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Internet Technology

Internet Backbone

A network of high-capacity communications links that provide the main routes for data traffic across the Internet.

Network Service Providers (NSP)

Maintain backbone links and routers

Network Access Points (NAP)

Tie NSP equipment and links

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Company that offers Internet access to individuals, businesses, and smaller ISPs


Contains circuitry that converts the data-carrying signals from your computer to signals that can travel over various communications channels


Primary Protocol suite responsible for message transmission on the Internet

Protocol Suite

Combination of protocols that work together

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

Breaks a message or file into packets

Internet Protocol (IP)

Responsible for addressing packets so that they can be routed to their destination

Static IP Address

Permanently assigned IP address

Dynamic IP Address

Temporarily assigned IP address

Always-on Connection

Linked to your ISP and is online whenever your computer and modem are one, even when you are not actively accessing the Internet

Domain Name

Shorter IP name, like

Top-level Domain

End of a domain name, like edu in

Domain Name System (DNS)

The database where every domain name corresponds to a unique IP address

Domain Name Server

Any computer that hosts the domain name system


A virtual device that allows a computer to perform more than one type of service

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Global organization that coordinates technical managements of the Internet's Domain Name System


Time for data to make a round trip from point A to point B and back to point A


Sends a signal to a specific Internet address and waits for a reply


Records a packet's path in addition to its round trip speed

Upstream Speed

The rate of data that is transmitted from your computer to the internet

Downstream Speed

The rate of data arriving at your computer

Asymmetric Internet Connection

When upstream speeds differ from downstream speeds

Symmetric Internet Connection

When upstream and downstream speeds are the same

Fixed Internet access

Links your computer to an ISP from a stationary point, such as a wall socket or roof-mounted antenna

Portable Internet access

Allows you to easily move your access device

Mobile Internet access

Allows you to use the Internet while you are on the go

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