- how to choose an Internet Service Provider a site by Gromco


ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) [Technology] One of the "flavors" of DSL, that uses the existing telephone network for high-speed access. The speed for downloads and uploads are NOT the same with ADSL (actually, downloading is always faster). see also: DSL, sDSL

Anonymous FTP [Method of Access] The term refers to an FTP session that doesn't require user account information (username and password). This method is especially useful for creating "upload areas" where any user can put his/her files. see also: FTP

ASCII [Standard] American Standard Code for Information Interchange. This standard specifies how digital data can be translated into text by computers.

Asymmetrical [Type of Connection] In general, this term refers to connections that provide different speeds depending on which way the data "flows" in. In simple terms, 'downloading' will be (usually) faster than 'uploading'. see also aDSL

Backbone Internet line that allows data transmission at extremely high speeds. ISP's that operate their own backbones are referred to as "Tier-1" providers.

bps (bits per second) [Measurement] That's how we measure the speed of a modem (or any other device for that matter) - by looking at the number of bits it can 'send' over its channels per second. see also bit

Bit [Measurement] A single digit of a binary number. A bit can only have two values, 0 and 1, thus being the smallest possible unit of informational. see also byte, bps

Byte [Measurement] Eight bits grouped together. A byte can have 256 different values. see also bit, Kilobyte, Megabyte

Browser [Software] Piece of software that allows you to view the contents of web sites. The most popular browsers today are Netscape Navigator (or Communicator) and Microsoft Internet Explorer. see also Netscape, IE (Explorer)

CGI [Protocol] Common Gateway Interface. A standard protocol that allows webmasters to implement interactive web pages. Essentially, a CGI allows you to run a program on the web server and change its output depending on the parameters that are passed in.

Cookie A piece of information that's passed to or retrieved from your browser for "personalization" purposes. This allows web servers to "recognize" you as an individual user. Browser security settings allow you to block cookies if you prefer (certain sites may not be usable if you do that, though).

DS-1 [Type of line] A line capable of delivering 1.54 Mbps (1,540 Kbps) in both directions.

DS-3 [Type of line] A line capable of delivering 44.7 Mbps (44,700 Kbps) in both directions. See also: T-1

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) [Technology] A collective name for recently developed technologies that use the existing telephone network for high-speed access. see also ADSL, SDSL.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) [Protocol] Standard protocol for moving files across the internet.

HTTP (File Transfer Protocol) [Protocol] The protocol used for serving web pages. More info.

IE (Internet Explorer) [Software] The most popular web "browser". The only serious competitor of IE is Netscape. see also: Browser Netscape

ISDN (integrated services digital network) [Technology]. A digital phone line capable of carrying data at speeds from 57 Kbps to 128 Kbps.

ISP (internet service provider) [Organization]. A company providing Internet access to consumers at home and at work - usually by letting them "dial-in" into their systems using a modem.

K (Kilobyte) [Unit of Measurement] = 1,024 bytes. Most web pages are approximately 20K-50K in size.

KFlex (= K56Flex) [Protocol] Rockwell and Lucent's modulation protocol that allows modems to work at 56 Kbps. Not every line in the U.S. would be able to work with KFlex. see also x2, v90

Kbps (Kilo-bit per second) [Measurement]. A speed of 1,024 bits per second (bps). see also bps, MBPS

LAN (Local Area Network) [Acronym] A group of computers connected together. Usually LAN's belong to one organization - a company, a university, and so on. Some people who have more than one computer at home set up home LAN's to share files and devices between computers.

MB (Megabyte) [Unit of Measurement] = 1,024 KB (Kilobytes) or 1,048,576 bytes. Most modern computer have at least 32 Megabytes of memory.

Mbps (Mega-bits per second) [Measurement]. A speed of 1,024 Kbit per second (Kbps) or 1,048,576 bit per second (bps). see also Kbps, bps

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) [Format] Format often used to send email messages containing graphics and other multimedia. More info.

Modem (modulator / demodulator) [Device]. A device that encodes (digital) data into analog signals to be transmitted over the phone network and decodes incoming analog signals back into digital form.

Netscape [Company, often Software]. The company that developed one of the most popular browsers for the World Wide Web ("Navigator", and later "Communicator"). see also browser

OC-3 [Type of line] A fiber-optic based line capable of transmitting at the speed of 155 Mbit per second. At this point, only the nation's leading Internet Service Providers are upgrading to this speed.

SDSL (symmetric digital subscriber line) [Technology] One of the "flavors" of DSL, that uses the existing telephone network for high-speed access. What's different about symmetric DSL is that the speed of downloads is the same as the speed of uploads. Example of download: you browsing a website or downloading a large video file. Example of upload: you are sending an email or FTP'ing your own sound file from your hard drive to a remote server. see also: DSL, ADSL

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) [Protocol] The most widely used protocol for sending electronic mail on the Internet. SMTP is, basically, a set of rules that describe how a program sending mail and a program receiving mail should interact. More info.

T-1 [Type of line] Same as DS-1. see also: DS-1

T-3 [Type of line] Same as DS-3. see also: DS-3

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) [Standard] The standard way to give the address of any resource on the Internet. A URL has the following components: protocol (such as http:// for web sites, ftp:// for file transfers, gopher:// for older sites that were structured as libraries on-line), hostname (between protocol and next '/') and file path (everything after that). More info. see also: ftp

v34 [Standard] One of the standards for modems, allowing modulation at speed up to 33,600 bps (more realistically 28,800 bps). The standard came as a revision of the previous standard, V.FC. see also modem, bps

v90 [Standard] One of the standards for modems, allowing modulation at 56 Kbps. This standard is gradually becoming predominant in the 56 Kbps access market. In other words, pretty soon almost all ISP's offering 56 K accounts will support v90. More info. see also modem, bps

x2 [Protocol] US Robotics' protocol for 56K modulation. Supported by many (if not most) U.S. ISP's offering 56 K dial-up plans. Alternative protocols are Kflex and v.90. see also KFlex, v.90
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