[Access to Wang masthead]

Glossary of Network Terms

From "Special Report",  Access to Wang, January 1995
  [ Prior Article ]     [ Return to the Catalog of articles ]     [ Next Article ]  

Term Definition
10base2 An Ethernet cabling approach that uses a single coaxial cable to connect workstations and other network devices. Another name for thin Ethernet.
10baseT An Ethernet cabling approach that uses UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cable to connect workstations and other network devices to a hub.
backbone A term for the common network cable tying together all devices in a bus network topology.
balun An adapter that converts coaxial VS connections (928 connections) to UTP wire and back again. Name condensed from balanced/unbalanced, a reference to how a signal is carried on the cable.
bridge A network device that connects one portion of a local area network with another. Typically used to extend a network to a remote office.
bus topology A network model where all devices act as if they are connected to a single loop.
client An interactive task that receives some of its data, communications or other resources from a server.
Ethernet A generic term for network wiring that uses a bus topology.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) A standard protocol for transferring files from one system to another. Can also be used to describe the client and server software used to accomplish that transfer.
hub A network device that distributes network connections to individual workstations. Typically used in 10baseT network wiring schemes.
IP (Internet Protocol) address A unique number assigned to each network device by the system administrator.
IPX a proprietary Novell network protocol.
NetBEUI A proprietary Microsoft network protocol.
Network Operating System (NOS) A syntax for providing common services between users of a network, including file transfer and device sharing.
Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) layers A model of network connectivity that describes the physical and logical elements that make up a network connection.
packet, packet network A network scheme in which data is broken into small pieces (packets) and sent across a common network. Each packet includes the addresses of its sender and intended receiver, and the packets are reassembled in proper order at the destination.
protocol A method of deciding when and how applications should communicate.
router A device that connects one network device to others, sending and receiving packets to and from the other networks.
serial connection A name for a computer connection that uses an RS-232 connection to a host, either through a direct cable or a modem.
server 1. A non-interactive task that supplies data, communications, or other services to client tasks, which are usually interactive.
2. A computer that runs a Network Operating System.
Shielded Twisted-Pair (STP) wire Copper wire twisted in sets of two including a shield (ground) wire. Used for some types of network wiring, particularly IBM's token-ring network.
socket A single network connection known to an application. Similar to a port in host-based systems, but applications may use more than one socket simultaneously.
switched line A name for connections that must be dialed, such as a conventional phone line.
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) A packet-oriented protocol used by the Internet and many other networks.
Telnet A client application that provides workstation emulation services for connecting to a host across a network.
thick Ethernet A cabling approach that uses a large, multi-wire cable to connect workstations and other network devices. Rarely used today.
thin Ethernet A cabling approach that uses a single coaxial cable to connect workstations and other network devices. Also known as 10base2.
transport The underlying protocol for connection to a host. Examples: serial connections, Telnet services.
Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) wire Copper wire twisted in sets of two without a shield (grounding). Commonly used for network and telephone wiring.
UUCP (Unix-to-Unix-Copy Protocol) A protocol that is typically used to exchange files between Unix systems, particularly electronic mail files.
Winsock (Windows Sockets) A Microsoft specification that describes how client applications can use sockets to communicate via a network.

  [ Prior Article ]     [ Return to the Catalog of articles ]     [ Next Article ]  

Copyright © 1995 Dennis S. Barnes
Reprints of this article are permitted without notification if the source of the information is clearly identified