Networking Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing networking and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • C

    Carrier Ethernet

    Carrier Ethernet is the use of high-bandwidth Ethernet technology for Internet access and for communication among business, academic and government local area networks (LANs)... (Continued)

  • Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detect (CSMA/CD)

    Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detect (CSMA/CD) is the protocol for carrier transmission access in Ethernet networks.

  • carrier signal

    A carrier signal is a transmitted electromagnetic pulse or wave at a steady base frequency of alternation on which information can be imposed by increasing signal strength, varying the base frequency, varying the wave phase, or other means... (Continued)

  • carrier-to-noise ratio (CNR or C/N)

    In communications, the carrier-to-noise ratio, often written CNR or C/N, is a measure of the received carrier strength relative to the strength of the received noise.

  • catchment area

    In the context of communication networks, a catchment area describes the geographical boundries of a network's components, including its connecting lines.

  • CATV (community access television)

    CATV (originally "community antenna television," now often "community access television") is more commonly known as "cable TV." In addition to bringing television programs to those millions of people throughout the world who are connected to a community antenna, cable TV is an increasingly popular way to interact with the World Wide Web and other new forms of multimedia information and entertainment services.

  • CCITT or ITU-T (Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunications)

    The CCITT, now known as the ITU-T (for Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunications Union), is the primary international body for fostering cooperative standards for telecommunications equipment and systems.

  • CCNA certification

    Cisco Certified Network Associaten (CCNA) is an entry-level certification for the Cisco certified professional program.

  • CDDI (Copper Distributed Data Interface)

    For a local area network (LAN), CDDI (Copper Distributed Data Interface) is a standard for data transmission based on FDDI (Fiber Distributed Data Interface) that uses shielded twisted-pair (STP) or unshielded twisted pair (UTP) copper wire instead of fiber optic lines.

  • CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access)

    CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) refers to any of several protocols used in second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) wireless communications.

  • CDN (content delivery network)

    A CDN (content delivery network), also called a content distribution network, is a group of geographically distributed and interconnected servers that provide cached internet content from a network location closest to a user to accelerate its delivery.

  • CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data)

    CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data) is a specification for supporting wireless access to the Internet and other public packet-switched networks.

  • CDSL (Consumer Digital Subscriber Line)

    Also see our Fast guide to DSL. CDSL (Consumer Digital Subscriber Line) is a version of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service, trademarked by Rockwell Corp.

  • central office (CO)

    In telephone communication in the United States, a central office (CO) is an office in a locality to which subscriber home and business lines are connected on what is called a local loop.

  • CenturyLink

    CenturyLink is a worldwide telephone service provider and the third largest telecommunications provider in the United States, behind AT&T and Verizon.

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