Computer Network Terminology
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Computer Network Terminology

  • Fiber Optic – A cable technology that uses glass (or plastic) threads (fibers) to transmit data. It is a very fast technology
  • Gateway – A device on a network that serves as an entrance to another network and routes traffic
  • Hardware (MAC) address – A unique address associated with a particular network device
  • Hub – A common connection point for computers and devices in a network that takes an incoming signal and repeats it on all other ports
  • Internet – Term used to refer to the world’s largest internetwork, connecting thousands of networks worldwide. Also known as the world wide web (www)
  • IP address – a 32-bit address assigned to hosts using the TCP/IP protocol. Each computer/device on the public internet has a unique IP address. An example of an IP address is 192.168.1.
  • LAN (Local Area Network) – computer/data network which is confined in a limited geographical area.
  • MAC Address (Media Access Control) – A unique identifier attached to most forms of networking equipment. It is burned into the device and cannot be changed
  • Megabit – A measure of data transmission speed – 1 million bits per second or approximately 125, 000 characters per second
  • Megabyte – A unit of measure for memory or hard disk storage capacity. 1024 megabytes = 1 gigabyte.
  • Network – A group of computers and devices that can communicate with each other and share resources.
  • Network Interface Card (NIC) – A hardware device inside a computer or other network device that enables communication with a network.
  • Packet – The unit of data sent across a network. Data is broken up into packets for sending over a packet switching network.
  • PING (Packet Internet Groper) – A command used to test connectivity to a device over a TCP/IP network.
  • Protocol – Rules determining the format and transmission of data over a network
  • RJ-45 – Standard connectors used for unshielded twisted-pair cable. Most commonly used with Cat5 network cabling.
  • Route – A path through an internetwork.
  • Router – A device that routes/forwards data across a networks.
  • Server – A computer that handles requests for data, email, files, and other network services from other computers (clients)
  • Subnet – A portion of a network that shares a common address component but is on a different segment than the rest of the network.
  • TI Line – A high speed dedicated data line that supports a transmission rate of 1.544 Mbps
  • TCP/IP – Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. A suite of protocols used as the basis of the nation’s internetwork (Internet). It can also be used on internal networks.
  • UNC (Universal Naming Convention) Path – A UNC provides a naming convention for identifying network resources. UNC names consist of three parts, a server name, a share name, and an optional file path.
  • WAN (wide area network) – A network linking together networks located in other geographic areas.