Would you like to know what networking terminology your peers have been searching for the most in 2004? We were...
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curious, too. Check out our top 10 searched networking terms. Here we include our Whatis.com definition as well as some of our best resources that correspond with each term.
No. 1 -- LAN: A local area network (LAN) is a group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link and typically share the resources of a single processor or server within a small geographic area (for example, within an office building).
- View our Guide to network administration
- Chapter download: LAN Switching First-Step: How a switch works
- Guidelines for designing a LAN
No. 2 -- Kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, and all that: Kilo, mega, giga, tera, and peta are among the list of prefixes that are used to denote the quantity of something, such as, in computing and telecommunications, a byte or a bit. Sometimes called prefix multipliers, these prefixes are also used in electronics and physics. Each multiplier consists of a one-letter abbreviation and the prefix that it stands for.
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No. 3 -- VLAN: A virtual (or logical) LAN is a local area network with a definition that maps workstations on some other basis than geographic location (for example, by department, type of user, or primary application).
No. 4 -- Router: In packet-switched networks such as the Internet, a router is a device or, in some cases, software in a computer, that determines the next network point to which a packet should be forwarded toward its destination.
No. 5 -- Ethernet: Ethernet is the most widely-installed local area network (LAN) technology. Specified in a standard, IEEE 802.3, Ethernet was originally developed by Xerox from an earlier specification called Alohanet (for the Palo Alto Research Center Aloha network) and then developed further by Xerox, DEC, and Intel.
No. 6 -- TCP/IP: TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is the basic communication language or protocol of the Internet. It can also be used as a communications protocol in a private network (either an intranet or an extranet).
No. 7 -- MDI/MDIX: MDI/MDIX is a type of Ethernet port connection using twisted pair cabling. The MDI (for medium dependent interface) is the component of the media attachment unit (MAU) that provides the physical and electrical connection to the cabling medium.
No. 8 -- Gateway: A gateway is a network point that acts as an entrance to another network. In the network for an enterprise, a computer server acting as a gateway node is often also acting as a proxy server and a firewall server.
No. 9 -- OSI: OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) is a standard description or "reference model" for how messages should be transmitted between any two points in a telecommunication network. Its purpose is to guide product implementors so that their products will consistently work with other products.
No. 10 -- Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi (short for "wireless fidelity") is a term for certain types of wireless local area network (WLAN) that use specifications in the 802.11 family. The term Wi-Fi was created by an organization called the Wi-Fi Alliance, which oversees tests that certify product interoperability.
New networking terms
With technology changing daily, keeping up with terms that define processes, devices and concepts is a challenge. Here's help with some new terms we added to our glossary.