Internet Terms


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G - I

Either hardware or software that acts as a bridge between two applications or networks so that data can be transferred among a number of computers. When e-mail gets sent between two servers or when you log in to a web site, the gateway helps the connection take place.

Short for Gigabits per second, a data transfer speed measurement for high-speed networks such as Gigabit Ethernet.
When used to describe data transfer rates, a gigabit equals 1,000,000,000 bits.

An intermediate connection in a string of connections linking two network devices.
On the Internet, for example, most data packets need to go through several routers before they reach their final destination. Each time the packet is forwarded to the next router, a hop occurs.
The more hops, the longer it takes for data to go from source to destination. You can see how many hops it takes to get to another Internet host by using the PING or traceroute utilities.

(1) (n) A computer system that is accessed by a user working at a remote location. Typically, the term is used when there are two computer systems connected by modems and telephone lines. The system that contains the data is called the host, while the computer at which the user sits is called the remote terminal.
(2) A computer that is connected to a TCP/IP network, including the Internet. Each host has a unique IP address.

Short for HyperText Transfer Protocol, the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web.
HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.
For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.

A common connection point for devices in a network.
Hubs are commonly used to connect segments of a LAN. A hub contains multiple ports. When a packet arrives at one port, it is copied to the other ports so that all segments of the LAN can see all packets.

Short for Internet Message Access Protocol, a protocol for retrieving e-mail messages.
The latest version, IMAP4, is similar to POP3 but supports some additional features.
For example, with IMAP4, you can search through your e-mail messages for keywords while the messages are still on mail server. You can then choose which messages to download to your machine.
Like POP, IMAP uses SMTP for communication between the e-mail client and server.

IP Address
An identifier for a computer or device on a TCP/IP network. Networks using the TCP/IP protocol route messages based on the IP address of the destination. The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, could be an IP address.
The four numbers in an IP address are used in different ways to identify a particular network and a host on that network. The InterNIC Registration Service assigns Internet addresses from the following three classes.