Networking Terms

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802.11a

An IEEE wireless networking standard that specifies a maximum data transfer
rate of 54Mbps and an operating frequency of 5GHz.

802.11b

An IEEE wireless networking standard that specifies a maximum data transfer
rate of 11Mbps and an operating frequency of 2.4GHz.

802.11g

An IEEE wireless networking standard that specifies a maximum data transfer
rate of 54Mbps, an operating frequency of 2.4GHz, and backward compatibility
with 802.11b devices.


A

Access Point

A device that allows wireless-equipped computers and other devices to communicate
with a wired network. Also used to expand the range of a wireless network.

Adapter

A device that adds network functionality to your PC.

Ad-hoc

A group of wireless devices communicating directly with each other (peer-to-peer)
without the use of an access point.

AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)

A method that uses up to 256-bit key encryption to secure data.

Amplifier

A device used to boost the strength of an electronic or optical signal, which
is weakened (attenuated) as it passes through the transport network. Amplifiers
add gain to the signal by an amount equal to the loss in the previous section
of the network since last amplification.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)

A new technology that allows more data to be sent over existing copper telephone
lines. ADSL supports data rates of from 1.5 to 9 Mbps when receiving data (known
as the downstream rate) and from 16 to 640 Kbps when sending data (known as
the upstream rate).

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

A method of sending audio, visual and computer data at the same time over one
high-speed digital line.

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B

Backbone

The part of a network that connects most of the systems and networks together,
and handles the most data.

Bandwidth

The transmission capacity of a given device or network.

Beacon Interval

Data transmitted on your wireless network that keeps the network synchronized.

Bit (Binary Digit)

The smallest unit of information on a machine.

Boot

To start a device and cause it to start executing instructions.

Bridge

A device that connects two different kinds of local networks, such as a wireless
network to a wired Ethernet network.

Broadband

A transmission channel usually carrying a tremendous amount of information.
A communications channel with a bandwidth sufficiently large to carry voice,
data and video on a signal channel. Any voice communications channel having
a bandwidth greater than a voice-grade channel.

Broadcast storm

An incorrect packet broadcast onto a network that causes multiple hosts to
respond all at once, typically with equally incorrect packets which causes the
storm to grow exponentially in severity.

Browser

An application program that provides a way to look at and interact with all
the information on the World Wide Web.

Buffer

A shared or assigned memory area that is used to support and coordinate different
computing and networking activities so one isn't held up by the other.

Burst Mode

A way of doing data transmission, usually faster than normal transmission mode,
in which a continuous block is transferred between main memory and an input/output
device without interruption until the transfer has been completed. Characteristically,
burst mode is sustainable for only limited periods of time under special conditions.

Byte

A unit of data that is usually eight bits long.

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C

Cable Modem

A device that connects a computer to the cable television network, which in
turn connects to the Internet.

Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP)

An authentication method that can be used when connecting to an Internet Service
Provider. CHAP allows you to log in to your provider automatically, without
the need for a terminal screen.

Checksum

A computed value which is dependent upon the contents of a packet. This value
is sent along with the packet when it is transmitted. The receiving system computes
a new checksum based upon the received data and compares this value with the
one sent with th packet. If the two values are the same, the receiver has a
high degree of confidence that the data was received correctly.

Circuit switching

A communications paradigm in which a dedicated communication path is established
between two hosts, and on which all packets travel. The telephone system is
an example of a circuit switched network.

Client

A computer system or process that requests a service of another computer system
or process. A workstation requesting the contents of a file from a file server
is a client of the file server.

Client-server model

A common way to describe the paradigm of many network protocols. Examples include
the name-server/name-resolver relationship in DNS and the file-server/file-client
relationship in NFS.

Compression

Algorithm that minimizes the redundancy in the signal to be transmitted.

Core Layer

The Cisco hierarchical network design model defines the core layer as the high-speed
switching backbone that should be designed to switch packets as fast as possible.
These devices typically accept uplinks from “distribution layer” switches,
connections to “border devices”. QUT’s core network layer consists
of high speed switches / routers.

Congestion

Congestion occurs when the offered load exceeds the capacity of a data communication
path.

Connection Oriented

The data communication method in which communication proceeds through three
well-defined phases: connection establishment, data transfer, connection release.
TCP is a connection-oriented protocol.

Connectionless

The data communication method in which communication occurs between hosts with
no previous setup. Packets between two hosts may take different routes, as each
is independent of the other. UDP is a connectionless protocol.

Cryptography

The process of concealing the contents of a message from all except those who
know the key. Cryptography is used to protect e-mail messages, credit card information,
and corporate data. As the Internet and other forms of electronic communication
become more prevalent, electronic security is also becoming increasingly important.

CSMA/CA(Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance)

A method of data transfer that is used to prevent data collisions.

CTS (Clear To Send)

A signal sent by a device to indicate that it is ready to receive data.

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D

Daisy Chain

A method used to connect devices in a series, one after the other.

Database

A collection of data that is organized so that its contents can easily be accessed,
managed, and updated

Datagram

A self-contained, independent entity of data carrying sufficient information
to be routed from the source to the destination computer without reliance on
earlier exchanges between this source and destination computer and the transporting
network.

DCE

Data Circuit-terminating Equipment.

DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name System)

Allows the hosting of a website, FTP server, or e-mail server with a fixed
domain name (e.g., www.xyz.com) and a dynamic IP address.

Default Gateway

A device that forwards Internet traffic from your local area network.

DECnet

A proprietary network protocol designed by Digital Equipment Corporation. The
functionality of each Phase of the implementation, such as Phase IV and Phase
V, is different.

Default route

A routing table entry which is used to direct packets addressed to networks
not explicitly listed in the routing table.

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)

A protocol that lets one device on a local network, known as a DHCP server,
assign temporary IP addresses to the other network devices, typically computers.

Distribution Layer

The Cisco hierarchical network design model defines the distribution layer
of the network as the demarcation point between the access and core layers of
the network. This layer includes LAN-based routers and layer 3 switches. Any
switch that aggregate “access layer devices” back to the “core
layer” is known as a “distribution device”. At QUT a mixture
of layer2 and layer3 switches are used in the distribution layer to support
access layer switches and servers / hosts requiring gigabit Ethernet connections.

DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)

Removes the router's firewall protection from one PC, allowing it to be "seen"
from the Internet.

DNS (Domain Name Server)

The IP address of your ISP's server, which translates the names of websites
into IP addresses.

The DNS is a general purpose distributed, replicated, data query service. The
principal use is the lookup of host IP addresses based on host names. The style
of host names now used in the Internet is called "domain name", because
they are the style of names used to look up anything in the DNS. Some important
domains are: .COM (commercial), .EDU (educational), .NET (network operations),
.GOV (U.S. government), and .MIL (U.S. military). Most countries also have a
domain. For example, .US (United States), .UK (United Kingdom), .AU (Australia).
It is defined in STD 13, RFCs 1034 and 1035.

Domain

A specific name for a network of computers.

Download

To receive a file transmitted over a network.

DSI

A digital transmission hierarchy supporting 1.544 million bits per second that
may be used for "near-full motion" or compressed video, data or voice
circuits (24, 48, or 96).

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)

An always-on broadband connection over traditional phone lines.

DSSS (Direct-Sequence Spread-Spectrum)

Frequency transmission with a redundant bit pattern resulting in a lower probability
of information being lost in transit.

DTIM (Delivery Traffic Indication Message)

A message included in data packets that can increase wireless efficiency.

Dynamic IP Address

A temporary IP address assigned by a DHCP server.

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E

E-1

Similar to the North American T-1, E-1 is the European format for digital transmission.
E-1 carries signals at 2.048 Mbps (32 channels at 64 Kbps), versus the T-1,
which carries signals at 1.544 Mbps (24 channels at 64 Kbps). E-1 and T-1 lines
may be interconnected for international use.

E3

A term for a digital carrier facility used to transmit a CEPT3 formatted digital
signal at 34.368 megabits per second. Encapsulation

EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol)

A general authentication protocol used to control network access. Many specific
authentication methods work within this framework.

EAP-PEAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol-Protected Extensible Authentication
Protocol)

A mutual authentication method that uses a combination of digital certificates
and another system, such as passwords.

EAP-TLS (Extensible Authentication Protocol-Transport Layer Security)

A mutual authentication method that uses digital certificates.

Encapsulation

The technique used by layered protocols in which a layer adds header information
to the protocol data unit (PDU) from the layer above. As an example, in Internet
terminology, a packet would contain a header from the physical layer, followed
by a header from the network layer (IP), followed by a header from the transport
layer (TCP), followed by the application protocol data.

Encryption

Encryption is the manipulation of data to prevent accurate interpretation by
all but those for whom the data is intended. There are many types of data encryption,
and they are the basis of network security.

Ethernet

An IEEE standard network protocol that specifies how data is placed on and
retrieved from a common transmission medium.

Ethernet Switch

High performanace segmentation ethernet frame soluation, increases performance.

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F

Fault Tolerance

The ability of a system to respond gracefully to an unexpected hardware or
software failure. There are many levels of fault tolerance, the lowest being
the ability to continue operation in the event of a power failure.

Fibre Distributed Data Interface (FDDI)

FDDI is a fibre optic backbone to connect LANs

Fiber Optics

Technology based on thin filaments of glass or other transparent materials
used as the medium for transmitting coded light pulses that represent data,
image and sound. Fiber-optic technology offers extremely fast transmission speeds.

Finger

A program that tells you the name associated with an e-mail address.

Firewall

A firewall is any of security schemes that prevent unauthorized users from
gaining access to a computer network or that monitor transfers of information
to and from the network.

Firmware

The programming code that runs a networking device.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

A standard protocol for sending files between computers over a TCP/IP network
and the Internet. FTP is usually the name of the program the user invokes to
execute the protocol.

Fragment

A piece of a packet. When a router is forwarding an IP packet to a network
that has a maximum packet size smaller than the packet size, it is forced to
break up that packet into multiple fragments. These fragments will be reassembled
by the IP layer at the destination host.

Fragmentation

The IP process in which a packet is broken into smaller pieces to fit the requirements
of a physical network over which the packet must pass.

Frame

A frame is a datalink layer "packet" which contains the header and
trailer information required by the physical medium. That is, network layer
packets are encapsulated to become frames.

Full Duplex

The ability of a networking device to receive and transmit data simultaneously.
Full duplex is sometimes called "Echo On" by some communications programs.

Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN)

The FQDN is the full name of a system, rather than just its hostname. For example,
"pigsfly" is a hostname and "pigsfly.home.edu.ca" is an
FQDN.

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G

Gateway

A device that interconnects networks with different, incompatible communications
protocols. The term "router" is now used in place of the original
definition of "gateway". Currently, a gateway is a communications
device/program which passes data between networks having similar functions but
dissimilar implementations. This should not be confused with a protocol converter.
By this definition, a router is a layer 3 (network layer) gateway, and a mail
gateway is a layer 7 (application layer) gateway.

Gbps (Gigabits per second)

A data rate of 1 Gbps corresponds to 1,000 million bits per second.

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H

Half Duplex

Data transmission that can occur in two directions over a single line, but
only one direction at a time.

Hardware

The physical aspect of computers, telecommunications, and other information
technology devices.

Hacker

A slang term for a computer enthusiast. Also refers to individuals who gain
unauthorized access to computer systems for the purpose of stealing and corrupting
data.

Header

The portion of a packet, preceding the actual data, containing source and destination
addresses, and error checking and other fields. A header is also the part of
an electronic mail message that precedes the body of a message and contains,
among other things, the message originator, date and time.

Heterogeneous network

A network running multiple network layer protocols.

High Performance Parallel Interface (HIPPI)

HIPPI is used to network supercomputers, high-end workstations and peripherals
using cross-bar type circuit switches. It provides for transfer rates of 800
Mbps over 32 twisted pair copper wires (single HIPPI) and 1,600 Mbps over 64
pairs (double HIPPI).

Host

A computer that allows users to communicate with other host computers on a
network. Individual users communicate by using application programs, such as
electronic mail, Telnet and FTP.

Hub

A device connected to several other devices. In ARCnet, a hub is used to connect
several computers together. In a message handling service, a hub is used for
the transfer of messages across the network.

HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol)

The communications protocol used to connect to servers on the World Wide Web.

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I

IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

An independent institute that develops networking standards.

Infrastructure

Currently installed computing and networking equipment.

Infrastructure Mode

Configuration in which a wireless network is bridged to a wired network via
an access point.

Internet

A fabric of interconnected computer networks, originally known as the DARPA
network (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) connecting government and
academic sites. It currently links millions of people worldwide who use it for
everything from scientific research to simple e-mail.

Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)

ICMP is an extension to the Internet Protocol. It allows for the generation
of error messages, test packets and informational messages related to IP.IP
(Internet Protocol)
A protocol used to send data over a network.

Internetwork Packet eXchange (IPX)

Novell's protocol used by Netware. A router with IPX routing can interconnect
LANs so that Novell Netware clients and servers can communicate.

IP Address

An Internet address that is a unique number consisting of four parts separated
by dots, sometimes called a "dotted quad." For example, 198.204.112.1.
Every Internet computer has an IP address and most computers also are assigned
one or more domain names that are easier to remember than the dotted quad.

IPCONFIG

A Windows 2000 and XP utility that displays the IP address for a particular
networking device.

IPSec (Internet Protocol Security)

A VPN protocol used to implement secure exchange of packets at the IP layer.

ISM band

Radio bandwidth utilized in wireless transmissions.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

A company that provides access to the Internet.

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J

 

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K

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L

LAN (Local Area Network)

The computers and networking products that make up the network in your home
or office.

Layer

Communication networks for computers may be organized as a set of more or less
independent protocols, each in a different layer (also called level). The lowest
layer governs direct host-to-host communication between the hardware at different
hosts; the highest consists of user applications. Each layer builds on the layer
beneath it. For each layer, programs at different hosts use protocols appropriate
to the layer to communicate with each other.

TCP/IP has five layers of protocols; OSI has seven. The advantages of different
layers of protocols is that the methods of passing information from one layer
to another are specified clearly as part of the protocol suite, and changes
within a protocol layer are prevented from affecting the other layers. This
greatly simplifies the task of designing and maintaining communication programs.

Latency

The amount of time it takes a packet to travel from source to destination.
Together, latency and bandwidth define the speed and capacity of a network.

LEAP (Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol)

A mutual authentication method that uses a username and password system.

Local Loop

The physical facility, leased from a local exchange carrier (LEC), which provides
connectivity between the customer's location and the carrier's point of presence.

Low Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS)

A low noise, low power, low amplitude method for high-speed (gigabits per second)
data transmission over copper wire.

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M

MAC (Media Access Control) Address

A MAC address is the hardware address of a device connected to a shared network
medium.

Mbps (Megabits Per Second)

One million bits per second; a unit of measurement for data transmission.

Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP)

A proposed control and signal standard for the conversion of audio signals
carried on telephone circuits to data packets carried over the Internet or other
packet networks. Unlike regular phones, IP phones and devices are not fixed
to a specific switch, so they must contain processors that enable them to function
independently from a central switching location. MGCP eliminates the need for
complex, processor-intense IP telephony devices, thus simplifying and lowering
the cost of these terminals.

Medium

The material used to support the transmission of data. This can be copper wire,
coaxial cable, optical fibre, or electromagnetic wave (as in microwave).mIRCAn
Internet Relay Chat program that runs under Windows.

Multicasting

Sending data to a group of destinations at once. The ability of one network
node to send identical data to a number of end servers on the multicast backbone.
For large amounts of data, IP multicasting is more efficient than normal Internet
transmissions because the server can broadcast a message to multiple recipients
simultaneously.

Multilink Point-to-Point Protocol (MP)

MP allows multiple physical connections between two points to be combined into
a single logical connection called a bundle. MP supports dynamic bandwidth allocation,
which means that physical links can be added or removed from the bundle as needed.

Multimedia

The electronic conversation between two or more people or groups of people
in different places using two or more types of digitally integrated communication
for voice, sound, text, data, graphics, video, image or presence at the same
time. Applications include conferencing, presentations, training, referencing,
games, etc.

Multiplexing

An electronic or optical process that combines two or more lower bandwidth
transmissions onto one higher bandwidth signal by splitting the total available
bandwidth into narrower bands (frequency division) or by allotting a common
channel to several transmitting sources one at a time in sequence (time division).

Multipoint

Pertaining or referring to a communications line to which three or more stations
are connected. It implies that the line physically extends from one station
to another until all are connected.

MultiProtocol Label Switching (MPLS)

MPLS is a widely supported method of speeding up data communication over combined
IP/ATM networks. This improves the speed of packet processing and enhances performance
of the network.

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N

NAT (Network Address Translation)

NAT technology translates IP addresses of the local area network to a different
IP address for the Internet.

NAT (Network Address Translation) Traversal

A method of enabling specialized applications, such as Internet phone calls,
video, and audio, to travel between your local network and the Internet. STUN
is a specific type of NAT traversal.

Network

A series of computers or devices connected for the purpose of data sharing,
storage, and/or transmission between users.

Network Layer

The OSI layer that is responsible for routing, switching, and subnetwork access
across the entire OSI environment.

NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol)

The protocol used to connect to Usenet groups on the Internet.

Network Time Protocol (NTP)

A protocol that assures accurate local timekeeping with reference to radio
and atomic clocks located on the Internet. This protocol is capable of synchronizing
distributed clocks within milliseconds over long time periods. It is defined
in STD 12, RFC 1119.

Node

A network junction or connection point, typically a computer or work station.

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O

Octet

An octet is 8 bits. This term is used in networking, rather than byte, because
some systems have bytes that are not 8 bits long.

OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing)

Frequency transmission that separates the data stream into a number of lower-speed
data streams, which are then transmitted in parallel to prevent information
from being lost in transit.

Optical Fiber

Thin filaments of glass through which light beams are transmitted. Enormous
capacity, low-cost, low-power consumption, small space, lightweight, insensitivity
to electromagnetic interference characterize this transport media.

OSI

Open Systems Interconnection.

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P

Packet

A unit of data transmitted over a network.

Packet Switching

A process where messages are broken into finite-sized packets that are always
accepted by the network. The message packets are sent across different circuit
paths. The packets are reassembled into the original message at the end of the
circuit.

Passphrase

Used much like a password, a passphrase simplifies the WEP encryption process
by automatically generating the WEP encryption keys for Linksys products.

PEAP (Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol)

A protocol for transmitting authentication data, including passwords, over
802.11 wireless networks.

Pipelining

In networking, pipelining is a technique used at the transport layer or data
link layer in a layered network architecture that allows for the transmission
of multiple frames without waiting to see if they are acknowledged on an individuals
basis.

Ping (Packet INternet Groper)

An Internet utility used to determine whether a particular IP address is online.

PoE (Power over Ethernet)

A technology enabling an Ethernet network cable to deliver both data and power.

POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3)

A standard protocol used to retrieve e-mail stored on a mail server.

Port

The connection point on a computer or networking device used for plugging in
a cable or an adapter.

PPPoE (Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet)

A type of broadband connection that provides authentication (username and password)
in addition to data transport.

PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)

A VPN protocol that allows the Point to Point Protocol (PPP) to be tunneled
through an IP network. This protocol is also used as a type of broadband connection
in Europe.

Preamble

Part of the wireless signal that synchronizes network traffic.

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Q

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R

RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service)

A protocol that uses an authentication server to control network access.

Repeater

1. Equipment that receives a low-power signal, possibly converting it from
light to electrical form, amplifying it or retiming and reconstructing it for
transmission. It may need to be reconverted to light for retransmission.

2. An optoelectrical device used at each end and occasionally intermediate
points of exceptionally long fiber optic span. Optical input is converted to
electrical form to restore a clean signal, which drives lasers that fully restores
the optical signal at the original signal strength.

Requests for Comments (RFCs)

Internet standards that have developed within the Internet community since
1969. They have grown to become a large series of numbered Internet informational
documents and standards widely followed by commercial software and freeware
in the Internet and Unix communities. Few RFCs are standards but all Internet
standards are recorded in RFCs. Perhaps the single most influential RFC has
been RFC 822, the Internet electronic-mail format standard. RFCs are unusual
in that they are floated by technical experts acting on their own initiative
and reviewed by the Internet at large, rather than formally promulgated through
an institution such as ANSI (American National Standards Institute). For this
reason, they remain known as RFCs even after they have been adopted as standards.

RJ-45 (Registered Jack-45)

An Ethernet connector that holds up to eight wires.

Roaming

The ability to take a wireless device from one access point's range to another
without losing the connection.

Router

A networking device that connects multiple networks together, such as a local
network and the Internet.

RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol)

A protocol that enables specialized applications, such as Internet phone calls,
video, and audio, to occur in real time.

RTS (Request To Send)

A networking method of coordinating large packets through the RTS Threshold
setting.

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S

Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP)

An Internet protocol which is used to run IP over serial lines such as telephone
circuits. It allows a packet to traverse multiple networks on the way to its
final destination.

Server

Any computer whose function in a network is to provide user access to files,
printing, communications, and other services.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

The standard e-mail protocol on the Internet.

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)

A widely used network monitoring and control protocol.

Software

Instructions for the computer. A series of instructions that performs a particular
task is called a "program".

SOHO (Small Office/Home Office)

Market segment of professionals who work at home or in small offices.

SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) Firewall

A technology that inspects incoming packets of information before allowing
them to enter the network.

Spread Spectrum

Wideband radio frequency technique used for more reliable and secure data transmission.

SSID (Service Set IDentifier)

Your wireless network's name.

Static IP Address

A fixed address assigned to a computer or device that is connected to a network.

Static Routing

Forwarding data in a network via a fixed path.

STM-1

The largest standard circuit unit of capacity, which consists of 155,500 Kbps
(equal to 155 Mbps). Thus, each Gbps contains enough capacity for 6.4 STM-1
circuits. While capacity is sold to the largest telecommunications companies
in minimum investment units equal to one STM-1 unit, most telecommunications
companies buy smaller units at a price higher than the equivalent STM-1 price.

Subnet Mask

An address code that determines the size of the network.

Synchronous Transfer Mode (STM)

New term for traditional TDM switching to distinguish it from ATM.

Switch

1. A device that is the central point of connection for computers and other
devices in a network, so data can be shared at full transmission speeds.

2. A device for making, breaking, or changing the connections in an electrical
circuit.


T

T1

An AT&T term for a digital carrier facility used to transmit a DS-1 formatted
digital signal at 1.544 megabits per second.

T3

A term for a digital carrier facility used to transmit a DS-3 formatted digital
signal at 44.746 megabits per second.

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol)

A network protocol for transmitting data that requires acknowledgement from
the recipient of data sent.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)

A network protocol for transmitting data that requires acknowledgement from
the recipient of data sent.

Telnet

A user command and TCP/IP protocol used for accessing remote PCs.

Terminal server

A device which connects many terminals to a LAN through one network connection.
A terminal server can also connect many network users to its asynchronous ports
for dial-out capabilities and printer access.

Throughput

The amount of data moved successfully from one node to another in a given time
period.

Time Division Multiplex (TDM)

A technique for transmitting a number of separate data, voice and/or video
signals simultaneously over one communications medium by quickly interleaving
a piece of each signal one after another.

TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol)

A version of the TCP/IP FTP protocol that uses UDP and has no directory or
password capability.

TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol)

A wireless encryption protocol that periodically changes the encryption key,
making it harder to decode.

TLS (Transport Layer Security)

Is a protocol that guarantees privacy and data integrity between client/server
applications communicating over the Internet.

Token Ring

A token ring network consists of a set of nodes serially connected by a transmission
medium. Information is transferred sequentially, bit by bit, from one active
node to the next.

Topology

The physical layout of a network.

TX RateTransmission Rate.

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U

UDP (User Datagram Protocol)

A network protocol for transmitting data that does not require acknowledgement
from the recipient of the data that is sent.

Upgrade

To replace existing software or firmware with a newer version.

Upload

To transmit a file over a network.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

The address of a file located on the Internet.

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V

Voice over IP (VoIP)

VoIP is voice communications transmitted over the Internet.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A security measure to protect data as it leaves one network and goes to another
over the Internet.

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W

WAN (Wide Area Network)

A group of networked computers in a large geographical area. The best example
of a WAN is the Internet.

Wavelength

The distance between two crests of a signal or a carrier and is measured in
terms of meters, millimeters, nanometers, etc. In lightwave applications, because
of the extremely high frequencies, wavelength is measured in nanometers.

Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM)

A way of increasing the information-carrying capacity of an optical fiber by
simultaneously operating at more than one wavelength. With WDM you can multiplex
signals by transmitting them at different wavelengths through the same fiber.

WEP (Wired Equivalency Protocol)

WEP is a security protocol for wireless networks. WEP aims to provide security
by encrypting data over radio waves so that it is protected as it is transmitted
from one end point to another. A shared key (similar to a password) is used
to allow communication between the computers and the router. WEP offers a basic,
but satisfactory level of security for wireless data transmission.

WINIPCFG

Windows 98 and Me utility that displays the IP address for a particular networking
device.

WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network)

A group of computers and associated devices that communicate with each other
wirelessly.

WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)

A security protocol for wireless networks that builds on the basic foundations
of WEP. It secures wireless data transmission by using a key similar to WEP,
but the added strength of WPA is that the key changes dynamically. The changing
key makes it much more difficult for a hacker to learn the key and gain access
to the network.

WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2)

WPA2 is the second generation of WPA security and provides a stronger encryption
mechanism through Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which is a requirement
for some government users.

WPA-PersonalA version of WPA that uses long and constantly changing
encryption keys to make them difficult to decode.

WPA-EnterpriseA version of WPA that uses the same dynamic keys as WPA-Personal
and also requires each wireless device to be authorized according to a master
list held in a special authentication server.

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X

xDSL

A term referring to a variety of new Digital Subscriber Line technologies.
Some of these varieties are asymmetric with different data rates in the downstream
and upstream directions. Others are symmetric. Downstream speeds range from
384 Kbps (or "SDSL") to 1.5-8 Mbps (or "ADSL").

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Y

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Z

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