Asynchronous Transfer Mode. Under ATM, multiple traffic types (such as voice, video, or data) are conveyed in fixed-length cells (rather than the random-length
"packets" moved by technologies such as Ethernet and FDDI). This enables very high speeds, making ATM popular for demanding network backbones
The part of a network
that acts as the primary path for traffic moving between, rather than within, networks.
The "data-carrying" capacity of a network connection, used as an indication
of speed. For example, an Ethernet link is capable of moving 10 million bits of data per second. A Fast Ethernet link can move 100 million bits of data per second – 10 times more bandwidth.
A device that passes packets between multiple network segments using the same communications protocol. If a packet is destined for a user within the sender's own network segment, the bridge
keeps the packet local. If the packet is bound for another segment, the passes the packet onto the network backbone.
A networked PC or terminal that shares "services"
with other PCs. These services are stored on or administered by a server.
A popular LAN technology that uses CSMA/CD (collision detection) to move packets between
workstations and runs over a variety of cable types at 10 Mbps. Also called 10BaseT.
A network that provides access to company documents such as price lists, inventory
reports, shipping schedules and more to external users -- such as your suppliers, independent sales agents and dealers.
Uses the same transmission method as 10-Mbps
Ethernet (collision detection) but operates at 100 Mbps – 10 times faster. Fast Ethernet provides a smooth upgrade path for increasing performance in congested Ethernet networks, because it uses the same
cabling, applications and network management tools. Variations include 100Base-FX, 100Base-T4 and 100Base-TX.
Fiber Distributed Data Interface. A LAN technology based on a
100-Mbps token-passing network running over fiber-optic cable. Usually reserved for network backbones in larger organizations.
Wide area network service that provides
switched ("on-and-off") connections between distant locations.
File Transfer Protocol. A part of the chief Internet protocol "stack" or group (TCP/IP), used
for transferring files from Internet servers to your computer.
hypertext markup language. Simple document formatting language used for preparing documents to be viewed by a tool
such as a worldwide web browser.
hypertext transmission protocol. Protocol that governs transmission of formatted documents over the Internet.
device that interconnects clients and servers, repeating (or amplifying) the signals between them. Hubs act as wiring "concentrators" in networks based on star topologies (rather than bus
topologies, in which computers are daisy-chained together).
A massive global network, interconnecting tens of thousands of computers and networks worldwide and accessible
from any computer with a modem or router connection and the appropriate software.
An internal network that leverages some of the same tools popularized on the Internet
(browsers for viewing material, HTML for preparing company directories or announcement, etc.).
Integrated Services Digital Network. Communication protocol offered by telephone
companies that permits high-speed connections between computers and network in dispersed locations.
Local Area Network. Typically, a network or group of network segments confined
to one building or a campus. Compare to WAN.
Device that enables a computer to connect to other computers and networks using ordinary phone lines. Modems "modulate"
the computer's digital signals into analog signals for transmission, then "demodulate" those analog signals back into digital language that the computer on the other end can understand.
A block of data with a "header" attached that can indicate what the packet contains and where it is headed. Think of a packet as a "data envelope," with the
header acting as an address.
Remote Access Server
Device that handles multiple incoming calls from remote users who need access to central network resources. A remote access server
can allow users to dial into a network using a single phone number. The server then finds an open channel and makes a connection without returning a busy signal.
moves data between different network segments and can look into a packet header to determine the best path for the packet to travel. Routers can connect network segments that use different protocols. They
also allow all users in a network to share a single connection to the Internet or a WAN.
A computer or even a software program that provides services to clients – such as file
storage (file server), programs (application server), printer sharing (print server), fax (fax server) or modem sharing (modem server). See also client.
A device that improves
network performance by segmenting the network and reducing competition for bandwidth. When a switch port receives data packets, it forwards those packets only to the appropriate port for the intended
recipient. This further reduces competition for bandwidth between the clients, servers or workgroups connected to each switch port.
LAN technology in which packets are
conveyed between network end stations by a token moving continuously around a closed ring between all the stations. Runs at 4 or 16 Mbps.