Glossary of Internet Terms
In order to assist in understanding the Internet, you may find this list of commonly used words and phrases and their definitions useful.
Address: Either the email address of a particular user, or the address ('URL') of an Internet site.
Antivirus: A program which can remove a virus from a computer and help to notify you when a potential virus attempts to enter your system.
Bandwidth: The capacity of a server or network to transmit data.
BBS: Bulletin Board System. A site on the internet where users can type and post messages as well as respond to messages posted by others on varying topics.
KBPS: Kilobytes per Second. This is the speed of your Modem. The higher the KBPS, the faster the websites will load into your browser.
Bookmark: A method of saving a website address so you can return to that site easily. This term is only applicable when using a Netscape browser.
Byte: Unit of storage on a computer composed of 8 bits, the smallest division of space. Used to denote size of a drive, disk or file. The more bytes, the larger the file or storage unit.
Chat Room: An section within a website which allows a multiple number of users to communicate to one another in "real time" conversation. Most often text based.
Domain : The part of an Internet address which denotes what ISP is hosting the site.
Download: To open a file, usually appearing as a link on a web site, from another computer to yours.
E-mail: Electronic Mail. A method of sending messages from one computer to another.
Ethernet: A local area network system.
FAQ’s: Frequently Asked Questions. Often the best portion of any website to visit first.
Favorites: A method of saving a website address so you can return to that site easily. This term is applicable when using Internet Explorer as your browser.
Flame: When a user within a chat room, message board or by email, sends a written message which is an abusive or personal attack on another user.
FTP: File Transfer Protocol. Method by which information is transferred from one computer to another.
Hacker: Someone who enjoys exploring computer systems. This phrase has taken on a negative connotation with use to mean someone who illegally accesses a site.
Header: Part of an email message that shows the source, destination and subject.
Hypertext: This is text appearing on web pages that is linked to additional information. The text can be "clicked" on to bring you to that additional information such as another part of the page, another web page or an email address. Traditionally, the text is blue and underlined, such as firstname.lastname@example.org but it can often appear as bold text or only appear bold or underlined when you run your mouse over the text.
HTML: HyperText Mark-up Language. The code or language used to produce websites.
HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The method used by websites and computers to transfer receive HTML. Note, although not necessary to type in, is the beginning of every web address.
ICQ: A program for real time communication with other users which also allows users to set up their own temporary chatrooms.
Internet: The system with which all electronic communication, including email and websites, is conducted. This structure is responsible for hosting the World Wide Web and for allowing general communication to take place across the world. Originally constructed in the 1960’s by the US Federal Government, it was originally designed for communication to be conducted more efficiently without losing privacy regarding confidential matters.
IRC: Internet Relay Chat. A type of chat room protocol.
ISP: Internet Service Provider. A company or organization which provides, most often for a fee, access to the internet. A variety of ISPs which do not charge for access are also available.
LAN: Local Area Network. A group of computers linked together through a server. Can be viewed as a "mini-internet". Often used in offices or schools to allow computers to share data without being online.
Link: Button or hypertext which, when clicked upon, moves the user to another webpage or another section of the current page.
Listserve: The grouping of individuals looking to receive information on a particular topic. A listserve will usually send and receive email notifications on their subject of interest under one group name, rather than by individual email address. This helps to insure confidentiality.
Login: The method of identifying yourself and your computer to gain access to an ISP, LAN or restricted website.
Lurker: Someone who reads messages in newsgroups, bulletin boards or chatrooms, but doesn't contribute.
Mailing List:Mass mailings by people of similar interests. Often tied to a BBS or newsgroup.
Modem: Hardware which connects a computer to the internet.
Netscape: A brand name web browser.
Newbie: Someone who is new to the Internet.
Server: The central hub of a computer network. Stores files for access over a LAN or the internet.
Shareware: Software which is generally free, but which may require registration and/or a fee after a trial period.
Source Code: The underlying code which makes a webpage work.
Thread: A series of postings on a message board in response to an initial posting.
Upload: To send files from a computer to another over the Internet or a LAN.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator. What is commonly referred to as the ‘address’ of a Website.
Virus: Program designed to be self-replicating. Often used to illegally damage another system or network.
Worm: A small self contained program which invades a network for malicious purposes.
WWW: The World Wide Web. A part of the Internet designed to allow easier navigation of the network through the use of graphical user interfaces and hypertext links between different addresses.