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A

Authentication Technique by which access to Internet or intranet resources requires the user to enter a username and password.

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 B

Bandwidth The amount of data that can be transmitted along a communications channel in a fixed amount of time. For digital devices, the bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps) or bytes per second.

Browsers A browser is actually more accurately termed a user agent. In other words, it is whatever software was used to access your website. This will usually be things like "Explorer" (for Microsoft Internet Explorer) and "Netscape" (for Netscape Navigator), but will also commonly be things like "Googlebot" (an automated robot that scours the web for website content to include in its search engine).

Bytes (Transfer / Bandwidth) A byte is a unit of information transferred over a network (or stored on a hard drive or memory). Every web page, image, or other type of file is composed of some number of bytes. Large files, such as video clips, may be composed of millions of bytes ("megabytes"). Since website and server performance is heavily affected by the amount of bytes transferred, and web hosting providers often charge according to this measure, it is very important for site owners to be aware of and understand. Common terms incorporating the word "byte" are:

  • Kilobytes (KB) - one thousand bytes
  • Megabyte (MB) - one million bytes
  • Gigabyte (GB) - one billion bytes
  • Terabyte (TB) - one trillion bytes
  • Chart:
    Data Measurement Chart
    Data Measurement Size
    Bit Single Binary Digit (1 or 0)
    Byte 8 bits
    Kilobyte (KB) 1,024 Bytes or 8192 bits
    Megabyte (MB) 1,024 Kilobytes or 1048576 Bytes 8388608 Bits
    Gigabyte (GB) 1,024 Megabytes or 1048576 KB 1073741824 Bytes 8589934592 Bits
    Terabyte (TB) 1,024 Gigabytes or 1048576 MB 1073741824 KB 1099511627776 Bytes 8796093022208 Bits
    Petabyte (PB) 1,024 Terabytes or 1048576 GB 1073741824 MB 1099511627776 KB 1125899906842624 Bytes 9007199254740992 Bits
    Exabyte (EB) 1,024 Petabytes or 1048576 TB 1073741824 GB 1099511627776 MB 1125899906842624 KB 11522921504606846976 Bytes 9223372036854775808 Bits
    Connection Speed Chart (also see
    Internet Technology Data Rate (per sec) Data Rate (per sec) Data Rate (per sec) Data Rate (per sec)
    28.8K Modem 28.8 Kbps 28,800 Bits 3,600 Bytes 3.5 Kilobytes
    36.6K Modem 36.6 Kbps 36,600 Bits 4,575 Bytes 4.4 Kilobytes
    56K Modem 56 Kbps 56,000 Bits 7,000 Bytes 6.8 Kilobytes
    ISDN 128 Kbps 128,000 Bits 16,000 Bytes 15 Kilobytes
    T1 1.544 Mbps 1,544,000 Bits 193,000 Bytes 188 Kilobytes
    DSL 512 Kbps to 8 Mbps* 8,000,000 Bits 1,000,000 Bytes 976 Kilobytes
    Cable Modem 512 Kbps to 52 Mbps* 53,000,000 Bits 6,625,000 Bytes 6,469 Kilobytes (6.3MB/sec)
    T3 44.736 Mbps 44,736,000 Bits 5,592,000 Bytes 5,460 Kilobytes (5.3MB/sec)
    Gigabit Ethernet 1 Gbps 1,000,000,000 Bits 125,000,000 Bytes 122,070 Kilobytes (119MB/sec)
    OC-256 13.271 Gbps 13,271,000,000 Bits 1,658,875,000 Bytes 1,619,995 Kilobytes (1.5GB/sec)
    Data Comparison Chart
    Kilobits (Kbps) Bits (bps) Megabits (Mbps) Bytes (Bps) Kilobytes (KBps) Megabytes (MBps)
    28 28,000 0.028 3,500 3.41 0.00334
    30 30,000 0.03 3,750 3.66 0.00358
    56 56,000 0.056 7,000 6.83 0.00668
    80 80,000 0.08 10,000 9.76 0.00954
    100 100,000 0.1 12,500 12.20 0.01192
    150 150,000 0.15 18,750 18.31 0.01788
    200 200,000 0.2 25,000 24.41 0.02384
    300 300,000 0.3 37,500 36.62 0.03576
    500 500,000 0.5 62,500 61.03 0.05960
    800 800,000 0.8 100,000 97.65 0.09537
    900 900,000 0.9 112,500 109.86 0.10729
    1,000 1,000,000 1 125,000 122.07 0.11921
    2,000 2,000,000 2 250,000 244.14 0.23842
    4,000 4,000,000 4 500,000 488.28 0.47684
    5,000 5,000,000 5 625,000 610.35 0.59605
    10,000 10,000,000 10 1,250,000 1,220.70 1.19209
    15,000 15,000,000 15 1,875,000 1,831.05 1.78814

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  C

Cache A temporary storage area that a web browser users to store pages and graphics that it has recently opened. The cache enables the browser to quickly load the same pages and images if they are opened again soon.

Code Anything written in a language intended for computers to interpret.

Cookie A message given to a web browser by a web server. The browser stores the message in a text file called cookie.txt. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.

The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized web pages for them. When you enter a website using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your web browser, which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same website, your browser will send the cookie to the web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it.

The name cookie derives from UNIX objects called magic cookies. These are tokens that are attached to a user or program and change depending on the areas entered by the user or program. Cookies are also sometimes called persistent cookies because they typically stay in the browser for long periods of time.

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  D

Domain Name System (DNS) An Internet addressing system that uses a group of names that are listed with dots (.) between them, working from the most specific to the most general group. In the United States, the top (most general) domains are network categories such as edu (education), com (commercial), and gov (government). In other countries, a two-letter abbreviation for the country is used, such as ca (Canada) and au (Australia).

Domain Name Lookup The process of converting a numeric IP address into a text name, for example, 63.212.171.4 is converted to (See also Reverse DNS)

Domains A domain is a specific virtual area within the Internet, defined by the "top level" of the address or URL (Uniform Resource Locator). The top level is the end of the address; example: "whitehouse.gov". In this example, the top-level part of the domain is ".gov", indicating a US government entity. The "whitehouse" part is the second-level domain, indicating where within the ".gov" domain the information in question is to be found. Other common top-level domains include ".com", ".net", ".uk", etc.

Download To retrieve a file or files from a remote machine to your local machine.

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  E

E-commerce The buying and selling of goods and services, and the transfer of funds, through digital communications. Buying and selling over the WWW, etc.

Encryption The process of encoding information so that it is secure from other Internet users.

End User The final user of the computer software. The end user is the individual who uses the product after it has been fully developed and marketed.

Error Errors are defined as pages that visitors attempted to view, but that returned an error message instead. Often these errors occur because of broken links (links to pages that do not exist anymore) or when an unauthorized visitor attempts to access restricted pages (for example, if the visitor does not have a password to access the page).

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  F

Firewall A security device placed on a LAN (local area network) to protect it from Internet intruders. This can be a special kind of hardware router, a piece of software, or both.

Frame A rectangular region within the browser window that displays a web page alongside other pages in other frames.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) The basic method for copying a file from one computer to another through the Internet.

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  G

GIF File extension for graphics interchange format, a compressed, bitmapped graphics format often used on the web for graphics.

Graphic User Interface (GUI) Pronounced gooey. A method of controlling software using on-screen icons, menus, dialog boxes, and objects that can be moved or resized, usually with a pointing device such as a mouse.

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  H

Hardware A computer and the associated physical equipment directly involved in the performance of data-processing or communication functions.

Hits A hit is simply any request to the web server for any type of file. This can be an HTML page, an image (jpeg, gif, png, etc.), a sound clip, a cgi script, and many other file types. An HTML page can account for several hits: the page itself, each image on the page, and any embedded sound or video clips. Therefore, the number of hits a website receives is not a valid popularity gauge, but rather is an indication of server use and loading.

HTML Hyper Text Markup Language is used to write documents for the World Wide Web and to specify hypertext links between related objects and documents.

HTTP Hyper Text Transfer Protocol is a standard method of transferring data between a web server and a web browser.

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  I

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 numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number ranges from 0 to 255. These are the addresses of the web servers on the Internet.

ISP Internet service provider. A company which provides other companies or individuals with access to, or presence on, the Internet. Most ISPs are also Internet Access Providers -- extra services include help with design, creation and administration of WWW sites, etc.

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  J

Java Object-oriented programming language invented by Sun Microsystems.

JavaScript Small element of code embedded on web pages and executed by the browser when the page is viewed by a visitor.

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  K

Keyword A keyword is a database index entry that identifies a specific record or document. Keyword searching is the most common form of text search on the web. Most search engines do their text query and retrieval using keywords.

Unless the author of the web document specifies the keywords for her document (this is possible by using meta tags), it's up to the search engine to determine them. Essentially, this means that search engines pull out and index words that are believed to be significant. Words that are mentioned towards the top of a document and words that are repeated several times throughout the document are more likely to be deemed important.

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  L

Local Area Network (LAN) A more-or-less self-contained network of interconnected computers (that may connect to the Internet), usually in a single office or building.

Log file A file created by a web or proxy server which contains all of the access information regarding the activity on that server.

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  M

Meta Tag A special HTML tag that provides information about a web page. Unlike normal HTML tags, meta tags do not affect how the page is displayed. Instead, they provide information such as who created the page, how often it is updated, what the page is about, and which keywords represent the page's content. Many search engines use this information when building their indices.

Module A generic term for self-contained sections of a program that perform a specialized function, such as a spelling checker or e-u.

Multihome A multihome, or load balanced, network means distributing processing and communications activity evenly across a computer network so that no single device is overwhelmed. Load balancing is especially important for networks where it's difficult to predict the number of requests that will be issued to a server. Busy websites typically employ two or more web servers in a load balancing scheme. If one server starts to get swamped, requests are forwarded to another server with more capacity.

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  N

Navigation Movement within a computer environment (for example, navigation of a website.)

Network A set of computers connected so that they can communicate and share information. Most major networks are connected to the global network-of-networks, called the Internet.

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  O

Online A general term referring to anything connected to or conveyed through a communication network.

Organization The classification to which a Domain Name belongs.

Typical Suffixes are: .com = Commercial, .org = Organization, .edu = Educational, .int = International, .gov = Government, .mil = Military, .net = Network

OS (Operating System) Software designed to control the hardware of a specific data-processing system in order to allow users and application programs to employ it easily. (MacOS, Windows 95)

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  P

Page Also known as a web page, a page is defined as a single file on a web server. For example, a page could be an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) document, an image, a java applet, a CGI script, etc. Any file that is neither a gif nor a jpeg is considered a page.

Pageviews A page is defined as any file dished out by a web server that would generally be considered a web document. This includes HTML pages (.html, .htm, .shtml), script-generated pages (.cgi, .asp, .cfm, etc.), and plain-text pages. Image files (.jpeg, .gif, .png, etc.), sound files (.wav, .aiff, etc.), video files (.mov, etc.), and other non-document files do not count as pages. Each time a file defined as a page is served, a pageview is registered by U.

PDF Portable Document Format. File format developed by Adobe Systems to allow for display and printing of formatted documents across platforms and systems. PDF files can be read on any system equipped with the Acrobat Reader software, regardless of whether or not your computer has the software that the document was created in.

Platforms A platform is a hardware and software combination that represents a specific user experience and method of accessing the Internet. Common platforms include "Windows NT" (Microsoft Windows NT on a standard Intel-type PC), "Mac PPC" (Macintosh with Power PC processor), Red Hat Linux 6.1 (Linux is a UNIX-like operating system), etc.

Protocol An established method of exchanging data over the Internet.

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  R

Referrals A referral occurs when any hyperlink is clicked on that takes a web surfer to any page or file in another website; it could be text, an image, or any other type of link. When a web surfer arrives at your site from another site, the server records the referral information in the hit log for every file requested by that surfer. If a search engine was used to obtain the link, the search engine name and any keywords used are recorded as well.

Referrer The URL of an HTML page that refers visitors to a site.

Reverse DNS Name resolution software that looks up an IP address to obtain a domain name. It performs the opposite function of the DNS server, which turns names into IP addresses.

Robot A robot is a program that runs automatically without human intervention. Typically, a robot is endowed with some very basic logic so that it can react to different situations it may encounter. One common type of robot is a content-indexing spider, or webcrawler.

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  S

Scalable Quality of an implementation that allows it to grow as the usage of the service increases.

Script A short computer program written in a simplified programming language, such as JavaScript, VBScript, or Perl.

Search Engine A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found. Although a search engine is really a general class of programs, the term is often used to specifically describe systems like Alta Vista and Excite that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide Web.

Server Part of a network that supplies files and services to clients. A file server is dedicated to storing files, and a print server provides printing for many PCs. A mail server handles mail within a network and with the Internet. A web server is a computer that hosts information available to anyone accessing the Internet.

Software The programs, routines, and symbolic languages that control the functioning of the hardware and direct its operation. Written programs or procedures or rules and associated documentation pertaining to the operation of a computer system and that are stored in read/write memory.

Source Also know as source code. The actual text and commands stored in an HTML file (including tags, comments, and scripts) that may not be visible when the page is viewed with a web browser.

Spider A spider is a program that automatically fetches web pages. Spiders are used to feed pages to search engines. They are called spiders because they “crawl” over the web. Because most web pages contain links to other pages, a spider can start almost anywhere. As soon as it sees a link to another page, it goes off and fetches it. Large search engines, like Alta Vista, have many spiders working in parallel.

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  U

URL Uniform Resource Locator is a means of identifying an exact location on the Internet. For example, is the URL that defines the use of HTTP to access the web page platforms.html in the /support/ directory on the website. URLs typically have four parts: protocol type (HTTP), host domain name directory path (/support/), and file name (platforms.html).

User For purposes of , User is defined as a person within a customer group who has specific report access.

Username A Username name used to gain access to a computer system. Usernames, and usually passwords, are required in multi-user systems. In most such systems, users can choose their own usernames and passwords.

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  V

Visitor A visitor is defined as a series of hits, with no idle time of 30 minutes or more between any two hits, from the same IP address. Explanation: when a web surfer arrives at your site, he/she requests the files, such as GIFs and JPEGs, that make up that particular page. Each request is a hit, and they are delivered in quick succession, with no more than few seconds between them (from the server's perspective). When detects a gap of more than 30 minutes between any two hits from the same IP address, it is assumed that it is a new visitor. This is usually true, since most large ISPs, such as EarthLink, recycle idle IP addresses.

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  W

Web Server This term can apply to the server hardware or the server software, and is used interchangably, which can be confusing. The intent must be determined by the context in which the term is used. It will mean one of two things:

  • The physical computer that acts as a server. This is a computer just like any other in most respects, except that it is often equipped with redundant components (hard drives, power supplies, etc.) for reliability. It is called a web server because its main function is to deliver web pages.
  • The software that serves the web pages (HTML, etc.) This special software runs all the time (a "daemon" -- pronounced "demon") and listens for requests for web pages. When a request comes in from the web, the server software interprets the request and sends out the file. The most common type of web server software for UNIX platforms is Apache. For Windows it is Internet Information Server, or IIS. Others include iPlanet and Zeus.

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