Web Hosting Glossary
Domain name extension used for commercial enterprises.
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). It is a file name extension for graphic
.jpg or .jpeg
File name extension for images in JPEG format.
File name extension for files with video sequences. A QuickTime player is needed
in order to play such a file.
.mpg or .mpeg
Filename extension for files in MPEG format.
File name extension for files compressed with PKZIP program or similar.
Cabling used for Fast Ethernet.
Cabling used for Ethernet.
An Active Channel is frequently updated information residing on a Web server.
Users can subscribe to the channel if they have a CDF (Channel Definition
Language) and a capable browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox etc.)
ActiveX is a brand name referring to a set of Microsoft's technologies and
services based on COM (Component Object Model) widely released in 1997. On the
Internet, ActiveX can be used with IE versions 3 and above and with Netscape
Navigator though plug-ins. ActiveX control is a COM object, written as a DLL in
a programming language like Visual Basic, which follows ActiveX standards. Once
downloaded, ActiveX controls have a large degree of freedom, presenting a
security risk. ActiveX controls have to be digitally signed by their creator.
Major competitor to ActiveX controls are JavaBeans. Some hosts support ActiveX
server components for ASP.
These are unique identifiers of a web page. URL (Uniformed Resource Locator) is
more frequently used for this purpose.
ADN refers to Advanced Digital Network. It is a 56kbps dedicated communication
ADO refers to ActiveX Data Objects. Different data sources can be accessed in
the same way within a single data model. The data can be located in various
locations, like spreadsheets, databases or ordinary files.
ADSL refers to Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Loop. It is used for High speed
Internet access using the telephone line. It uses line-adaptive modulation and
provides data speeds from 384kbps to 1.5 Mbps (upstream and downstream speeds
are usually different). Unlike the dial up, it doesn't block the telephone line.
AIFF refers to Audio Interchange File Format. It is a High quality audio file
format introduced by Apple.
Anonymous FTP (Anon FTP)
A method for downloading and uploading files using FTP protocol without having a
username or a password. In place of a username, word "anonymous" is used, and in
place of a password, email address is usually used. If a hosting plan offers
this service, your users will be able to download or upload files with FTP
without having their own account.
SMTP server that allows sending anonymous email messages. It removes or changes
the "From" field of all messages that it processes.
American National Standards Institute
Apache is an open-source (source code is freely available and can be shared)
HTTP Web server software. According to Netcraft survey, it is currently the most
popular web server on the Net. It is usually run on Unix operating system
versions like Linux or BSD, but it can also be run on Windows. It is a
full-featured server with many powerful add-ons freely available. Apache's major
competitor is Microsoft's IIS.
Most often refers to a small Java program designed to run in a Web browser. Java
applets run in a sandbox, so they can't perform unauthorized functions like file
reading or opening Net connections to other computer from your computer.
An online database of anonymous ftp sites and their contents. It allows
searching the ftp repositories using file name queries.
Archives are large files containing valuable data. Archives are often compressed
to save space.
This is a server that contains archives. It can be accessed by FTP, E-mail or
It is one of the most popular compression formats.
ARPA refers to Advanced Research Projects Agency. It is US governmental
organization, responsible for creating the ancestor of today's Internet.
Network created by ARPA in 1969.
ASCII refers to American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It is a
standard for coding text files. Every character has an associated number and any
text can be represented by a sequence of numbers.
ASP refers to Active Server Pages. ASP is Microsoft's server-side scripting
technology. An Active Server Page has an .asp extension and it mixes HTML and
scripting code that can be written in VBScript or JScript. ASP is distributed
with Microsoft's IIS web server, so most host using IIS will also offer ASP for
dynamic web programming. ASP.NET is the next version of ASP. Other popular
server-side scripting languages are Perl, PHP, Cold Fusion, TCL, Python, and JSP.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
A set of network protocols designed for multimedia transmission. Data is
partitioned into cells (53 bytes each) and passed along a virtual circuit. ATM
allows for building very high speed networks.
Attachment is a part of an email message. It is usually a file (a data file or a
multimedia file) or a webpage. It is not a part of the text of the message;
instead it is attached to the message.
AU is Audio file format for Unix systems.
Authentication is used to confirm the identity of the other party involved in
the data transmission.
AVI is Audio/Video Interleave. It is Audio file format used by Microsoft
B Channel refers to Bearer Channel. It is a 64 Kbps communication channel in
It is a main high-speed network connection composing the Internet. The backbones
are operated by major telecommunications companies like Sprint, MCI, or AT&T.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred over the network in a
fixed amount of time. On the Net, it is usually expressed in bits per second
(bps) or in higher units like Mbps (millions of bits per second).
Basic Rate Interface (BRI)
A BRI line is one of two access methods for ISDN (the other one is Primary Rate
Interface - PRI). A BRI has two 64 Kbps B channels and one 16 Kbps D channel.
The rate at which bits are transmitted over a communication link is called Baud
rate. Baud is the number of transitions (that are used to encode bits) that take
place in one second.
Data represented in binary format uses only two digits - 0 and 1.
FTP client mode used to transfer binary files (multimedia files, executables and
other data files). It is not suitable for transferring normal text files.
BIT means Binary DigIT. It is the smallest unit of information, comprising of
either a 1 or 0.
The speed at which bits are transmitted over a communication link is the bit
rate. It is expressed in bits per second (bps).
The part of an email message that contains the actual text of the message.
Bookmark is a means of storing a frequently visited website address. It makes
easier to access the website in the future.
An automated piece of software that can be used in chat rooms or to crawl the
A network device used to connect two LANs using different cabling.
Broadcasting is sending a data packet to all machines on the network.
Computer program that allows to search the World Wide Web. It displays the
content of the web pages. Examples are Mosaic, Netscape, Mozilla, Opera and
The process in which the web site tries to determine what kind of web browser
the user is using. This is done to suit the website to the particular
capabilities of the browser.
Popular programming languages (C++ includes objects) that can be used to create
server programs that run after compilation. C and C++ were not designed
specifically for web programming, but they can still be useful, especially
because mature compilers producing very fast code and large code libraries
A cable modem is used for connecting to the Internet using the cable TV
infrastructure. It offers high speed Internet access.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
A style-sheet determines how the HTML document is displayed by the browser. The
current version of CSS is version 2 (CSS2).
CCIT refers to Comite Consultatif International Telegraphique et Telephonique
(International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee). It is an
International telecommunication standards body.
CERN refers to Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire. It is a nuclear
research laboratory where the World Wide Web was invented.
It is the Digital ID used for SSL transactions. It includes owner's public key,
the name of the owner, the issuer, hostname and the expiry date.
A company trusted by a browser maker that issues digital certificates that are
supposed to guarantee that the company is what it claims to be for use in
encrypted digital transactions though SSL. Verisign is the biggest certificate
CGI isCommon Gateway Interface. It is a standard for interfacing web servers
with an executable application. A CGI program can be written in any language
like Perl or C/C++ and it is often stored in a special directory like /cgi-bin.
CGI is often used to process data from HTML forms.
A directory on the server where the executable CGI scripts reside.
Channel Definition Format (CDF)
A way of defining the server-push channels for accessing frequently changing web
CHAP refers to Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol. It is an
authentication protocol used in PPP protocol. CHAP uses a username and a
A computer program that requests a service from the server program, usually over
A network architecture system is divided into two parts: the client and the
Connecting many computers and making them appear as one machine. This is done to
increase reliability and performance.
Putting a web server in a dedicated facility that provides high-speed Internet
connection, security, environment, backup power, and technical support. Unlike
the dedicated server, the client controls both hardware and software.
It is the server appliance made by Cobalt specifically for hosting companies.
Newest RaQs are Linux-based and provide an easy-to-use interface. RaQs have no
features that can't be had in a regular Linux box but they offer pre-installed
programs and Cobalt's support.
ColdFusion is an easy to use server-side scripting language developed by Allaire.
It comes with ColdFusion Studio, a visual IDE. Other popular server-side
scripting languages are ASP. Perl, PHP, TCL, Python, and JSP.
Command line interface is opposite of the GUI (Graphical User Interface). It is
a way of interacting with a computer system using the keyboard and a text-only
display. It is usually more powerful, but less user-friendly than a GUI.
Control Panel (CPanel)
Control panel included in web hosting packages is an online web-based
application that allows you to easily manage different aspects of your account.
Most control panels will let you upload files, add email accounts, change
contact information, set up shopping carts or databases, view usage statistics,
A Cookie is a piece of data that is saved in the user's browser by the web
server. It is used to customize user's browsing experience.
CPU refers to Central Processing Unit. It is the brain of the computer.
Crawler is also known as spider. It is an automated software that retrieves web
pages and follows the hyperlinks contained in them. It is used to generate
indexes used by search engines.
It is ISDN signaling channel. It runs at 16 or 64 Kbps.
In Web hosting, the total size of files transferred by an account in a month.
Sites with a lots of graphics, downloads, or streaming audio or video and a lot
of visitors will require plans with more available transfer.
Data in a structured format stored on a web server. It is basically the
collection of data. Most popular type is a relational database. The most common
query (information retrieval) language for relational databases is SQL.
Similar to co-location, except that you lease or rent hardware from a Web host.
The main advantage over co-location is easier upgrade and usually better
support. Getting a dedicated server or co-locating is necessary for sites that
outgrow shared servers because they use a lot of bandwidth and resources or they
require total control over software environment.
Data Encryption Standard - an U.S. government approved cipher. It is easy to
break in its simplest form, but used multiple times with key of at least 128
bits provides good security.
DHCP is Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. It is an automated way of obtaining
an IP address in the Local Area Network.
Dialup access is a way of connecting a computer to the Internet using a modem
and the telephone line. It is rather slow and blocks the telephone line.
DNS is Domain Name System. Internet service that maps Internet domains into
corresponding IP addresses. DNS database is distributed and replicated among
many DNS servers, so when you change your domain's IP address, the changes take
a while to propagate.
Domain name is an easy-to-remember address that can be translated by DNS into
server's IP address. Domain names are hierarchical. Domain's suffix indicates
which TLD (top level domain) it belongs to, for example .com, .gov, .org, .net,
or .jp. Recently ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)
added several new TLDs, like .biz, .pro., and .museum.
DSL is Digital Subscriber Line. It is a better way of connecting a computer to
the Internet using the telephone line. It's faster than the dialup and doesn't
block the telephone line. However, it is more expensive because the special
equipment is required.
Using web and Internet technologies in conducting the business activities. It is
also expanding end enhancing traditional business practices by means of the
EIA is Electronic Industries Association. It is an industry trade organization
involved with definition of standards for electrical consumer products. It works
jointly with the TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association).
Electronic Mail (E-Mail, email)
Email is one of the most popular Internet services. Basically it's the
transmission of text based messages. An email message can also contain more
structured elements, like tables, images and multimedia. It can also be used to
send various data files, by means of attachments. You have to have an email
account in order to be able to use this service.
Encryption means encoding data using a cryptographic cipher. Encrypted data can
be read (decrypted) only by an authorized entity.
Ethernet is Local Area Network (LAN) protocol, invented by Xerox Corporation. It
is a broadcast protocol that uses CSMA/CD method and utilizes electrical cables.
It can run at various speeds: 10Mbps, 100Mbps and even 1000Mbps. IEEE 802.3
standard describes Ethernet. Word Ethernet is also sometimes used to describe
the implementation that runs at the speed of 10Mbps.
A part of the company's network that is made accessible for some group of
people. It is sometimes protected by a password or some other kind of
authentication. It allows users to access some of the non-public data, eg. a
person's credit card balance.
FAQ is Frequently Asked Questions. It lists of frequently asked questions and
answers to them are used as a way of sharing knowledge on the web. They are a
very good way of finding solutions to different problems. Some companies include
them in their websites to minimize the number of Customer Support inquiries.
Fast Ethernet is the implementation of Ethernet standard that operates at the
speed of 100Mbps.
FCC means Federal Communications Commission. It is a US telecommunications
regulatory organization. It controls standards that pertain to electronic and
electromagnetic transmission and also licenses the frequencies and bandwidth for
the commercial use.
FDDI is Fibre Distributed Data Interface. It is a very high speed network
protocol. It uses fibre-optics cable, and is mainly used as the backbone network
protocol due to its speed. It is also often the choice for critical applications
due to its reliability.
Fibre Optic Cable
A cable used for transmitting data as a light wave. A fibre optic cable is
composed of one or more optical fibres. It is more expensive that copper wire,
but offers higher transmission speeds and allows for communication over larger
Last three or four letters of a file name that appear after the dot. Used to
designate the type of file and the format used.
Screening network packets for certain properties, such as the source or
destination address, protocol used or even a pattern in the data. It is used in
firewalls in order to decide if the traffic is to be forwarded or rejected. It
provides the basis for network security.
A Unix program used to display information about users of the system. It can be
Firewall refers to either software-only or separate software and hardware
combination that serves to protect an internal network or a computer from
attacks and unauthorized access by sitting between the Internet and the internal
An insulting email message sent to an individual as punishment for not adhering
to the netiquette. It can be sometimes seen in the newsgroups or on internet
FPU is Floating Point Unit, A part of the computer responsible for high
precision mathematical operations.
It is a fast packet switching protocol. Used mainly in Wide Area Networks. It
differs from ATM in that packets can have variable length.
Microsoft's server-side applications that lets users of FrontPage Web site
creation tool to incorporate "web-bots" that perform pre-packaged function like
full-text Web site searching or adding a hit counter. FrontPage extensions are
also available for Unix-based operating systems but some hosts refuse to use
them because of potential security holes.
FTP is File Transfer Protocol. The Internet protocol defines how to download and
upload files between a client and an FTP server. The popular client FTP programs
are CuteFTP and WS_FTP. Major browsers also have FTP capability.
Using email messages to access the FTP sites. It requires a special software
installed on the server.
A network device used to translate between two different protocols. It
interconnects two networks that use incompatible protocols.
GIF means Graphics Interchange Format. It is a graphic file format invented by
Compuserve. Its one of the most widely used formats for internet and web. It
uses a lossless compression method, thus ensuring that the quality of the image
is not lowered.
Gigabit Ethernet is the Ethernet standard implementation that runs at 1000Mbps.
1 Gb= 1024 Megabytes.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
A way of interacting with computer that relies on graphical symbols. Most often
requires a mouse. It is less powerful then the command-line interface, but is
more user-friendly and is easier to learn for users without technical
Hexadecimal color-notation system
It is a way of defining colours. Uses RGB scheme and associates a two digit
hexadecimal number with each base colour (red, green and blue).
In the WWW world "hit" is used to describe a single request made by a web
browser. The data transmitted by the web server in response to the request is a
text file or a binary file (images, audio, video, executables and other data).
Main web page owned by a company, organization or an individual. This is the
page that is initially displayed when user makes a request for a particular
A networked computer dedicated to providing a certain kind of service. Usually
refers to a computer that stores the website files and has a web server running
(Hypertext Mark-up Language). It is the language in which web pages are written.
It allows the images to be combined with text and offers wide range of
formatting capabilities. One of the most important features of HTML is
hypertext, which allows web pages to be liked one to each other. HTML relies on
tags, which have the following form:
HTTP is Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. The main protocol used to transfer and
receive data over the World Wide Web. The latest version of HTTP is 1.1. Basic
HTTP transaction involves a WWW browser connecting to a server, browser sending
a request to the server specifying its capabilities and which document is
requested, server responding with the required data, and closing of the
Hub is a network device that is used for connecting computers on a Local Area
Network (LAN). It forwards all the packets it receives to all of its ports.
A part of the web page that links to another web page is hyperlink. By clicking
on a hyperlink user redirects the browser to another page. The word hyperlink is
sometimes shortened to just "link".
A text on the web page that is linked to another webpage. Browsers usually
display hypertext as underlined and in blue colour.
IEEE is Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. It is an organization
that ensures that electronic devices produced by different companies can
interoperate. IEEE developed the 802 family of standards that govern computer
Microsoft Internet Information Server. Microsoft's Web server that comes
built-in with Windows NT Server 4 and Windows 2000 server.
An image displayed on the webpage that has different areas that are hyperlinks.
By clicking on different parts of the image browser can be redirected to another
webpage, or can display modified version of the current one.
IMAP is Internet Message Access Protocol. A method allowing a client email
program to access remote messages stored on a mail server. The protocol includes
operations for creating, deleting, and renaming mailboxes, checking for new
messages, message parsing, searching, and setting and clearing flags. IMAP was
originally developed in 1986 at Stanford.
The word Internet refers to all the computer networks worldwide that are
connected together. TCP/IP is the de facto standard protocol set for Internet.
An extremely fast network that connects major cities. Most often it utilizes T3
circuits and provides the bandwidth of 45Mbps.
Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP)
A network control protocol running on top of the IP protocol. It is used by
Internet hosts to maintain information related to multicast. All machines that
want to use the multicast have to have the IGMP implemented.
The organization that handles domain name registrations. See http://www.internic.net/
A part of an organization's network that is private. Only authorized individuals
have access to the intranet. Besides that an intranet is very similar to the
Internet in a sense that it offers the same services and uses the same
(Internet Protocol) is tha main protocol used on the Internet.
Internet Protocol Address. A unique number identifying all devices connected to
the Internet. This number is usually shown in groups of numbers from 0 to 255,
separated by periods, for example 220.127.116.11.
IP packet is the basic data chunk that can be sent over the Internet. All the
data is partitioned into IP packets on the sending computer and reassembled on
the receiving computer.
IPX means Internet Packet Exchange. A Novell's proprietary network protocol.
IRC means Internet Relay Chat. It is a Multi-user chat service. IRC users can go
into public or private channels to discuss a topic or transfer files. IRC
servers are connected into networks. The most popular IRC client program is mIRC.
Many hosts are vary of letting customers access IRC because of a possibility of
a denial of service attack on the whole network.
ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network. An international standard that
governs the transmission of both voice and data. It uses a digital circuits and
has speed of 64Kbps. It can be used for normal telephone service as well as data
ISO: International Organisation for Standardisation. A Geneva-based
international organization that develops and publishes various international
ISP: Internet Service Provider. A company that provides its subscribers with
Internet access. Customers have a username and a password and can dial-up or use
a cable or DSL line to connect to ISP's network which is connected to the
Internet. The biggest ISP is AOL.
ITU: International Telecommunication Union, Formerly CCITT. Another
international standards body concerned with telecommunications.
A popular compression format. Also a name of a compression utility.
Sun's popular programming language. Java is a platform-independent (at least in
theory), crash-protected, object-oriented language that can be used to write
applets that run in a browser, servlets that run server-side, or independent
programs. Java's syntax is similar to that of C++.
Java class files
The file or set of files that contain the code for a Java applet.
Servlets are programs written in Java that run on a Web server and can produce
dynamic pages. Also see JSP.
Java Virtual Machine (JVM, Java Runtime Environment)
A set of programs that allow for Java applets to be run on a particular computer
can be embedded in HTML pages to create interactive effects and do tasks like
Java Database Connectivity - a mechanism allowing Java applets to access
JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is an image compression format
designed for the Internet. Uses lossy compression, meaning that the quality of
the image can be lowered.
object-based, interpreted scripting language.
Java Server Pages. Extension of Java Servlet technology for combining Java
server-side programs and HTML. JSP pages have an extension .jsp.
Kilobits per second. 1Kbps = 1024bps.
Protocol for transferring files over the modem connection. It's very slow.
I Kb= 1024 bytes.
LAN is Local Area Network. A network of devices (computers, printers, hubs)
occupying a small area. Usually LANs do not span more than one building. LANs
are very fast compared to WANs.
A LAN Modem is used to connect multiple computers to some other network (eg.
ISP) over a phone line. It has a built in hub functionality.
It is a dedicated communication line. User is charged a flat fee instead of
being billed per minute of usage.
It is the process of configuring the ISDN line by the service provider to suit
user's particular needs and to assure hardware compatibility. It's due to the
fact that ISDN is not completely standardized.
Another name for connection. Sometimes refers to a physical line.
A free UNIX-like operating system developed by Linus Torvalds. Linux and FreeBSD
are very often used by hosting companies as their operating systems.
An alias for an individual that is used for identification and authentication
when accessing a computer system. Usually it is a sequence of characters and
A compression scheme is lossless when decompressed file is exactly the same as
the original. This is needed for compressing executable programs and data files.
A lossy compression allows for the quality of the compressed data to be
diminished after decompression. It is suitable for audio, video and image
Lempel Ziv Welch compression - a popular compression algorithm.
MAC: Media Access Control. A network protocol used to control the access to the
network by different devices.
Media Access Control addresses (also hardware or physical address). Every device
on the Local Area Network has an unique MAC address. It is used to identify
devices and to control access to the network using MAC protocol.
A way of having a group discussion with list subscribers by email. Emails are
sent to all list subscribers. Popular mailing list programs, like Listserv and
Majordomo, allow for automated subscription and un-subscription from a mailing
list. Some hosting plans allow creation of mailing lists.
The Internet host (together with the appropriate software) that is used to send,
receive and forward email messages.
A powerful computer used for computing-intensive tasks.
MegaBytes (MB) per second, 1 MB = 1,048,576 bytes
Megabits (Mb) per second, 1Mb = 1,048,576 bits
1MB = 1024 KiloBytes = 1,048,576 bytes
MegaHertz = 1.000.000 Hertz
Microsoft's low-end relational database included with the MS Office suite.
Microsoft's RAD tool for creating relational databases. FoxPro is a part of
Microsoft's Visual Studio.
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft's high-end SQL database running on Windows systems.
MIME: Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions is a method of including binary data
and other multimedia content within email messages.
An FTP site that stores the exact content of some other site. Mirroring is done
in order to minimize the load on a particular server and also to increase
Miva's XML based server-side scripting language. Available for multiple
Browser-based storefront development and management system for merchants.
MOdulator-DEModulator. A device used to transform digital data sent by a
computer to analog format suitable for transmission over a telephone line. It
also transforms analog signals back to the digital form. A modem is required for
the dial up connection to the Internet.
An extremely popular lossy audio compression format. Widely used over the
MPEG: Motion Picture Experts Group. It is a video compression format for movies
mSQL (Mini SQL)
Light-weight relational database.
A message that is sent to a specific group of hosts.
Most popular open-source relational database. Many Unix-based plans allow MySQL
Informal set of rules that should be followed when using internet services like
email, message boards and newsgroups. Describes what it means to be "well
behaved" while interacting with other people online.
A company that developed one of the most popular web browsers: Netscape
A group of electronic devices connected together that are able to communicate
with each other.
Network management can be defined as a set of activities (e.g. network
monitoring, gathering and analyzing the statistics, adjusting network
configuration) performed in order to increase the network performance and
A virtual Internet place where people exchange thoughts, ideas and interests,
amuse themselves and do a zillion other things, all by means of text messages.
An application that allows to use newsgroups.
Network Interface Card - a part of the computer hardware responsible for
connecting a particular machine to the local area network.
(Network News Transfer Protocol) An Internet protocol that describes how the
newsgroups messages are distributed, stored, posted and retrieved.
OC-1, OC-3, OC-12, OC-24, OC-48
Optical Carrier transmission speeds, used in fiber optic networks conforming to
SONET standard. OC-1 is 51.85 Mbps. Higher levels are multiples of that speed.
ODBC: Open Database Connectivity. It is a standard allowing applications to
access different databases in an uniform way.
The state of the computer when it is not connected to the network (i.e. it is
The state of a computer when it is connected to the network and communicate with
A software heart of the computer. It is a set of programs that manage the
hardware resources of a computer, provide the environment for application
programs to run and provide the user interface. Most known operating systems
are: different flavors of Unix (SunOs, HP-UX, Irix, FreeBSD, Linux,...), MacOS
(Open System Interconnection). A network standard developed by ISO and CCITT. It
describes the way in which protocols of different layers communicate. This
enables machines of different vendors to communicate over the network.
Name for a basic web document. Websites usually consist of many (web) pages.
PAP: Password Authentication Protocol. PAP is the authentication protocol used
over PPP connections.
A peer-to-peer network is a collection of computers that can communicate and
share information, but that don't have any kind of hierarchical structure. This
is the opposite of the client/server model.
Open source CGI scripting programming language, written in 1987. Still, one of
the most popular web programming languages mostly due to its powerful
text-manipulation facilities. A huge number of Perl scripts are available for
PHP is an free, open-source server-side scripting language. PHP code can be
embedded in HTML. PHP files usually have extensions like .php or .php3. PHP
language style is similar to C and Java. Other popular server-side scripting
languages are ASP, Perl, ColdFusion, TCL, Python, and JSP.
PKZIP or PKUNZIP
Popular compression and decompression programs.
An add-on piece of software that can extend the features of an existing
application. For example Netscape browser plug-ins allow displaying of new types
of web content, that the browser can't display on its own.
POP: Post Office Protocol. It is popular but inflexible email retrieval
standard. All messages are downloaded at the name time and can only be
manipulated on a client machine. Current version is POP3. Also see IMAP.
A socket on the computer or other network device used to connect it to the
PPP: Point to Point Protocol. It is a network protocol widely used to connect
computers to the Internet. Most often used on a telephone line.
PRI: Primary Rate Interface. Its one of the two ISDN access methods. 23 of 64
Kbps B channels and 1 64 Kbps D channel constitute a PRI.
A set of rules by following which two parties can communicate. The TCP/IP
protocol suite is the basis of todays Internet.
PSTN: Public Switched Telephone Network. The set of all the traditional
telephone lines and the entire infrastructure that comes with it.
Interpreted programming language, sometimes offered by hosts for server-side
RAID: Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks. Type of disk, often
used on servers, where several physical disks are combined into an array for
better speed and fault tolerance.
Level 0 implements data striping where file blocks are written to separate
drives. Does not provide fault tolerance, because failure of one drive will
result in data loss.
Level 1 implements data mirroring. Data is duplicated on two drives either
through software or hardware. Provides faster read performance than a single
Level 2 - not used in practice. Data is split at bit level at written to
Level 3 - requires at least 3 drives. Data block is striped at byte level across
drives and error correction codes (parity info) is recorder on another drive.
Provides fault tolerance but slower writing performance.
Level 4 - Similar to Level 3 but provides faster performance because it uses
blocks for striping.
Level 5 - Similar to Level 4 but improves performance but also striping parity
info across multiple drives.
Level 6 - Similar to Level 5 but also uses second parity scheme for better fault
Level 7 - Proprietary RAID design by Storage Computer Corporation. Faster than
other levels because it uses multiple levels of cache and asynchronous I/O
In addition multiple RAID levels can be combined to improve performance or
Raw access data updated in real-time that can be downloaded and used by any
statistics program. Typically each line show the user's IP, date and time of the
access, what kind of request was done, which document was requested, HTTP status
code, bytes transferred, referrer, and user agent info. If a host doesn't have
statistics, you'll need access to raw logs to identify who your site's visitors
are. Analyzing raw logs can also provide more detailed look at site accesses
Resellers are usually smaller companies that still try to build their customers
base. They don't own the server with user accounts but can perform most
A standard connector that is used to connect to the telephone line.
A standard connector that is used to connect to the Ethernet network.
A network device (can be a dedicated computer) that is used to connect two or
more networks together and route packets between them.
A public key cryptosystem developed by Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard
Adleman. It can be used to encrypt session keys and to generate digital
Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions - a way of making email messages
more secure. S/MIME uses digital certificates to attest the message origin and
encryption to ensure that message could not be read while in transit.
A programming language in which programs are the series of commands that are
interpreted and then executed one by one. It doesn't require the compilation
phase, for the price of lower performance.
An Internet service that stores a vast number of web pages and allows for fast
searching among them. Also, a piece of software that implements a website search
An online form in which a query to the web pages database is specified.
A search engine uses search indexer to provide faster search.
An archived file that is also an executable program. The original archived file
is decompressed when that program is run.
Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP)
Another network protocol used to connect computers to the networks. Similar to
A networked computer that handles client requests for Web pages.
A company that provides access to the Internet, usually for a fee.
All the data exchange between two parties, starting when the connection is
established and ending when connection terminates.
Initial fee charged by a host to set up your hosting account. You can review it
in our TOS section.
Software that allows users to select products from a Web catalogue, modify their
choices, calculate prices, review their choices, and order them. Many hosts with
e-commerce plans offer installed shopping carts, but you can always get a
shopping cart of your choice instead.
Secure HTTP. A version of HTTP protocol that uses encryption to assure that the
traffic between the server and the browser cannot be eavesdropped on. It should
be considered mandatory for all e-commerce applications.
A few lines of text that are automatically attached at the end of each email
message by the email client. Usually it's some personal identification or an (un)interesting
An applet that has a digital signature to confirm that it originates from the
SLIP: Serial Line Internet Protocol - a standard way of connecting a computer to
the internet via the telephone line.
SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Very popular protocol used to transfer
email messages across the Internet mail servers. .
SNMP: Simple Network Management Protocol. A most widespread protocol used for
Unsolicited email sent in mass quantities to multiple receipents, most often for
marketing purposes. Highly annoying and constituting one of the most serious
An automated software that retrieves web pages and follows the hyperlinks
contained in them. It is used to generate indexes used by search engines.
SPX: Sequenced Packet Exchange. A proprietary Novell network protocol used in
conjunction with IPX.
Structured Query Language. Limited programming language used for updating and
performing queries on relational databases. All databases share a common subset
of SQL. Most popular SQL databases available with hosting plans are MySQL and MS
Secure Shell. Developed by SSH Communications Security, it is a standard for
encrypted terminal Internet connections. SSH programs provide strong
authentication and encrypted communications, replacing less secure access
methods like telnet.
Server-Side Includes. It instructs the server to include some dynamic
information in a Web page before it is sent to a client. This dynamic
information could be current date, an opinion poll, etc. Many hosts require that
SSI pages have .shtml extension to reduce the load on servers by not having to
parse non-SSI pages.
Secure Sockets Layer. It is a protocol developed by Netscape to provide
encryption for commercial transactions data that should be protected while
travelling over the Internet, like credit card numbers. SSL uses https protocol.
Before using SSL in commerce, you'll also need to get is a certificate from a
Static (or dedicated) IP
If a host offers a static IP, it means that your site will be assigned a unique
and unchanging IP address. See the FAQ for some possible advantages of using a
STP: Shielded Twisted Pair. Cabling consisting of pairs of insulated wires
wrapped in metal to minimize interference.
Playing multimedia files (audio and video) without requiring a full download.
Audio and video are compressed but they still may require a lot of bandwidth.
Most popular streaming media formats are Real Audio/Video.
Sub-domain is a way to divide your site into sections with short and easy to
remember names. For example, a section of this site for new users could be at
newbies.webhostingratings.com. Other use of sub domains might be to let somebody
Large websites might make their sub domains point to another server to reduce
load on the main www site.
Using World Wide Web is often referred to as "surfing the web".
A switch is a network device that forwards packets. Switches are more
intelligent than hubs in a sense that they forward packets only to the necessary
ports and not to all the ports.
Dedicated telecommunications line providing 1.5 Mbps of bandwidth. Consists of
24 individual channels 64 Kbps each, that can be configured for voice or data
transmission. T1 lines can be leased by businesses that required a dedicated Net
connection of with higher reliability than a DSL and faster than an ISDN line
but are still quite expensive.
Dedicated telecommunications line providing 44 Mbps of bandwidth. T3 lines are
often used by ISPs to connect to the Internet backbone.
TCL: Tool command language. Simple scripting language and library often used for
GUI, string-manipulation, testing, and integration of multiple components.
TCP: Transmission Control Protocol- is the most important of the network
protocols used in the Internet.
TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. This protocol suite is
the de facto standard for the today's Internet. TCP is a higher level protocol
that runs on top of the IP protocol.
Character-based protocol for connecting with remote systems. Still popular among
hosts, but it is being replaced by much more secure SSH access.
1 TB=1024 gigabytes
TIA: Telecommunications Industry Association. It is another telecommunications
TLD: Top Level Domain. The domain name elements at the right, such as .com, .org
or .gov. Recently, new TLDs like .pro or .museum were added to supplement older
TLDs. ccTLDs (country code TLDs), like .uk or .fr are used per-country.
A computer program that lists network hosts visited by a packed on the way to
its destination. Very useful for network debugging.
Data packets being transmitted over a network.
A pair of wires twisted one around the other. Very common in the networking
A 16 bit ISO 10646 character set. It can accommodate way more characters that
ASCII, thus allowing for easier internationalization.
A family of multi-user operating systems, first developed by AT&T Bell
Laboratories in the 1970s and then licensed to many universities. A basis for
Linux, a very popular operating system among web hosts.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator is a way of addressing used for world wide web. An
URL consists of the type of service (protocol), then the host name and then the
file on the host.
Network of all the newsgroups in the Internet.
UTP: Unshielded Twisted Pair. Similar to the STP, but without the shielding
metal layer. It is more prone to interference but is less bulky that the STP
It is a method of sending binary files using email - similar in purpose to MIME.
Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition. Interpreted scripting language (subset
of MS Visual Basic language) for creating scripts that can be embedded in HTML
Here is the official VBScript site. VBScript is comparable to JScript.
A stand-alone application used to display files of different formats. For
example a QuickTime move viewer or a JPG file viewer.
A virus is a malicious program written to do as much harm as possible. Viruses
can spread themselves over the network.
VPN: Virtual Private Network. A virtual private network is a method of accessing
the private network in a secure way over public communication lines and
W3C: World Wide Web Consortium. An international industry consortium that
develops standards for the World Wide Web.
An audio file format. Very accurate, but offers no compression, thus resulting
in very large files.
A person responsible for the maintenance of a particular website.
An Internet service allowing to obtain the information about the domain name
Wide Area Network (WAN)
A set of computers that are to far apart to constitute a LAN. In fact, WANs are
very often composed of a number of Local Area Networks interconnected together.
World Wide Web (or Web) is the most popular Internet service. It allows access
to the information and services from the web servers. A web browser is needed to
use the Web.
XML: Extensible Mark-up Language. A meta-language, abbreviated version of SGML,
used to specify other document types used on the Web. Accepted as a format in
1998 to replace dependence on HTML extensions. MSIE 5.5 and Netscape 6 both
A program that can XML documents and access their content.
A file transfer protocol. Rather slow.
Your Mileage May Vary
Popular file transfer protocol. It is faster than XMODEM.
A popular compression utility.
A file transfer protocol. It's the fastest of XMODEM and YMODEM and thus the