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This glossary explains some of the more complicated terms you may encounter on this site. Click on the letters below to go directly to the corresponding entries in the glossary. If you find a term you do not understand, contact Support and we'll add it to the glossary.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

A - Address Record
See HOST.

B

Blacklist
A blacklist is a list of IP addresses which are not allowed to send you email. If you send SPAM, you may end up on someone else's blacklist.
Bridge
A specialized routerthat connects two networks together to allow traffic to flow in either direction. For the home user, one can usually get away with using a Hub instead of buying a real bridge (they are rather expensive).

C

CNAME - Canonical Name Record
CNAME is a term used in DNS to describe an alias. It's most often used for the "www." prefix on many websites. When someone types in www.nettica.com, there is a CNAME record in the DNS that redirects the request to nettica.com.

D

DHCP - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
DHCP is a protocol used to automatically assign IP addresses. Unless you have a static IP address with your ISP, your internet address is being assigned through DHCP. Your Internet Gateway may also have a DHCP server to help your configure your home network.
DNS - Domain Name System
Domain Name System (DNS) is the Internet standard for associating a "friendly" name, such as nettica.com, with an IP address, such as 1.1.1.1. Both your web browser and your email client use DNS to find web sites or your email.
DNS Services
DNS Services provide the means for finding your website on the Internet.It ties together your registered domain name, such as "yourdomain.com", with your numerical IP address, such as 1.1.1.1. Without a DNS Service people would need to remember your IP address to find your website, or you would need to run your own DNS server, which is an expensive and daunting challenge for most. Static DNS Services are meant for people who have a static IP address from their ISP, dynamic services are for IP addresses assigned from your ISP's DHCP server (see DHCP). The difference between them is the length of time a DNS server which cache the results of an IP address lookup.
DNSRBL - DNS Real-time Blacklist
A DNS real-time blacklist is most commonly used to publicize a list of known spammers. But it does not stop there. There are DNSRBLs for open relays, dynamic IP addresses, dial-up address pools, whitelists of known good email servers, etc. They are usually used to determine whether or not to accept email from a given address. Many are free, some are subscription based, some request donations (and we recommend you donate if you use them). Nettica's Intellipeer Email Server supports a number of DNS real-time blacklists.
Domain Name Registration
Domain Name Registration gives you rights to usea particular domain name, such as "yourdomain.com". It allows other people to find your server in the Internet's Domain Name System by allowing you to specify your DNS Servers.

E

F

Firewall
Along with each IP address is a range of 65535 ports that an application may use. Web Servers, for example, use port 80. A firewall manages which ports to allow through, and more importantly which ones to block. A good firewall also can manage both incoming and outgoing connections to a port. So for example, it can allow outbound traffic on port 80, but deny incoming connections to port 80.
FQDN - Fully Qualified Domain Name
A fully qualified domain name is the complete address for a server. For example, mail.nettica.com is a fully qualified domain name.

G

Gateway
See Internet Gateway

H

HOST
A HOST record is a DNS record that defines the address of a specific host (or server). Let's say you have two machines connected to the internet each with their own IP address. You can define a host record for the first one to point to your root domain, such as "yourdomain.com", and the second to point to the other machine, such as "mail.yourdomain.com".
HTML - Hypertext Markup Language
HTML is a language for describing the layout and composition of a web site. If you are using Internet Explorer, you can right-click on this page and select "View Source" to see the HTML for this page.
HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol
HTTP is the protocol used by browsers to communicate with web servers.
Hub
A hub is a type of router which will repeat the same information is receives on one port to all other ports. It is different from a switch because it makes no smart decision-making about how or where to route a packet of information. While they are not particularly efficient, sometimes you just need a hub to get things done.

I

Internet Gateway
An Internet Gateway is a good device to have in your home. It usually provides a barrier between your home network and the Internet. It also can provide some additional features such as DHCP which makes configuring a network much less painful. Seeour recommended hardware list for some good choices.
IP Address - Internet Protocol Address
A number, usually represented as a dotted sequence, such as 1.1.1.1. An IP Address is what the Internet really uses to locate a particular website or service.
ISP - Internet Service Provider
The people you pay to connect to the Internet. AOL, Comcast, MSN, and Verizon to name a few.

J

Java
A programming language developed by Sun Microsystems, now owned by Oracle.

K

L

LAN - Local Area Network
Your home network is considered a LAN. Also see WAN.
Logs
Logs provide useful information in human readable form for both diagnosing problems with and monitoringa server.

M

MX - Mail eXchanger
An MX record is a DNS record used to define a mail server. It is not necessary to have an MX record for your mail server if you only have a single IP address. If no MX record is present, the root record is used. We do not recommend you define an MX record unless your mail server is using a different IP address than your web server's address, or someone else is hosting your domain's email.

N

NAT - Network Address Translation
A NAT is what an Internet Gateway uses to "shield" your home network from the Internet. It translates your internal IP addresses to external addresses, usually just a single IP address. This "hides" your internal network from the Internet.

O

Open Relay
An Open Relay is the term for an SMTP server that will accept messages from any email address and forward that email to any other address. Spammers love open relays. They seek them out. Many third-party email server's default their configuration to be an open relay. You will never hear this term in conjunction with an Intellipeer Email Server;it does not support or allow open relaying of email.

P

PING
Ping is one of the most useful commands you should know. It's a very old, very simple command that tells you whether or not you can communicate with a machine. Try typing "ping <yourdomain.com>" into a command prompt and see if you get a response from your domain. The only time trying to PING a domain is a bad idea is just after your purchased it (which is probably when you want to use it the most). The easiest way to guarantee that you will have to wait 24 hours for your domain to come up is to ping it immediately after purchasing it. Pinging it will usually cause your ISP's DNS servers to cache the results for 24 hours, before you get a chance to properly configure it. If you buyboth the domain registration and the DNS service from Nettica, you can save yourself as much as 48 hours to be up and running.
POP3 - Post Office Protocol Version 3
POP protocol is a protocol you can use to retrieve mail from your email server. It allows you to retrieve messages, delete messages, and list the messages in your inbox. POP3 is one of many different protocols which may be used to retrieve email. Other popular protocols include IMAP4 and MAPI.
PPTP - Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol
PPTP is used in conjunction with VPN to establish connections to your workplace's internal network. If you bought an Internet Gateway with a built-in VPN server that supports PPTP, you've made the right decision.

Q

R

RFC - Request For Comments
While the name is fairly obtuse, RFC's are used to by the Internet community to define common standards. To say that something is RFC compliant is to say that is adheres to the standard.
Router
A generic term for a class of network devices which route information around a network. See Bridge, Hub, Switch, and Internet Gateway.

S

SMTP - Simple Mail Transfer Protcol
You use an SMTP server to send mail to people. To retrieve that mail from your email server, you would use POP3 protocol, which helps you manage your inbox. As you can imagine, these two operations, while similar, are actually very different, which is why there are two protocols.See POP3.
SOAP - Simple Object Access Protocol
SOAP is a messaging protocol used for XML-based Web Services.
SPAM
Unsolicited email.
SSL - Secure Sockets Layer
SSL is a data encryption protocol used for doing secure transactions on the Internet.
Switch
A switch is a specialized router that will "remember" where to send data that passes through it. Switches are usually much faster than hubs and allow for faster connections. Its main drawback is that when you physically move machines around on your network, it is inevitable that will you need to reboot your switch so that it can "rediscover" the network topology.

T

TCP - Transmission Control Protocol
Often used in combination with Internet Protocol, TCP/IP is aconnection-orient protocol used to reliably transmit data across the Internet. TCP allows data to reliably flow as a stream of information.

U

UDP - Unicast Datagram Protocol
UDP is a connection-less protocol that is used both stand-alone and as a building block for other protocols, such as TCP. It can only transmit data in packets (usually no larger than 1500 bytes), and those packets can be lost, received out of order, or even be duplicates. Nonetheless, it is still a fundamental building block of the Internet.
UPnP - Universal Plug and Play
A networking standard fordiscovering and configuring network devices such as an Internet Gateway.

V

VPN - Virtual Private Network
Allows your computer to connect to a remote network, or vice-versa. It is most often used to connect toyour workplace's internal network. An Internet Gateway that supports VPN-passthrough means it allows clients on the inside of the gateway to establish VPN connections. A gateway that has a VPN server in it will allow people to connect to your internal network from the Internet. Gateways that support VPN tunnels or endpoints are fairly useless because they are extremely difficult to configure. Also see PPTP.

W

WAN - Wide Area Network

Your Internet Connection is usually considered a wide area network.

Whitelist
A list of IP addresses which are allowed to send you email. With Intellipeer, if you send someone an email their email server will automatically be added to your whitelist to make it easy for them to reply to you.

X

XML - Extensible Markup Language
A text based language similar to HTML typically used for data binding and manipulation.

Y

Z