP3 Account

Storage space for e-mails delivered via the most recent version of the Post Office Protocol (POP). You can use a standard e-mail client, such as Eudora, Netscape Mail or Internet Explorer Mail to download the e-mail to your computer.


An interface on a computer where you can install/connect a device. Personal computers have various types of ports. Internally, there are several ports for connecting disk drives, display screens, and keyboards. Externally, personal computers have ports for connecting modems, printers, mice, and other peripheral devices.


A request for information from a database. There are three general methods for posing queries: (1) Choosing parameters from a menu: In this method, the database system presents a list of parameters from which you can choose. (2) Query by example (QBE): In this method, the system presents a blank record and lets you specify the fields and values that define the query. (3) Query language: Many database systems require you to make requests for information in the form of a stylized query that must be written in a special query language.

Rack Space

Physical storage unit for computers or network devices.


An acronym for Random Access Memory, a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly; that is, any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers.


Occurring immediately. The term is used to describe a number of different computer features. For example, real-time operating systems are systems that respond to input immediately.

Real-Time Credit Card Transaction Processing

Includes the establishment of Internet merchant accounts, and provides the ability to immediately accept and process credit cards online including authorization and daily online settlements.

Remote Administration

Administering a computer or network from a remote location.


Pronounced rahm, acronym for Read-Only Memory, computer memory on which data has been prerecorded. Once data has been written onto a ROM chip, it cannot be removed and can only be read.

Root Directory

The top directory in a file system. The root directory is provided by the operating system and has a special name; for example, in DOS systems the root directory is called \. The root directory is sometimes referred to simply as the root.


A device that connects two Local Area Networks. Routers are similar to bridges, but provide additional functionality, such as the ability to filter messages and forwardthem to different places based on various criteria. The Internet uses routers extensively to forward packets from one host to another.


The Small Computer System Interface is a set of evolving standard electronic interfaces that allow personal computers to communicate with peripheral hardware such as disk drives, tape drives, CD-ROM drives, printers, and scanners. SCSI (pronounced "scuzzy") is faster and more flexible than previous interfaces.

Search Engine

A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found. Although search engine is really a general class of programs, the term is often used to specifically describe systems like Alta Vista and Excite that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide Web and USENET newsgroups.

Secure Cabinet

A locked cabinet located in a monitored data center where customers can connect their servers to the Internet.


The most popular UNIX-based implementation of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) for transmitting e-mail.


A computer or device on a network that manages network resources. For example, a file server is a computer and storage device dedicated to storing files. Any user on the network can store files on the server. A print server is a computer that manages one or more printers, and a network server is a computer that manages network traffic. A database server is a computer system that processes database queries.

Server Side Include (SSI)

A server-side include (SSI) can either be a variable value that you want to appear on a web page (like the date and time that the page was loaded on the visitor’s browser – in which case it must pull this information from the server) or it can be static information that you want included on several pages.

For instance, you might have 50 pages on your site and want to use the same navigational bar on each one of these pages. Without including the same information on all the pages or using frames, you can make one file that contains the navigation bar and call to the SSI file on the 50 pages. This way if the navigation or URLs in the navigation change, then you only have to update the one file and not the same information on all 50 pages.

Server-Side Scripting and Programming Languages

A variety of scripting and programming languages is available to you in order to give greater function to your web site. Some of the primary examples are: Unix, Perl, shell script, Server-Side Includes (SSI), PHP, Miva (formerly HTMLScript), NT, ColdFusion, and Active Server Pages (ASP).

Shared Server

Shared web servers are a very popular way of providing low-cost web hosting services. Instead of requiring a separate computer for each site, dozens of sites can co-reside on the same computer. In most cases, performance is not affected and each web site behaves as if it is being served by a dedicated server.


Software that is distributed at no cost to the user (the author maintains the copyright).

Shell Access

Access to an interactive user interface where the user can connect with a Unix operating system. The shell is the layer of programming that understands and executes the commands a user enters.

Shopping Cart

Shopping cart software acts as an online store's catalog and ordering process. Typically, it allows a consumer to browse the web site, select items for purchase as they browse, review what they have selected; make necessary modifications or additions, and purchase the merchandise.


Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a protocol for sending e-mail messages between servers. Most e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet use SMTP to send messages from one server to another; the messages can then be retrieved with an e-mail client using either POP or IMAP.


In UNIX and some other operating systems, a software object that connects an application to a network protocol. In UNIX, for example, a program can send and receive TCP/IP messages by opening a socket and reading and writing data to and from the socket. This simplifies program development because the programmer need only worry about manipulating the socket and can rely on the operating system to actually transport messages across the network correctly.

Spider or Robots

It is a program that most of the major search engines on the web use. Spiders visit web sites and read their pages and other information in order to create entries for a search engine index. Spiders are typically programmed to visit sites that have been submitted by their owners as new or updated. Entire sites or specific pages can be selectively visited and indexed. Spiders usually visit many sites in parallel at the same time, their "legs" spanning a large area of the "web." Spiders can crawl through a site's pages in several ways. One way is to follow all the hypertext links in each page until all the pages have been read.

SSL Support

Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, support allows the transfer of data in a secure environment.


A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of 1.544Mbits per second. A T-1 line actually consists of 24 individual channels, each of which supports 64Kbits per second. Each 64Kbit/second channel can be configured to carry voice or data traffic.


A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of about 43 Mbps. A T-3 line actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64 Kbps.


The basic unit of HTML coding, consisting of a word inside less-than (<) and greater-than (>) brackets.


Acronym for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, the suite of communications protocols used to connect hosts on the Internet. TCP/IP uses several protocols, the two main ones being TCP and IP. TCP/IP is built into the UNIX operating system and is used by the Internet, making it the de facto standard for transmitting data over networks. Even network operating systems that have their own protocols, such as Netware, also support TCP/IP.


A method of logging onto remote computer systems using a terminal program or other applications using the Telnet protocol. You can use the Telnet application to run commands and programs on a remote computer.


A host operating system developed by AT&T that allows multiple clients to access the resources of one host simultaneously. Many of the news, mail, World Wide Web and name servers on the Internet use this operating system.


The transmission of a file from one computer system to another, usually larger computer system. In terms of web hosting, it would happen when a file is transmitted to the host's web servers.


A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a path to a location on the Internet. For instance, will take you to Sterling's Web Site.


A worldwide bulletin board system that can be accessed through the Internet or through many online services. The USENET contains more than 14,000 forums, called newsgroups that cover every imaginable interest group. It is used daily by millions of people around the world.


Short for Unix-to-Unix Copy, a Unix utility and protocol that enables one computer to send files to another computer over a direct serial connection or via modems and the telephone system. For most file transfer applications, UUCP has been superseded by other protocols, such as FTP, SMTP and NNTP.


People who come to a particular web site.


Short for virtual private network, a network that is constructed by using public wires to connect nodes. For example, there are a number of systems that enable you to create networks using the Internet as the medium for transporting data. These systems use encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that the data cannot be intercepted.


Pronounced ver-mal, and short for Virtual Reality Modeling Language, VRML is a specification for displaying 3-dimensional objects on the World Wide Web. You can think of it as the 3-D equivalent of HTML. Files written in VRML have a .wrl extension (short for world). To view these files, you need a VRML browser or a VRML plug-in to a web browser.


A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Typically, a WAN consists of two or more local-area networks (LANs). Computers connected to a wide-area network are often connected through public networks, such as the telephone system. They can also be connected through leased lines or satellites. The largest WAN in existence is the Internet.

Web Business

An entity conducting commerce on the Internet.

Web Consultant

A person or company that can help you create or improve an online business.

Web-to-Database Support

A variety of methods is available in order to create dynamic sites that interact with databases. PHP-mSQL or PHP-mySQL and HTMLScript to dBase-compatible are available on Unix, while coldfusion-ODBC compatible (Access, FoxPro, dBase) are available for NT.


An individual who manages a web site. Depending on the size of the site, the Webmaster might be responsible for any of the following: Making sure that the web server hardware and software is running properly, designing the web site, creating and updating web pages, replying to user feedback, creating CGI scripts, monitoring traffic through the site.

Web Presence

A web site.

Web Server

A computer that delivers (serves up) web pages. Every web server has an IP address and possibly a domain name. For example, if you enter the URL in your browser, this sends a request to the server whose domain name is The server then fetches the page named home.asp and sends it to your browser.

Web Site Creation

A phase in creating a web presence, where the site navigation, images and content are determined and a developer writes the code.


An Internet utility that returns information about a domain name or IP address. For example, if you enter a domain name such as, whois will return the name and address of the domain's owner.


A special symbol that stands for one or more characters. Many operating systems and applications support wildcards for identifying files and directories. This enables you to select multiple files with a single specification. For example, in DOS and Windows, the asterisk (*) is a wild card that stands for any combination of letters.


The World Wide Web in simplest terms is an internationally networked organized collection of information. What does this mean? Basically this means using the right software, you can read, see and even hear specific information that someone else has made public via your computer.


Short for eXtensible Markup Language, a new specification being developed by the W3C. XML is a pared-down version of SGML, designed especially for web documents. It enables designers to create their own customized tags to provide functionality not available with HTML. For example, XML supports links that point to multiple documents, as opposed to HTML links, which can reference just one destination each.


George McDaniel (ed.) IBM Dictionary of Computing, Tenth Edition, McGraw-Hill, (1993).

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary online,

Cardservice International's web site

Mercantec's web site's web site