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Glossary of Common Internet Terms

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Glossary of Internet Terms

A Web browser is client software that resides on your computer and through which you request information from the Internet. Software on the Web site's "host" computer (also known as the "server") interprets your requests and sends the Web page information back to your browser. It is your browser which interprets the site files in order to display them correctly on your monitor.

Cable Modem
Cable television systems provide Internet access as a high-speed service to home users, through the same cables that provide television service. Because of its high- speed transfer of massive amounts of data, it provides smooth real- time video and other exciting capabilities for home users. Unlike TV, Internet access is a two-way communication.

Digital Subscriber Link (DSL) is a new telecommunications technology that permits high-speed digital Internet access over standard telephone lines. It is expected to largely supplant ISDN in the future, at least for business users not too distant from their telephone company's central office.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a method of sending files from one computer to another using the Internet. It requires special "FTP client" software that is available for free from numerous places on the Internet. Some browsers also support FTP transfers. FTP is faster than e-mail for sending large or many files.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the coding used in Web pages that tells your browser how to display the page on your monitor.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the telecommunication "language" used by the Internet to transfer Web pages from one computer to another.

Home Page
A home page is the main page of a Web site. It tells you what kind of information is contained on the Web site and who or what organization maintains the site. It provides links or an index to other features of the site and includes announcements of new information.

Hyperlink, or Link
Hyperlinks are a major source of the Web's power and fascination. "Hypertext" is a word or phrase, usually colored and underlined, which constitutes a hyperlink. By clicking on the hyperlink you are requesting another Web page which may be on an Internet-connected computer anywhere in the world. Some hyperlinks are not underlined. Images can also be hyperlinks.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is fast, digital Internet access over standard telephone lines. Standard ISDN service provides two communication channels which may be joined to provide communication at up to 128,000 bps, or more than four times faster than a 28,800 bps modem connection.

An imagemap is a picture or image which is hyperlinked to a number of different Web pages. The page you request depends on the part of the image that you click on. Imagemaps are frequently used for graphical navigation bars and buttons, instead of or in addition to hypertext links.

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is the company with whom you contract to provide your connection to the Internet. It may be a telephone company, a cable TV company, or a company that specializes in providing Internet connections to home-based users or businesses.

The worldwide network of interconnected computers that allow you to gather information and communicate with others, even when they are using different kinds of computers and software.

A portal is a Web site that has organized such a useful collection of information and ways to find what you need on the Internet, that you make it the page your browser loads automatically every time you start it up.

Search Engine
Search engines are specialized Web sites that constantly collect and index or categorize information about other Web sites so you can find information of interest to you. Yahoo, Alta Vista, and Excite are prominent Internet search engines.

The Uniform Resource Location (URL) is the "address" of a Web page. It is a unique identifier that identifies the type of file (www) you are requesting, its precise location on the Internet and its filename.

The World Wide Web (WWW) is one of the most popular ways of using the Internet because it allows you to view formatted documents with inline images and hyperlinks to related pages elsewhere on the Internet. Browser software is required to "surf the Net" for Web page information.

Web Site, Web Page and HTML File
A Web site is a collection of related Web pages maintained by a person or organization. Web pages displayed on your monitor may contain formatted text, inline images, sound files, video clips, animated images and small programs. They may also contain forms which allow you to send information or order products and services. The term "HTML file" is used to refer to the text file with HTML code which is interpreted by your browser to display the Web page on your monitor.

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