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Information Technology Basics
Jan 31, 2010 Information Technology

Information Technology Basics. Technology Computer IT Technology-General...

Information Technology Basics
Jan 31, 2010 Information Technology

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What is

Information Technology (IT) Terms


The Internet is an international network. It is a global network that connects millions of networks together using a suite of protocols called the TCP/IP. These networks belong to different categories of organisations, such as educational institutions, government, military and commercial services. The Internet evolved from a small network of four computers called the ARPANET (Advance Research Projects Agency Network). The word Internet is a combination of two words; ‘International and network’. ‘Inter’ stands for International, while ‘net’ stands for network.


The extranet is a network of computers that belongs to a private organisation, but allows some external bodies or organisations to access the network for communal or business purposes. The extranet based on the Internet technology.


The intranet is a network of computers that belongs to a private organisation and can only be accessed by members of that organisation. The intranet is used for e-mails, information sharing and other forms of communication within the organisation. The intranet is also based on the Internet technology, which includes the use of the TCP/IP protocols.


FTP means file transfer protocol. It is one of the protocols used over the Internet. It is used primarily to transfer files between computers. A simple time of FTP is called TFTP (Trivial File transfer protocol) this is not a secure file transfer protocol, and it is much simpler than FTP. An FTP is called Anonymous FTP when it is not necessary to use a password or a user name to login to the server that provides the service. An email address may be used to login to the service if the user is prompted to input a login information.


HTTP is an acronym for Hyper Text Transfer protocol. It is the protocol used by the World Wide Web to share information over the Internet. When this protocol precedes a Uniform resource locator (URL), it indicates the address of a website or a webpage on the Internet.

HTTPS is HTTP with security. It is a form of protocol that is used with the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protocol to ensure that information passing through that webpage or site is encrypted and therefore secure.

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web is one of the ways in which information is transferred over the Internet. It is called the World Wide Web because it is a connection of millions of WebPages or documents linked together by what is referred to as hyperlinks. The set of rules that controls this interconnection of web documents is called HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. The WebPages may consist of sound, text, video, images and graphics.


The web documents or pages are written in a language called HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language). It is important to note that the WWW is just a technology built over the Internet. It is part of the Internet and just one of the ways in which information is shared over the Internet.


TCP/IP is the suite of protocols that controls how data is transferred from one network to the other over the Internet


TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a protocol that ensures the correct transfer and the delivery of packets of information over the Internet.  It ensures that packets are put back together in the form it was transferred (by the sender) when it reaches the receiving machine.


IP means Internet Protocol. It is normally used in conjunction the TCP to define the suite of protocols that controls how information is transferred over the Internet. IP is that part of TCP/IP that ensures the delivery of information packets over the network.

IP Address

An IP address is one that specifies the address or location of a particular computer connected to the Internet. It normally consist of four number separated by periods. Each number is between 0 and 255. An example of an IP address is

Static IP

A Static IP address is one that do not change but remains the same each time you logon to the Internet.

Dynamic IP

 A Dynamic IP address is one that changes each time you logon to the Internet.


Authentication has to do with the confirmation and verification of an identity by the computer network to ensure that the user is the person he claims to be.


HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language) is the language used to write or structure Web documents.


XHTML is an acronym for Extensible Hyper Text Mark-up Language. It is the successor of HTML. It is more concerned about the structuring of web documents, while HTML is concerned with the display of the document. It is a hybrid between HTML and XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language).  XML describes the structure of web pages. Not all browsers can display XML, and XHTML bridges this gap, because it can be displayed by both XML and HTML browsers.


XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language) is a simple flexible text format developed by W3C.  XML was developed to describe different types of data; it also allows the creation of custom tags.


Cascading Style Sheetsis a technology developed to enhance the formatting of web documents. It is used with HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language), to define the style of web documents. CSS is used to format   attributes such as font type, font size, bullets and numbering, colour, alignment, paragraphs and so on within a document. Because CSS can be developed independently of WebPages, it can be attached to or detached from WebPages without affecting the actual content. CSS also makes it easy to change the formatting of hundreds of web documents at the same time and it promotes uniformity.


ISP (Internet Service Provider) is an organisation that provides Internet access to individuals, schools, organisations or commercial companies. An ISP can be local, regional or International. Examples in the UK are NTL, Tiscali, BT and many more. The services provided by ISPs include access to the Internet, collocation, domain name, email and leased lines.


ISP (Internet Service Provider) is an organisation that provides Internet access to individuals, schools, organisations or commercial companies. An ISP can be local, regional or International. Examples in the UK are NTL, Tiscali, BT and many more.The services provided by ISPs include access to the Internet, collocation, domain name, email and leased lines.


Electronic mails are a process of writing, sending or receiving mails using an electronic medium. The standard protocol that allows the sending and receiving of electronic mails over the Internet is SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol).


DSL is an acronym for Digital Subscriber Line; this technology uses the normal telephone connection to provide access to the Internet, but it is a faster technology with high speed.


ADSL means Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. This is a broadband Internet connection, a much faster way of connecting to the Internet through copper telephone lines than a modem. The word ‘asymmetric’ indicates that the volume of data transferred is greater in one direction than the other.


ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is an international communication standard for transmitting digitally data, voice and video over conventional copper telephone lines. This type of transmission enables the transfer data at a higher speed than analogue systems.



Allows Internet connection using the satellite


Encryption is a technology that scrambles data to prevent it from being read or accessed by unauthorised persons. The SSL protocol can be used to protect data offer the Internet.


The SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protocol is a security technology that enables data to be protected over the Internet using cryptography. The sending and the receiving machine must have a valid security certificate that contains the information that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is a protocol that is used to transfer and retrieve emails over the Internet.


ASCII is the acronym for American Standard for Information Interchange .ASCII is a character encoding based on English text format which may be seen on a computer keyboard (for example).


Post Office Protocol (POP3) is a protocol that allows the user to retrieve mails from a remote mail server over a TCP/IP connection.


MD5 stands for Message-Digest algorithm 5.Message Digest 5, an algorithm for computing of a cryptographic 128-bit hash value. This technology can be used to verify the integrity of files.


DNS means Domain Name System or Service. DNS matches or translate domain name to IP addresses. A DNS Server is a server that stores and manages IP or Internet addresses.

Web page

A Web page is an html or Xhtml document on the World Wide Web that enables the sharing of information over the Internet. A web page may consist of text, video, graphics or audio elements which can be viewed using browser software. WebPages or websites have unique addresses referred to as the URL (Uniform Resource Locator).

Static Web pages

Static web pages are web documents are pages written in HTML and does not change except when edited by the author.

Dynamic Web pages

Dynamic web pages are interactive web pages that produce information ‘on the fly’, depending on the information requested by the user. It normally involves the interrogation of a database to generate information.

Web site

A web site is a collection of web pages that have the same domain name on the World Wide Web.

Home Page

The home page or the start page of a website is the first page of the website and it’s usually known as the index page or the default page.


Active Server Pages is server side programming languages that enable the production of dynamic Web pages.


Collocation or Co-location can be defined as a situation in which a company places its physical server on the site of a third party organisation, to ensure the stability and the reliability of its network. The Owner Company or entity however takes care of the management and maintenance of the Server. The third party company is usually an ISP or a Web hosting company.


A server is a machine on a network that provides services to other computers (Client) attached to the network.


Client machines are computers attached to a network that request information from the server machine.

Web Server

Web servers are servers that store web pages that can be accessed by computers attached to the network or Internet.

FTP Server

FTP servers are servers that store files of information which can be retrieved over the network using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP).


Mail Server

Mail servers are servers that store electronic mails, and control the sending and the retrieval of such mails.


Bandwidth is the rate at which data is transmitted over a network connection. It is calculated in bits per second (bps).

Baud Rate

The number of times per second the signal transmitted by a modem changes.

Web Browser

A web browser is software such as Internet Explorer, Netscape or fire fox that allows the viewing of web pages.

Dial-up access

Dial-up access is a type of Internet connection that uses a regular telephone line and a modem.

Domain name

Domain name is a part of the Uniform resource locator (URL); it is a unique identifier of a site on the Internet.


The process of retrieving data from a server on a network (e.g. the Internet).


The process of transferring data from a client computer to another computer or server over a network.


Firewall is a hardware or software that serves at a barrier between networks. Firewalls are used to control and restrict access to a computer or a server over a network.


Graphic Interchange Format


Joint photographic Expert Group


Modulator –Demodulator: this is a technology that enables the transfer of digital data over an analogue telephone line by converting digital data to analogue data and converting analogue data back to digital data at both ends.

Modulates- (process of encoding of data) Demodulates - (process of decoding the data)


Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) is simple an Internet Standard for the format of electronic mail (e-mail).


Portable Document Format.


A machine or device is said to be online when it is connected to telecommunication systems over a network and in a data receptive mode.


W3C stands for World Wide Web Consortium. It is an International Organisation that consist of different groups of entities such as organisations, full time workers of W3C, and the public who work together to develop web standards and guidelines with the aim of ensuring the continuity of the web. They have in fact published a set of recommendations for the World Wide Web.


High speed Internet access.


Integrated Services Digital Network: enables the transfer of information (voice, video or data) over a digital telephone line. Supports data transfer rates of 64 Kbps.


This is a discussion group on the Internet. Usenet is the assembly of Internet newsgroups on different topics. Example of these topics is news, science, computers, business and commerce and so on.


Uniform Resource locator (URL) is an Internet address that defines the root of a file on the web. As the name implies, the URL, when typed into the browser, identifies and locates the resources or web page specified in the address. The URL starts with the protocol to be used, the domain name, the names of sub directories and the file name.


Advanced Research Projects Agency network.


Joint photographic Expert Group.

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