A Glossary of Common Internet Terms

Short for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, with a smaller upstream bandwidth than downstream. Panix offers aDSL connections from 1.5 Mbps down/128Kbps up, to 6.0 Mbps down/768 Kbps up.
(Email) Alias
A forwarding address, meaning an email address that forwards all mail that comes to it elsewhere (as compared to a mailbox addresses.
The process of establishing identity, authorizing a user for account service. Examples include your password, or the security question we ask over the phone.
Short for web log, a popular term for online journal. Among the most popular LiveJournal, and Blogger are considered the most user-friendly.
A form of Internet access in which the user connects through a modem connected to their computer and a telephone line. This was the most popular way to access the Internet before broadband became commercially viable.
Domain Name
Essentially the name registered to a person, company, or organization. It usually has two levels (e.g. "example.com" or "example.org," with example as the top-level) but may be more, particularly in other countries (e.g. "example.org.uk").
The act of receiving data from a remote host, such as a webserver or FTP server.
Security sofware or hardware configured to permit or deny network traffic, according to the user's policies regarding content.
Short for File Transfer Protocol, used to transfer data from one computer to another through a network such as an Internet or LAN connection.
A specific, unique name pointing to a host on the Internet. The most familiar kind of hostname many people encounter is a web site's hostname, such as www.panix.com.
A worldwide network of millions of residential, academic, federal, and commercial networks of all sizes, carrying information and services such as e-mail, chat, and web pages and sites on the World Wide Web.
Short for Kilobits Per Second, a unit of measuring the speed of a line allowing one machine to communicate with another. Each kilobit is equal to 1,000 bits, and 1,000 kilobits is equal to one megabit.
(Email) Mailbox
An address (e.g. foo@panix.com) set up to receive and store electronic mail, as compared to an alias address only -- it can't store mail.
A term, short for "malicious software," referring to programs designed to infiltrate and usually damage a computer without the user's consent. Malware tends to be embedded in websites and spam, infecting the computer of those that view them without any sort of notice or warning.
Short for Megabit, a unit of measurement of data transferred over a line. One megabit equals 1,000,000 bits, or 1,000 kilobits.
Short for Megabyte, a unit of measurement for data stored on a computer. A basic Panix shell account has a 200 MB quota, for example.
Short for Megabit Per Second, a unit of transfer rate equal to 1,000 Kbps, or 1,000,000 bits per second.
(Computer) Network
Multiple computers connected for the purposes of communication and the sharing of resources. Formerly common in office and commercial environments, now increasingly found in private residences.
One-Time Password
A means of Authentication calculating function determined by a count, a prompt, and a private component, so that the result changes with each login.
Open Relay
An open relay is a mail server that is misconfigured to allow mail to be sent through it from any source to any destination. A correctly-configured mail server will only accept mail that either originated locally or has a local destination.
A string of characters (such as letters, numbers, punctuation marks, or other common symbols) allowing the user access and control of a resource, such as that given to new users when shell accounts are first generated. You'll want to keep your password a secret, unless you want others to have access to your account. Users can set their shell passwords at config.panix.com, or at the Unix command prompt with the passwd command. Mailboxes in access.net or other non-panix domains can, in addition to config.panix.com, change their passwords in the Options section of our webmail interface at mail.panix.com.
The setting on a user's account on a mult-user system giving them access to various degrees of options to read or alter files.
Short for Point-to-Point Protocol, referring to a type of dialup connection used primarily for graphics-intensive activities such as browsing the WorldWide Web.
Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet, referring to a type of connection usually used with aDSL services.
A program used from the shell that filters incoming email on a computer. This is commonly used to sort and file data into different folders, or used in conjunction with SpamAssassin to filter out or even delete unwanted mail.
Short for Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line, with an equal upstream and downstream bandwidth rate. Panix offers sDSL service ranging from 192 Kbps up to 1.5 Mbps.
The traditional user interface for the Unix and Linux operating systems, known primarily for its command-typing interface. For useful beginner's information on shell usage and applications, see our UNIX Shell Help page.
A term for unwanted mail, usually advertisements for dubious products.
Spam Block
Software used to block unwanted mail at the server level, preventing it from making contact with your machine.
Spam Filter
A setting in software allowing the sorting and/or deleting of unwanted mail. For more information, see our pages About SpamAssassin,Using Procmail to Filter Your Email on Panix
Panix uses a number of webservers, known as Squids, which serve as web accelerators. The squids cache web pages as they are served, and if a later request is made for a cached page and the actual page has not changed, the page is served from the cache rather than from the "main" web server on which the original page resides. When this happens, duplicate log entries are created for the given request: one for the "main" web server, recording the request, and the other for the squid which actually served the page. The log entry for the "main" web server will not show any bytes transferred.
Short for Secure SHell, a network protocol allowing commands and data to be exchanged over an encrypted channel.
A 1.5 Mbps connection over telephone wires. A T1 can connect a user or a business to the Internet, or connect between two locations for internal communications (such as for a branch office). Unlike most DSL lines, a T1 is a business service that is fully supported by the phone company. Panix also sells "fractional T1" Internet connections, where the user pays lower monthly charges than a full T1 but receives less bandwidth.
Short for Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the sequel to the popular 1980's film The Terminator, starring the Governor of California. Seriously, while there are T1 and T3 circuits, there is no T2 commercially available. Don't ask why.
A 45 Mbps connection provided over a special high-speed circuit. Like T1 circuits, a T3 can be connected to the Internet or between two private locations. Panix also sells "fractional T3" service to the Internet where the user pays lower monthly charges but receives less than the full bandwidth.
A network protocol allowing a user to login to a system. It is not secure. If possible, ssh should be used instead.
Terminal Emulator
A program that imitates a "dumb terminal" (the way users would connect to a mainframe in the days before PCs) that allows use of a remote shell host or other command-line interface.
A program that contains hidden malware, usually disguised as another program entirely. The name comes from the mythical Trojan Horse, which the Greeks used to trick the Trojans into letting them into the city of Troy.
The act of sending data to a remote host, such as a webserver or FTP server.
A global Internet bulletin board system, consisting of messages (known as articles) in a variety of newsgroups devoted to various subjects and interests.
User ID
The handle assigned to or chosen by a user, allowing them access to the shell along with their password. Note that a user id is public, whereas a password is private.
(Computer) Virus/Worm
A computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user, frequently carried by files or other software that are "infected." A worm will go even farther, using a network to send copies of itself to other computers on the same network. See Wikipedia's pages on viruses and worms for more information.
A program that allows access and management of email via a web browser. Panix uses Squirrelmail, which lets users change Spam Blocking and Spam Filtering, and Roundcube, which arguably handles html mail much better, but lacks access to the aforementioned spam options.
A collaborative website allowing viewers to add, remove, or edit content.
World Wide Web (WWW)
The name given to the mass of pages and sites that run over the Internet, viewable through web browsers.

Last Modified:Tuesday, 22-Feb-2022 08:47:30 EST
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