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Hosting Glossary - The advent of technology has given birth to a host of unfamiliar terms and acronyms. Below are definitions of those possibly terms appear in this website.

ADSL doesn't mean much more when you spell itout as Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line. But it means a whole lot to how much information you can get online. ADSL enables the copper wire that carries the telephone signal into your home or office to shift information in and out up to 30 times faster than you're used to.

ADSL doesn't mean much more when you spell itout as Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line. But it means a whole lot to how much information you can get online. ADSL enables the copper wire that carries the telephone signal into your home or office to shift information in and out up to 30 times faster than you're used to.

It's a bit like squeezing all the traffic from the M25 Motorway onto a B road where it can travel 200 mph! Four in every ten homes and business can potentially use a broadband connection over copper wire. Although most major telecoms operators have ADSL technology and are beginning to roll out services,you'll need to check if and when it'll be available where you are.

Anonymous FTP Anonymous File Transfer Protocol. Allows the public to log into an FTP server with a common login, avoiding the need to assign passwords to anyone who wants to download files from your Web site. This is unnecessary unless you plan on providing downloadable files to the public.

ASP Active Server Pages. A commonly used Microsoft scripting language that enables the use of online databases.

Auto responder An email address that is set up to automatically reply to the sender with a previously prepared response.

Bandwidth (Data Transfer) determines the amount of data that you are allowed to transfer (usually monthly). Data = images, text, audio files, video files and everything else that a server transfers to a user's web browser. Approximately 40,000 page views = 1 GB of data transfer. Web sites that get a lot of visitors (and page views) need larger amounts of data transfer (or bandwidth).

Also determines how much stuff you can cram into a communications channel - whether that's a phone line, private circuit, satellite link, microwave or a cable network. Usually measured in bits-per-second. A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 30,000 bits in one second. Full-motion, full-screen video requires 10 million bits per second. In big files that go over the internet, the bits are often squeezed together (compressed or zipped up) so that they use less bandwidth and move faster.

Bit the smallest measure for computer data. Officially one of the two digits 0 and 1 used in binary notation. Eight bits make up a byte. One byte equals one character.

Bit/s this tells you how fast information is going to shift. It also equates to how much information you can push down the line at an acceptable rate. Graphics use more bits than text. Animations and video even more. Basically the higher the bit rate, the faster you can get big files across.

A typical modem will move information at up to 56Kbit/s (around 56,000 bits a second). An ISDN connection will achieve 64K or 128Kbit/s, a cable modem 512Kbit/s, and a broadband modem up to 2Mbits/s (2 million bits a second). This is fast enough to deliver a fluid picture of the person you're talking to, a movie trailer or an action replay.

Broadband involves a whole basket of technologies like cable modems, ADSL, wireless data and ATM. Broadband opens up the networks to provide virtually unlimited bandwidth. The most complex multimedia content comes streaming down the line as fast as you can click. Broadband eans having much more speed to move your data - much more than you can get out of a conventional 56K modem.

Broadband Cable Network an alternative to ADSL providing direct connection to the internet at broadband speeds. Like ADSL, a broadband cable connection is always on, providing continuous, unmetered access to the internet. Yet just pay a fixed rental every month.

Broadband Cable modem see cable modem

Byte smallest number of bits that a computer can handle in one unit. There are eight bits in a byte. The number of bytes in a file can give you a rough idea of how long it will take information to download fromthe internet. Anything over 1MB (a million bytes) is a big file and will take some time to reach you if you'reusing an ordinary 56Kbit/s modem. With broadband, big files are just a click away.

Cable Modem provide access to the internet over a cable network. The internet connect is permanently open, so there's no need to dial up every time you want to browse the web, send e-mails or check messages.

CGI Common Gateway Interface. A program that translates data from a web server and then displays that data on a web page or in an email. CGI scripting can add numerous interactive elements to a Web site.

CGI-BIN A directory on a server where CGI programs are stored. CGI scripting can add numerous interactive elements to a Web site.

CGI Library Certain hosts will provide a collection of pre-made CGI scripts (as a convenience) that can be used to add numerous interactive elements to your Web site.

Control Panel An online interface often used to facilitate Web site management and editing. Control panels often allow hosting customers to perform basic functions (make changes, check data, etc.) without contacting customer service.

Database: A collection organized records of information that can facilitate searching, sorting, and recombination of data.

Data Transfer (Bandwidth) The amount of data that you are allowed to transfer (usually monthly). Data = images, text, audio files, video files and everything else that a server transfers to a user's web browser. Approximately 40,000 page views = 1 GB of data transfer. Web sites that get a lot of visitors (and page views) need larger amounts of data transfer (or bandwidth). Also, graphics-heavy sites will need more data transfer than more basic sites.

Dedicated Servers (Dedicated Hosting) The opposite of Shared Web hosting. Servers that are owned by a Web hosting company but rented out and used by a single customer. Web sites in need of a lot of disk space and/or data transfer and/or Web sites that have very specific software needs may opt to rent a dedicated server. Shared Web hosting is usually sufficient for most small and medium sized businesses.

Dial-Up Access how most people connect to the internet by using their phone. Every time you want to get onto the internet your computer has to dial into the service. This is how most home users uses the internet. It's the opposite of the"always-on" service provided by ADSL and cable/broadband modems.

Disk Space (Storage Space) The storage capacity for images, HTML files, audio files, video files, graphics, etc. A Web site planning to have a large amount of pages and/or planning to use a lot of images (or other large files) will need a greater amount of disk space.

Domain Name is an easy-to-remember address name, which is the official name of your web site and appears in your web and e-mail address. An 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, or example .com, .gov, .org, .net, or .jp. Recently ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) added several new TLDs, like .biz, .info, .pro., and .museum.

For all but the big brands, it's a good idea to choose a name that gives people some idea of what you do, such as

Domain names always have two or more parts, separated by full stops. The parts on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. Some of the most common domains are: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .net (network operations), .gov (government), .org (govement organisations), .ltd (limited companies) and .mil (military).

Some domain names also include a country code that tells you where the host computer is based, such as .us (United States), .ca (Canada), .fr (France), .ge (Germany), .it (Italy), .uk (United Kingdom), .ie (Ireland), .au (Australia), .jp (Japan) and .ng (Nigeria).

Download/Upload to bring files down from the internet and put them on your hard drive so that you can work on them locally (download). Or, to send files from your machine to other internet users (upload).

e-Business the new way of doing business. E-business is baout using the internet to trade trade electronically. This includes: the promotion and sale of goods on the web (e-commerce), electronic links with trading partners for th esupply, delivery and support of products and raw materials (extranet), and using it for internal admin and the spread of knowledge throughout th ebusiness (intranet).

The internet gives small firm a bigger market to trade in, and compared with other forms of advertising or doing business, it's a lot cheaper and much more effective. What's more, you can share the limelight and compete with big brands.

E-Commerce trading on the internet. An e-commerce site promotes, sells, supports and, in some cases, delivers products and services entirely on the internet.

E-Mail for many businesses, e-mail has all but replaced fax, post (snail post or letter) and even the phone. It's easy to use, doesn't interrupt and leaves messages that are easy to pick up any time.

Email Forwarding When e-mail sent to different email addresses is automatically sent (forwarded) to another specified email address. For example, you could have multiple e-mail addresses (i.e.,, that would all be forwarded to one address (i.e. for easy checking and responding.

Encryption sensitive data is scrambled so that hackers can't get in and read it. The code can only be unlocked by authorised users. Access is usually controlled by password, plus a personal fact such as date of birth by which you can be identified.

Extranet a secure link between two or more intranets that allows businesses and other organisations to work together and share files. The most common use of extranets is to create a seamless electronic system for managing goods from the supply of raw materials through to the point of sale.

Firwall a device (Software and/or hardware) that fences off your private network from the outside world of the internet. It's security guard at the gate. You need one of these to prevent hackers from using the internet to break in and steal sensitive information from your company or computer. Some services can be expensive and complex to setup.

FrontPage Microsoft FrontPage is an HTML editor often used to create and maintain Web sites.

FrontPage Extensions A set of programs and scripts that allow specific features of a Web site created with FrontPage to perform correctly.

FTP File Transfer Protocol. The most common method for uploading files to servers. FTP allows files to be uploaded from local machines to servers, where the files can be.

GB Gigabyte. 1024 Megabytes.

GPRS -General Packet Radio Service is now becoming available. It is a standard for wireless communications, running at speeds of up 150 kilobits per second. It supports a wide rand of bandwidths and is an efficient use of limited bandwidth such as sending and receiving small bursts of data - e-mails and Web browsing - as well as large volumes of data.

GSM - Global System Mobile the digital system that all phones in Europe use. Apart from revolutionising people's lives and businesses with global roaming, GSM allows millions of people to "text" each other.

Hacker a smart alec who knows the internet inside out and use his or her knowledge to steal or mess up your files.

Host a computer that holds and manages web sites on behalf of the people who own them. Also, called a server. Many internet service providers offer web hosting.

Intranet a private network that uses the same technology as the web, but is restricted to company use. All the benefits of the web inside your business.

IMAP Internet Message Access Protocol. A method allowing an email program to access remote messages stored on a mail server.

IP Address Internet Protocol Address. A unique number identifying all devices connected to the Internet.

IP - Internet Protocol the method for moving information from one network to another on th einternet. An IP address uniquely identifies every site on the internet. For ease of use, IP address are now translated into more meaningful web address (URLs).

ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network and provides dial-up services at up to twice the speed of standard telephone connections. ISDN has provided a fast access option in the run up to broadband over the past few years, but is now expensive and difficult to use by broadband modems and ADSL standards.

ISP - Internet Service Provider a company that uses one or more servers to give you access to the web. The best ISPs offer much more than this - including website design, web hosting and technical support.

KB Kilobyte. 1024 bytes.

Kilobit/byte means about 1,000 or, to be exact, 1024 bits or bytes. A 56Kbit/s modem runs at a maximum speed of 57,344 bits a second. A 5KB file contains more than 5,000 bytes of information. You can also have megabits/bytes (more than a million),gigabits/bytes (more than 100 million) and terabits/bytes (more than 1,000 million). A cable modem can process up to 2 million bits per second (2MB/s).

LAN - Local Area Network usually represents a campus or building network where computers are physically connected by cables. You can also have Wide Area Networks (WANs) to connect sites around the country or the world. A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) links sites around a city or large university.

Leased Lines the last word in fast internet technology. More usually found in larger enterprises with 50 or more users. A leased line gives you a permanent access, communications pipe for your exclusive use. The more you use it, the cheaper it gets because the rental is fixed.

Linux A UNIX-like operating system used by Web servers.

Managed Hosting A dedicated server complemented with technical support and maintenance services. This is a step up from standard dedicated Web hosting, where customers are responsible for all administrative and maintenance duties.

MB Megabyte. A million bytes. A thousand kilobytes.

Merchant Account Enables the processing of credit cards online.

Microsoft Access Microsoft's low-end relational database.

Miva Empressa An XML-based server-side scripting language. Miva Empresa installs on most Unix and Windows web servers and enables the server with XML based Miva Script, commerce processing and database.

Miva Merchant A dynamic browser based storefront development and management system that allows merchants to create and administrate multiple online stores from anywhere in the world.

Modems have been around for a very long time in various guises. They simply code and decode data so that it can travel over a connection. Broadband modems are the fast,modernversion.

MS SQL Microsoft SQL Server. A relational database management system. Windows hosting plans often include MS SQL databases.

MySQL A popular open-source relational database. UNIX hosting plans often include MySQL databases.

Password something you should remember, keep to yourself and change often. Just like a pin number, this prevents people from making fraudulent use of information that belongs to you.

Payment Gateway Enables the authorization, processing and managing of online transactions.

PDF - Portable Document Format enables users to view and print files. It also allows you to fill in and submit PDF forms online.

Perl A programming language that facilitates data management and processing.

PHP Portable Home Page is a scripting language. PHP commands are embedded within the HTML of a Web page and is useful in the arena of dynamically generated pages. PHP scripting can add numerous interactive elements to a Web site.

POP Post Office Protocol. A protocol used to retrieve e-mail from a mail server.

POP3 Email Account POP3 email allows all emails addressed to your domain to go to one place. If a host allows multiple POP3 email boxes, you can have multiple (separate) email addresses.

Protocol a language that two computers understand, where the sender and receiver exchange and recognise certain signals such as "go head", "got it". Protocols make the internet work.

Router a piece of hardware that controls traffic between networks, such as the smart box that moves data between pivate networks and internet.

Secure Transactions vital for e-commerce sites, this allows the safe exchange of financial details and credit card numbers over the internet.

Server a computer or device that serves a community of internet users. These are big, fast machines that can host web sites, manage e-mail services and route traffic around the net.

Setup Fee is the initial fee charged by a host to create your hosting account.

Shared Web Hosting is the opposite of Dedicated Web hosting. Multiple sites hosted on a single server. Multiple Web sites share the system resources of a single server, with each single Web site being allotted specific amounts of resources. Shared Web hosting is the most common (and cheapest) hosting option.

Shopping Cart Software is a Software that allows users (customers) of a Web site to add and delete items into an online "shopping cart" and then proceed to purchase the item(s). A shopping cart is an essential component for most e-commerce Web sites, as it allows users to browse for and purchase products online.

Some Web hosts provide free (usually more basic) shopping carts, while others provide a shopping cart for an additional fee. Different shopping cart programs range greatly in usability, functionality and features, so choose wisely before creating your online store.

SLA - Service Level Agreement is a document setting out the terms and conditions of service delivery. It should confirm the core service levels to be provided and the responsibilities of each party.

SMS - Short essaging Service a feature of GSM that has really taken off with the youth market. You can send and receive SMS messages to and from mobiles via the internet. Some sites are using SMS as an alternative to phone-in competitions and votes. SMS is simple and doesn't need a lot of bandwidth to do its job. It's also handy for keeping intouch when your phone can't receive signals.

SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. A protocol for sending email.

SQL Structured Query Language. A database query and programming language used for accessing, updating, and managing data in a relational database system.

SSI Server Side Incudes. Often used by Web developers in order to facilitate in updating content on Web sites. An SSI is a variable value that a web server can dynamically add to an otherwise static Web page. SSI-enabled Web pages will often be found with .shtml extensions.

SSL Secure Sockets Layer. Allows encrypted, authenticated communications over the Web. SSL provides security in online commerce. URL's starting with "https://" indicate the utilization of SSL.

Static (Dedicated) IP Address is a unique and unchanging IP address. The opposite of dynamic IP addressing, in which a Web site's IP address is different with each connection to the server. With dynamic IP addressing, several domains can use 1 IP address. With static IP addressing, your Web site gets an unchanging IP address that is not shared with other sites and can be called up in place of your usual

Storage Space (Disk Space) is the storage capacity for images, HTML files, audio files, video files, graphics, etc. A Web site planning to have a large amount of pages and/or planning to use a lot of images (or other large files) will need a greater amount of storage space.

Streaming the broadcast of sound and video over the internet in real time. Basically, this is film,TV and radio on th eweb. The same as webcasting.

Subdomain is a subdomain is a division of a Web site, a section set apart with a different sub-domain name. For example, subdomains of Web site "" could be "","", etc.

Uptime is how often a Web site is accessible to users on the Internet (often given in a percentage).

UNIX is the most commonly used operating system among Web servers. Unix is a text-based, multitasking operating system that is designed to be used by many people at the same time.

Virtual Private Servers is a Shared hosting servers in which each hosting space is alloted its own amount of dedicated resources. A step above shared Web hosting but a step below dedicated Web hosting.

Virtual Web Hosting Also known as shared Web hosting. Multiple sites hosted on a single server.

Virus a program that multiplies itself by latching onto other program that are shared between computers. Created by people who have nothing better to do than cause trouble. Viruses can spread all over th eworld in seconds on the internet. Remember the "I Love U" bug? Anti-virus software will protect you provided it's updated the moment new viruses appear.

VoIP - Voice Over IP is the transmission of voice as digital data encoded in "packets", enabling phone calls to be made across the internet.

VPN - Virtual Private Network let organisations "borrow" the internet for their own data communications. Using a VPN, a company can use the internet as if it was their own enormous Wide Area Network, connecting remote offices together and providing mobile workers with remote access to the corporate network.

WAP - Wireless Application Protocol one step up from Short Messaging Service (SMS). You can use WAP to look up information, book and buy tickets, and order and pay for goods from a mobile handset. The expectation is that mobile internet will be as fast as PC internet, once wireless access can run fast enough.

Web-based Email Allows a user to access email from any computer that has an Internet connection and a Web browser.

Web Casting broadcasting on the internet. TV and radio producers often use these to add even more to programmes, Such as pop interviews and interactive TV.

Web Statistics Reports on visitors to your Web site. Statistics range from basic (how many visitors), to advanced (referring URL, search phrase, etc.).

Windows Hosting is the Hosting on a web server that uses Microsoft Windows server software as it's operating platform. Windows hosting plans are useful in the arena of dynamic content generation and database functionality. Windows is a graphic-based, multitasking operating system.

Wireless Technology - Radio there are two ways to use wireless for internet access, the first of which is broadband via microwave. It uses 10GHz radio to transmit up to 2Mbits of data per second. It can only do it via "line of sight", so it's a little like connecting to the web by light - very fast but a limited range (up to about five Kilometres), and transmission is interrupted if something gets in the way.

For this reason, it usually runs from roof to roof bit is highly useful as a tool to economically deliver broadband speeds topeople in remote or hard rock areas where laying cable would be too expensive.

Wireless technology - phone wireless internet needs broadband speeds to achieve everything it promises. SMS and WAP have started th eball rolling but there's some way to go yet. A whole band of operators, including NTL, are now migrating and building networks to provide broadband access based on the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS).

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