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Stand-alone Computer

A computer that is not connected to other computers and that uses software applications and data stored on its local disks.


Data sharing method where it is required to physically transport the storage device from one computer to another.


Networks enable multiple users to share devices (for example, printers) and data (such as spreadsheet files), which are collectively known as the network's resources.

Peer-to-peer Network

In a peer-to-peer network, every computer can communicate directly with every other computer.

P2P Networks

The newer types of peer-to-peer networks (commonly abbreviated as P2P networks) link computers from around the world to share files between each others' hard disks.


Another way of designing a network is to use a central computer, known as a server, to facilitate communication and resource sharing between other computers on the network, which are known as clients.


Clients usually take the form of personal computers, also known as workstations.

Client/Server Network

A network that uses a server to enable clients to share data, data storage space, and devices is known as a client/server network.

Client/Server Architecture

Client/Server Architecture is sometimes used to refer to the design of a network in which clients rely on servers for resource sharing and processing.

NOS (network operating system)

To function as a server, a computer must be running an NOS. An NOS is a special type of software designed to manage data and other resources for a number of clients, ensure that only authorized users access the network, control which type of files a user can open and read, restrict when and from where users can access the network, dictate which rules computer will use to communicate, and supply applications to clients.


Allows client/server networks to be more easily added onto and extended--than peer-to-peer networks.

LAN (local area network)

LAN is a network of computers and other devices that is confined to a relatively small space, such as one building or even one office.

MAN (metropolitan area network)

A network that is larger than a LAN and connects clients and servers from multiple buildings--for example, a handful of government offices surrounding a state capitol.

WAN (wide area network)

A network that connects two or more geographically distinct LANs or MANs.


The largest and most varied WAN in the world.


The term client may also refer to the human user of a client workstation or to client software installed on the workstation.


A personal computer (such as a desktop or laptop), which may or may not be connected to a network most clients are workstation computers.

NIC (network interface card)

The device (pronounced nick), also known as network adapters, are located inside a computer that connects a computer to the network media, thus allowing it to communicate with other computers. Some connect or are integrated via a motherboard and others connect via an external port.


The main circuit that controls the computer.


A computer that enables resource sharing by other computers on the same network.


A client, server, or other device that can communicate over a network and that is identified by a unique number, known as its network address,

Connectivity device

A specialized device that allows multiple network or multiple parts of one network to connect and exchange data.


A part of a network. Usually, a segment is composed of a group of nodes.


The part of a network which segments and significant shared devices, such as routers, switches, and servers connect.


The physical layout of a computer network. Topologies vary according to the needs of the organization and available hardware and expertise.


A standard method or format for communication between networked devices.

Data packets

The distinct units of data that are exchanged between nodes on a network.


The scheme for assigning a unique identifying number to every node on the network.

Transmission media

The through which data is transmitted and received.

Network services

The functions that are provided by a network, such as e-mail, printer sharing, file sharing, voice,Internet and Web site delivery, etc.

File services

File services refer to the capability of a server to share data files, applications, and disk storage space.

File server

A file server is a server that provides file services.

Print services

Print services refer to the capability to share printer across a network.

Remote access server

Access services built-in to network operating systems that take advantage of the network just as if they were logged on to a workstation on the office LAN. A remote access server may also be known as simply an access server.

Remote user

The term remote user refers to a person working on a computer on a different network or in a different geographical location from the LAN's server.


The phenomenon of offering multiple types of communications services on the same network.

Unified communications

Centralized management of multiple network-based communications.

Mail services

Mail services coordinate the storage and transfer of e-mail between users on a network.

Mail server

The computer responsible for mail services.


Unsolicited or junk e-mail.

Web server

A computer installed with the appropriate software to supply Web pages to many different clients upon demand.

Internet services

Internet services include file transfer capabilities, Internet addressing schemes, security filters, and a means for directly logging on to other computers on the Internet.

Network Management Services

Network management services centrally administer management tasks on the network, such as ensuring that no more than 20 workstations are using Adobe Photoshop at one time in an organization that purchased a 20-user license for the software.

Traffic monitoring and control

Determining how much traffic is taking place on a networking and notifying administrators when the network becomes overloaded.


Data transmission activity from one device to another across a network.

Load balancing

Distributing data transfer activity evenly across a network so that no single device becomes overwhelmed.

Hardware diagnosis and failure alert

Determining when a network component fails and automatically notifying the network administrator through e-mail or paging.

Asset management

Collecting and storing data on the number and types of software and hardware assets in an organization's network.

RFID (radio frequency identification) tags

RFID tags emit a wireless signal at all times across a network, which can communicate with other devices.

License tracking

Determining how many copies of a single application are currently in use on the network and ensuring that number does not exceed the number of licenses purchased.

Security auditing

Evaluation what security measures are currently in force and notifying the network administrator if a security breach occurs.

Software distribution

Automatically transferring a file or installing an application from the server to a client on the network.

Address management

Centrally managing a finite number of network addresses for an entire network.

Backup and restoration of data

Copying (or backing up) critical data files to a secure storage area and then restoring (or retrieving) data if the original files are lost or deleted.


A number that uniquely identifies each workstation or device on a network.


The professional certification established by CompTIA that verifies knowledge about PC operation, repair, and management.

CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert)

An elite certification that recognizes expert-level installation, confguration, management, and troubleshooting skills on networks that use a range of Cisco Systems' devices.

CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)

A professional certification that attests to one's skills in installing, configuring, maintaining, and troubleshooting medium-sized networks that use Cisco System's switches and routers.


The process of mastering material pertaining to a particular hardware system, operating system, programming language, or other software program, then proving your mastery by passing a series of exams.

CompTIA (Computer Technology Industry Association)

An association of computer resellers, manufacturers, and training companies that sets industry-wide standards for computer professionals. CompTIA established and sponsors the A+ and Network+ (Net+) certifications.

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