Do you know your ISP from your DSL? How about the difference between DNSs and RSSs? We’re here to help decipher some key Internet terms.
KNOW YOUR NET TERMS!
You may already know some of these, and we’re sure you’ve seen them before. Now let’s learn them:
ISP (Internet Service Provider)
Better known as your carrier or your provider, an ISP provides access to the Internet, pure and simple. Three types of ISPs are found: access ISPs, which hook customers directly up to the Net; hosting ISPs, which lease out portions of their bandwidth with each subscriber; and transit ISPs which are like the superhighways of the Internet, connect hosting ISPs to access ISPs.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
The line that links up your Internet connection to your computer is the same type of regular telephone line normally used; the reason a DSL can provide both signals simultaneously is because DSL use a higher frequency than telephone transmissions.
LAN (Local Area Network)
A LAN is a network of computers all “chained” together within a limited geographical area (e.g., in a home, at school, in an office building). Because they’re all operating within a closed loop, data transfer rates are usually better than rates found in wide area networks (WAN).
RSS (RDF Site Summary…also called Really Simple Syndication)
An RSS is a web-based series of formats that helps keep track of often-updated Internet content (such as blogs that are updated with reader comments). RSS docs are often called “feeds” and contain additional data about updates (such as authorship information and dates). By using RSS docs, a site can easily accommodate a great number of users, each of whom want to post their individual comments.
DNS (Domain Name System)
Every computer carries a unique numerical signature, an IP address that functions like that computer’s phone number. The DNS is a naming system that lets users find a domain name that links up desired chosen words with combinations of numbers, thus creating a domain name that’s a lot catchier than a string of random numbers.
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol…also called “Voice Over IP”)
Any time you use your Internet connection to make a long-distance call with another Internet user, you’re taking advantage of VOIP technology. Skype, iChat and even Vonage are all VOIP providers. VOIP basically refers to making telephone calls via an Internet connection, but it can refer to any transmission of data that takes place during an online session.
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
Using technology that enables speech and data transmission between multiple locations, ISDN enables modern videoconferencing, in which voice transmissions are joined by text transmissions and other data. And because ISDNs carry digital voice and data information across regular copper telephone lines, the sound quality is often better than analog telephone signals could ordinarily provide.
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Connecting to the Internet
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