Internet Glossary


Did you know . . . . .


The Internet, by its most elemental definition, exists wherever devices communicate over publicly accessible networks using
a digital lingua franca (or protocol) called TCP-IP. There are many different flavors of TCP-IP, lots of different protocols for
different applications. Some of the most common include SMTP (for e-mail), NNTP for Usenet newsgroups, FTP for file transfer and DNS (for servers exchanging directions with each other). The Web is another such subset of the overall Internet, a system in which hypertext information (in a format called HTML) is exchanged via a protocol called HTTP.  (You got that??)

The Web constitutes roughly three-quarters of all the traffic on the Internet!
(The above info was extracted from an article by David Plotnikoff of the San Jose Mercury News - 12-27-98)


(Below items more or less in the order you need to know them)

Internet:  A large interconnected network of computers linking people all over the world via phone lines, satellites, and other tele-communication systems.

World Wide Web (WWW):   The multimedia part of the Internet that also has the ability to "link" or connect to other documents on the Internet.

e-mail:   Electronic mail (example address:

Signature:  Several lines automatically appended to your e-mail messages, usually listing your name and company or e-mail address.

MODEM (Modulator - Demodulator):   Allows your computer to talk to another computer via the phone lines. May be internal or external device.

Home Page:   The "first" page of a Web site

Browser:   Generic term for programs that allow a person to navigate and view documents on the Web (ie: Netscape or Explorer)

FAQ:   Frequently Asked Question

Netiquette (On Line Etiquette): Describes the basic rules agreed upon by the majority of people in cyberspace.

Username or Userid: The name you use to log into another computer.

URL (pronounced EARL): Uniform Resource Locator, an address on the Web.

Domain Name:   A unique operational name that identifies an organization connected to the Internet. Must be registered with InterNIC. (  Once you register a name, no one else can have it.

InterNIC:  The organization which registers and maintains a data base of Domain names.  The most common U.S. Domains are divided into five categories:
COM = Commercial
EDU = Education
ORG = Organization
GOV = Government
NET = Net
(There will be additions to the above as new categories are added)

HTML (hypertext markup language):   The commonly used software for creating linkages on the Web.

Usenet/Newsgroups:   A collection of electronic bulletin boards set up by subject matter and covering just about every conceivable topic (over 10,000 exist). They are organized into heirarchies, such as science (SCI), recreation (REC), society (SOC) and the miscellaneous category called alternate (ALT). (ie: rec.arts.books = where bookworms gather to discuss their favorite authors)

Spam:   Sending hundreds of inappropriate postings (or ads) to usenet newsgroups and mailing lists. Don't do it!!

Flame:   e-mail messages and follow-up articles from irate users sent in reply to unwanted ads (spam)

IRC (Internet Relay Chat):   A worldwide network of people talking to each other in real time over the internet rather than in person. (Go to ICQ to learn more)

Thread:   A group of messages in a usenet newsgroup that all share the same subject and topic, so you can easily read the entire thread or delete it, depending on your specific newsreader.

BBS (Bulletin Board System): A computer system that provides its users files for downloading and areas for electronic discussion.

Server:   A computer that makes services available on a network to client programs.

LISTSERV (Mailing List):   Similar to newsgroups, these are discussion groups conducted via e-mail. 

Shareware:  A method of software distribution in which the software may be freely distributed, and you may try it before paying. If you decide to keep and use the program, you send your payment directly to the shareware author.

JAVA: A computer language invented by Sun Microsystems that can run on any computer.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol):   One of the ways in which you retrieve files from other machines on the internet.

http (hypertext transfer protocol):   The electronic agreement between computers that lets people move around the Web.

Telnet:   A protocol that lets users log onto remote computers.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format):   A format commonly used to distribute graphics.

JPEG (Joint Photograph Experts Group):   A group that has defined a compression scheme that reduces the size of image files by up to 20 times at the cost of slightly reduced image quality.

MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group):   A compression format for video.

RFC (Request for comments):   Documents containing the standards, proposed standards, and other necessary details regarding the operation of the internet.

SLIP/PPP (Serial Line Internet Protocal/Point-to-Point Protocol)
An agreed upon transmission standard for packaging and exchanging data, needed for Macs and PCs using Web browsing software to view graphics.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol):    The base protocol to ensure that packets travel safely on the internet.

WAIS (Wide Area Information Servers):   A set of full-test databases containing information on hundreds of topics. You can search WAIS using natural-language queries and use relevance feedback to refine your search.




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