Internet Terms


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Data transfer rate
The speed with which data can be transmitted from one device to another.
Data rates are often measured in megabits (million bits) or megabytes (million bytes) per second. These are usually abbreviated as Mbps and MBps, respectively.
Cables in the 10Base-T system connect with RJ-45 connectors. A star topology is common with 12 or more computers connected directly to a hub or concentrator.
Another term for data transfer rate is throughput.

Short for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, a protocol for assigning dynamic IP addresses to devices on a network. With dynamic addressing, a device can have a different IP address every time it connects to the network. In some systems, the device's IP address can even change while it is still connected.

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 DNS system is, in fact, its own network. If one DNS server doesn't know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks another one, and so on, until the correct IP address is returned.

Developed by CableLabs and approved by the ITU in March 1998, Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification defines interface standards for cable modems and supporting equipment.
With certification from CableLabs, manufacturers will be able to produce cable modems for retail, so consumers no longer have to depend on leased cable modems from their cable providers.

Domain name
A name that identifies one or more IP addresses.
For example, the domain name represents about a dozen IP addresses. Domain names are used in URLs to identify particular Web pages. For example, in the URL, the domain name is
Because the Internet is based on IP addresses, not domain names, every Web server requires a Domain Name System (DNS) server to translate domain names into IP addresses.

Downstream channel
In CATV, a downstream channel is one used to transmit signals from the headend to the user.
Electronic commerce (e-commerce) Conducting business on-line. This includes, for example, buying and selling products with digital cash and via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

Ethernet is the most common type of connection computers use in a local area network (LAN). The two most widely-used forms of Ethernet are called 10BaseT and 100BaseT.
In a 10BaseT Ethernet, data transfer speeds can reach 10 mbps (megabits per second) through a copper cable. In a 100BaseT Ethernet, transfer speeds can get up to 100 mbps.

A UNIX program that takes an e-mail address as input and returns information about the user who owns that e-mail address.
On some systems, finger only reports whether the user is currently logged on. Other systems return additional information, such as the user's full name, address, and telephone number.
Of course, the user must first enter this information into the system. Many e-mail programs now have a finger utility built into them.