ADSL – Asymmetric Digital Subscriber
Line. A Broadband connection that works over an existing Phone
line but still leaves it available for normal use.
Adware - These are hidden scripts
within software (usually freeware) that report statistics back
to the authors if they can get an Internet Connection. Most software
writers that use this form of funding for their work are quite
open about it which is fair enough. I detest the ones that try
to cover it up though’.
BSOD - Blue Screen Of Death! An interesting
"feature" of Windows when it can't cope anymore...
e.g. Fatal Exception Error. Bla Bla Bla...
Cable Internet – A broadband connection
over the cable TV (Foxtel or Optus) network.
Client – The client/s are the computer/s
that get their Internet connection from the server.
DHCP - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol.
Or “Obtain IP address automatically” in your TCP/IP properties.
Dynamic IP address – A NIC assigned
to “Obtain IP address automatically”
Hijacking – This is the term used
to describe the activities of hackers when they hack your computer
and use it as a “jump station” to continue their activities. The
reason they do this is because a trace of their activities will
lead back to the hijacked computer and not them (unless the tracer
is particularly skilled and prudent)
HUB - A device which joins a stack of
Computers together to become a Local Area Network.
ICS – Internet Connection Sharing. A
standard feature of Windows 98SE, Windows Millennium and Windows
2000 that allows a Network of PCs to share an Internet Connection.
IP - Acronym for Internet Protocol address.
A 32-bit binary number that uniquely identified a host (computer)
connected to the Internet. An IP address is expressed in “dotted
quad” format, separated with periods. For example, 192.168.0.1.
To Find your IP address:-
Windows 95 / ME: Click Start > Run > winipcfg <enter>
Windows 2000/XP: Click Start > Run > CMD <enter>
> ipconfig <enter>
Note if you
are behind a Server or Router, this will only give you your private
IP address . (If you're directly connected to the Broadband modem
this will work fine)
If you are behind a Server or Router, to find your public IP address
use one of the on-lin tools like http://checkip.dyndns.org
LAN – Local Area Network. All your computers
that are networked together to share files and/or an Internet
Mac Address - A unique identifying tag
on every interface (Network Card, Dial-up adaptor etc) that connects
to a Computer Network or the World Wide Web.
To find your Mac address :-
Windows 95 - ME: Click Start > Run > winipcfg <enter>
> More info
Windows 2000/XP: Click Start > Run > CMD <enter>
MIMO - Multiple Input Multiple Output.
Wireless technology characterised by 3 or more antennas. See the
Wireless FAQ for more.
MSS – Maximum Segment Size. Similar to
MTU but to do with shared traffic using ICS
MTU - The maximum transmission unit is
a link layer restriction on the maximum number of bytes of data
in a single transmission (i.e. frame, cell, packet, depending
on the terminology). Tweaking the MTU layer often become necessary
using some NAT (Internet Sharing) applications on ADSL.
NAT - Network Address Translation. This
is a common form of Internet Connection Sharing where all the
PCs on a Network share the Internet behind the one IP address
supplied by the ISP. NAT also provides a level of security which,
although a bonus, has caused much confusion where people need
to allow various services to get through that security. Games,
chat programs and internal server programs like PCAnywhere.
NIC - A device that connects your computer
to a network. This device is sometimes called an adapter card
or network interface card (NIC). It could also be a USB device
like the SMC brand one that Telstra often provides.
Passthrough – Passthrough refers
to VPNs and other applications traversing the NAT barrier present
in routers and internet sharing/security applications. See FAQ
2.10 in the Router FAQ for more.
Ping – This is a useful networking tool
to see if one computer sees another using TCP/IP. Similar in concept
to a Submarine Ping, a small amount (packet) of data is sent from
one PC to another and back again and the time it takes is reported
in milliseconds. This can be used on a LAN or across the Internet.
To use it, go to start > run > type “command” and “ok”.
Then in the command prompt window, type “ping” space whatever
e.g. ping 192.168.01
Protocol – A language used by computers
to “talk” to each other.
Proxy Server - A form of Internet
Connection Sharing where one PC acts as "proxy" (stands
in) and allows other PCs on a Network to use it's Internet Connection.
Most Proxy Software allows advanced features like logging and
rules to be applied.
QoS - Quality of Service. An ability
(usually when talking about Routers) to give priority to particular
types of Internet Traffic. eg VoIP where you don't want the bandwidth
being chewed up by another application which might adversely affect
the phone call quality.
Router - A device which will log
on to an ISP and share the Internet Connection to a Computer or
Computer Network, whilst providing a high level of Security at
the same time. Routers are an excellent, low cost, foolproof solution
for all types of businesses and Computer Networks as they don't
rely on any particular computer being switched on and can be secured
from prying eyes within your network. They come in all shapes
and sizes to suit many different applications, including wireless
I have an unshameful bias towards Netgear Routers as they are
a quality product with a simple interface at a surprisingly low
cost. See the hardware page
to find out more about Routers.
Server – When talking about ICS, the
server is the computer that connects to the Internet first and
then shares its connection.
SP2 - Service Pack Two. Microsoft releases
updates for Windows with bug fixes and security patches as necessary,
and every now and then they bundle all of the updates together
along with a string of other improvements and release it as a
Service Pack. It is generally recommended to avoid Beta versions
of these Service Packs on business computers but once they make
it to final release it's definitely worth downloading them and
SSID - Service Set Identifier. Also
known as BSSID and ESSID depending on what particular Network
subset it is identifying. See the
Wireless FAQ for more.
Static IP Address – A physically assigned
IP address that you assign to the TCP/IP on a NIC.
Subnet Mask - Subnet masks are 32-bit
values that enable the recipient of IP packets to distinguish
the network ID and host ID portions of the IP address. Typically,
subnet masks use the format 255.x.x.x.
Switching Hub or Switch - like a
hub, but with more advanced features to allow
data on a Network to be transferred at maximum efficiency.
TCP/IP - An acronym for Transmission Control
Protocol/Internet Protocol, a protocol developed by the Department
of Defense for communications between computers. It is built into
the UNIX system and has become the de facto standard for data
transmission over networks, including the Internet.
Trojan – Like a virus but usually not
destructive. They sit hidden in your PC and open a port to allow
unauthorized access from hackers. If you get sub-seven port scans,
that is what the scanner is looking for. Some Trojans are active
and will try to access the Internet to advertise their presence.
Tweaking – Changing registry values
in windows from the defaults to optimize performance.
uPnP - Universal Plug and Play. New
Internet Networking technology built into Windows ME & XP
that basically allows home PCs to interconnect with smart appliances,
security devices and such. I believe uPnP holds the key to the
next generation of Internet usage and associated gadgetry. MSN
Messenger already uses the technology in File transfers and voice
chat. Although often criticised for potential security risks,
I expect to see the technology incorporated into more and more
applications over the next few years.
USB – Universal Serial Bus. An external
interface for attaching some devices like web cams, scanners etc
VPN - Virtual Private Network. A secure
way of connecting to a remote network (the office) over the Internet.
WAN - Wide Area Network. ie. The Internet.
(Everything outside your LAN). "WAN"
is commonly used with routers to describe the port that the Broadband
Modem plugs into.
Warez – Pirated software. There are
numerous websites that deal in this. Also known as Gamez/Moviez
WEP - Wireless Equivalent Privacy.
One of the available methods of securing a wireless network. See
the Wireless FAQ for more.
Win2K – Windows 2000
Winipcfg – in windows95 – ME, click
start > run > type “winipcfg” > enter. Use the pull down
menu to display the network card connected to the cable modem.
Clicking release and renew will show that the modem is able to
get an IP address from BigPond. If it times out there is a problem.
Check that the link light is displayed on the modem. If not, the
modem , NIC, link cable or BigPond Network may be faulty.
In NT or win2K, click start > run > type “CMD” enter. Type
IPCONFIG. Then you can release and renew by typing IPCONFIG/RELEASE
WPA - Wi-Fi protected access. An encryption
method used to secure a Wireless Network. Also known as WPA-PSK
(Pre-Shared Key). WPA-PSK is a simpler version of WPA with the
smaller Network in mind as WPA requires the use of a "Radius
Server" which is only available on Server type Operating