Internet glossary

Wading through Web Hosting Geek-Speak

Here’s a simple, but very useful guide to some of the technical terms used in our Web site, many of which you are likely to come across elsewhere in the world of Web Hosting services.

We’ll begin with a quick list of common terms you’ll see used by the web hosting companies reviewed on this web site. A more extensive glossary follows.

Anonymous FTP
Ftp stands for file transfer protocol. Basically this allows visitors to upload and download files without a user name or password. The user would just have to login to the Ftp as anonymous and he can choose to download privilege files. This feature is good for people who wish to have directly accessible files available for download or mirror.

When a user sends an email to another address with autoresponders enabled, the autoresponder will automatically deliver a prewritten message back to the sender of the message.

A program used to look at various internet resources such as websites. As browsers get more advanced, they are able to view more than website including gopher and newsgroups. Common web browsers are Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. However, over the past few years, Netscape has lost a huge market share to Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer dominates the browser market with over 80% of the market share. The latest version of Internet Explorer is version 6.0

CGI script
CGI stands for common gateway interface. Basically, CGI scripts are scripts written to take advantage of the common gateway interface. When a user enters a website and does any submitting to it such as searching, it uses the common gateway interface. Scripts help make these functions work since they are already prewritten. They are like programs.

Data Transfer
Data Transfer is used whenever any elements of your website is accessed by a visitor. In other words, when a visitor accesses your website, traffic is taken up. When the visitor loads a video from the website or listens to audio, traffic is taken up.

Data Transfer (Viewer Traffic)
The amount of data that is being transferred from the server. Every time someone logs onto your website, data transfer occurs. Everything that is loaded and downloaded from the website takes traffic. The amount of traffic we provide in our plans is more than enough to handle a large amount of users

Detailed Usage Statistics
These statistics give you detailed graphical information about where your visitors are coming from. The data are very specific and can show you what times your site is visited most often, which page is most popular, average data transfer per visit, etc.

Disk Space
Everything you upload to the website is stored on a disk and consumes disk space. The amount of disk space we provide in all of our plans is more than sufficient for most basic websites.

Disk Storage Space
Amount of storage space for files provided for each hosting account. Everything that gets uploaded to the server consumes disk space including images, videos and much more. We give you plentiful amount of disk space that is suited for most average websites.

Domain Alias
These are additional names that are used to point to the same website. This is a useful feature if you want users to access your website using a variety of domain names.

Email Forwarding
This feature allows you to have email sent to one address be forwarded to another. For example, I own the email name and address and if I want A More Extensive Glossary of Internet Terms:



A specific site (www, ftp, gopher) or “mailbox” (e-mail) on the Internet, often the mailbox of a particular user. If referring to e-mail, an address will usually contain the “at” sign: @. An address is often rendered in lower case. Example: See also E-mail.

Anonymous FTP


A database search method which points the Internet user to specific files and FTP sites. Archie can be used to search by subject, title, or keyword.


An archive is simply a descriptive term for a package of files which appear as one file, often compressed.


An article is a message posted to the subscribers of a Newsgroup.
See also Newsgroup.


American Standard Code for Information Interchange. World-wide standard for the codes used by computers to represent letters, numbers, punctuation, etc.

.au format

UNIX sound file format.


The major pathways used to carry traffic on the Internet.

Amount of data which can be sent through a connection. Usually measured in bits per second.

A unit of calculation for a modem that measures data transmission in bits per second. A 2400 bits per second modem actually runs at 300 baud, but it moves 4 bits per baud (4 x 300 = 2400 bits per second). See also Bit.

A numbering system which uses only the numbers “1″ and “0″ e.g. 11001001.

Information represented by the number “1″ or the number “0″ and transmitted as a discrete (discontinuous) step rather than as a wave. Digital information is transmitted as a series of bits, or “1′s” and “0′s” strung together in various ways.

Software for navigating the World Wide Web. Allows the user to search for information, view pages, download files, etc. See also World Wide Web.

The act of navigating the World Wide Web.

Case sensitivity

Many Internet addresses are case sensitive.
Certificate Also See Digital Certificate

A Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is used to run external programs from a World-Wide Web server. Usually the CGI will generate some HTML which will be returned to the browser. The returned HTML will frequently be dependant upon the original request,
e.g., a search results list. See also HTML.

In Internet Relay Chat (IRC) a channel is a virtual arena where users meet to talk on a particular topic. IRC programs such as the BT Internet Chat client will allow you to call up a list of all active channels.
See also Internet Relay Chat (IRC).

A UNIX command to force the root directory to become something other than its default for the duration of the current process. This may only be executed by privileged users to provide a process (usually FTP or HTTP) with access to a restricted section of the file system. The new root accommodates copies of all the required files and directories. See also FTP and HTTP.

A program that requests data from another computer, called a server.

See also Server.

Compression “squeezes” files to save space and transmission time.
See also Decompression.


Data decompression is used to restore compressed data to its original form. See also Compression.
Digital Certificate

Digital certificates (also called Secure Server IDs) are like virtual electronic fingerprints. Each one is unique and can be used to positively identify the person or object (e.g. a company’s Internet server), who owns the certificate by the information contained within it. That information can be trusted, because it is digitally ‘signed’ by a trusted Certification Authority who check the authenticity of the information to be included in the certificate before they issue it. Digital Certificates provide the proof of identity and deliver critical elements of security which are vital to establish the trust needed to conduct safe communications and transactions with customers, suppliers, partners and employees.
Domain Name

A domain name is another way of referring to the Internet address of a computer or group of computers on the Internet. Whereas an Internet address is made up of numbers (e.g. and therefore difficult to remember, a domain name (e.g. is made up of meaningful words.

To download a file is to move it from one computer to another, usually from a central host machine to a local machine. See also Upload.


Electronic messages (mail) sent from one computer to another. The messages are received at the user’s e-mail address and stored in their mailbox.
See also Address.


Frequently Asked Questions. Many newsgroups, mailing lists and some WWW sites have an FAQ list which is posted regularly. FAQs prevent newsgroup members from having to individually answer common questions.
See also Newsgroup.

The Internet equivalent of verbal abuse.
Follow up

A reply to a USENET newsgroup article (post).
See also Newsgroup and Post.

Software for which the author makes no charge. Because the author of the software is making no money, freeware is usually unsupported. See also Shareware.

File Transfer Protocol. A widely accepted protocol which allow computers of different types to exchange files. “Anonymous ftp” sites will allow anyone to download files from them without knowing a password.


Graphics Interchange Format. A graphics file format created by the CompuServe online information service. GIFs work across platforms (Mac, PC and UNIX). Most Web browsers can display images saved in the GIF format.
See also Browser.


A Gopher site has a hierarchically organized collection of documents, usually readable text files.


HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the formatting language in which pages on the World Wide Web are constructed. Browsers interpret HTML and display the pages appropriately. HTML is a subset of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language).
See also Browser.
http (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol)

A protocol which tells a server what to send a client, so that the client can view Web pages, FTP sites, or other areas on the Internet.
See also Server and Client.

Documents which contain embedded links (often underlined or otherwise differentiated from the rest of the text) which allow the user to easily move among different parts of the same document, or between documents.

Example: Click here to jump to the top of the page.


A graphic symbol used in a computer program to represent an object or process.

A global network of computers and computer systems which communicate using the Internet protocol.
IP address

Every computer connected to the Internet has a unique IP (Internet Protocol) address which is its Internet address. Example:
IRC (Internet Relay Chat)

The live chat area of the Internet in which real time conversations between two or more people take place in virtual “rooms” or channels. See also Channel.

Internet Service Provider.

Internet Service Provider’s Association.

Internet Watch Foundation. A charitable organization which seeks to rid the Internet of illegal material such as child pornography. The IWF encourages the Internet community to report the finding of any such material.


A unit of computer measurement. Kb is an abbreviation for kilobyte (1024 bytes). See also Bit.


An area of a hypertext document which, when selected, will take the user to another document or resource. On the World Wide Web, a link (often underlined) is usually a URL pointing to a file, document, site, image, or another page. See also Hypertext and URL.
List See Mailing list.

Software that automatically manages a mailing list, receiving posts and follow ups and sending groups of them out to all subscribers of the list.
See also E-mail Mailing List, Newsgroup, Post, Follow up.


Generic term for information transported on the Internet using one of the various mail protocols. Often used to distinguish mail from news.
See also E-mail and Newsgroup.
Mailing list

A topic-oriented conference like a USENET newsgroup except that the messages are distributed by private e-mail. Typically, the Internet user would subscribe to a list by sending e-mail to the Listserv. Messages in the group arrive in the users’ mailbox, and posts and follow ups are sent to the Listserv to be forwarded on to other members of the group.
See also Listserv, E-mail, Newsgroup.

A measure of computer memory equal to 1,048,576 bytes, each of which in turn is equal to eight bits, which is the smallest unit of data in the digital system and is symbolized by the number 1 or the number 0. See also Bit.
MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension)

An extension that lets you transmit non-text data (like graphics, audio, video) via e-mail. See also E-mail.


A system of hardware and software that is connected so as to be accessed by individual users who share the same information and resources, and who may be geographically distant from each other.

Generic term for information transported on the Internet using the nntp (Network News Transport Protocol). Often used to distinguish news from mail.
See also E-mail and Newsgroup.

A USENET newsgroup is a discussion forum where participants read and post comments on an agreed topic.

Software for reading and posting articles (posts) and follow ups to a USENET newsgroup. See also Newsgroup and Post.

Any device connected to a computer network as well as the point at which the devices are connected. See also Network.
Page See Web page.

A POP (Point of Presence) is the modem which the Internet user dials from their computer to gain access to the Internet.

The term for an original USENET or mailing list article. Used as a verb, to “post” means to submit an article for publication on USENET in one or more newsgroups or to one or more mailing list. If sent to more than one newsgroup or list the post is said to be “cross-posted”. If the newsgroup is moderated, the moderator decides if the post will appear; otherwise the post appears automatically. See also Mailing list, Newsgroup.



Search engine

Software which scans the World Wide Web, collecting titles and words from Web pages which are stored in a database. The user enters key words to search for; these are compared against the contents of the database with the results of the search (e.g relevant Web pages containing the key words) returned to the user. Alta Vista and Lycos are examples of search engines.
See also World Wide Web.
Secure Server ID

See Digital Certificate

A computer that provides files as shared resources to a computer network. See also Client.

Copyrighted software that is sold on a trust basis. Users are expected to pay the author if they like or use the software.

A particular “spot” on the Internet or World Wide Web. Sometimes a single computer, but may be a network of computers. Examples include: Gopher site, WWW site, FTP site. See also Gopher, WWW, ftp.

Two protocols for allowing a computer to connect to the Internet through a dial-up connection, using a modem.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is an open protocol for securing data communications across networks. Secure Web sites (where you can confidently enter credit card details, personal details, etc.) are indicated by the key at the bottom of your browser (normally broken) being joined together. Also see Digital Certificate

“Jumping” or navigating from site to site on the Internet. See also Browsing.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)

A set of protocols which make Internet services possible among computers that do not belong to the same network.

TELNET lets Internet users log in to computers around the world that are connected to the Internet, and to use them as if they were their own.

A thread is a collection of articles within a Newsgroup that follow the same subject. See also Newsgroup.


To move a file from one computer to another, usually from a local machine to a host. See also Download.

Uniform Resource Locator. URLs are links to network resources like files, programs, web sites, web pages, etc. URLs are usually found as links on web pages, but are turning up more often in posts on USENET and in e-mail messages. Upper and lower case are often important in URLs. The URL is usually made up of four parts which specifies the type of the resource (e.g. gopher, http, ftp), the hostname, followed by the path at the host site and the name of the document or other resource.

See Newsgroup.


A search engine for searching Gopher sites using keyword searching.

A computer virus is a computer program that infects other computer programs and reproduces itself without the knowledge of the PC user. A virus may be destructive, and should never be ignored.

.wav format

Windows sound files.

See World Wide Web.
Web Page

A WWW document designed to be displayed by a browser. Written in a tagging language called HTML, a web page often contains text, pictures, as well as links to other web pages or Internet resources.

See World Wide Web
World Wide Web

A subset of the Internet which supports hypertext-based documents. See Web page.

See World Wide Web