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Acrobat reader (Adobe)
A viewer used to open Portable Document format (PDF) files. See also PDF.

ActiveX
A multimedia authoring system provided by Microsoft for the World Wide Web.

Alias
A name substituted for a more complicated name, usually in an email program.

Animated GIF
Animated GIF's are a simple way of introducing movement into a web page. These graphics files are often used as a way of attracting attention to a particular part of a web page.

Application
A program or group of programs that manages tasks on your computer. Word processors, graphics and games are all types of application.

Attachment (email)
A file or document sent as part of an email message.  

Back button (browser toolbar)
Takes you to the previous page to that currently displayed for view.

Bandwidth
A term to describes how much information you can send through your Internet connection

Banner
An advertisement in the form of a graphic image that typically runs across a web page or is positioned in a margin or other space reserved for ads.

Baud rate
The speed of a modem measured in bits per second. Currently 56Kbps is the fastest modem you can get.

Bidding
The process used by companies like Overture & Espotting to determine where you appear in a search engine's listings for a certain search term / keyword.

Bit
Short for binary digit. The smallest unit of computer information.

Bits per second
The number of bits transferred each second over a given communications channel e.g. a modem.

Bitmap
A method of saving a graphic image to your computer hard drive or other storage devices.


Bookmark
A shortcut to the address (URL) of any resource on the Internet. Bookmarks are stored by the browser (In the case of Internet Explorer the bookmarks are known as favourites).

Boot or re-boot
The act of starting or re-starting your computer.

Box
An area of a window that you can type into and / or click on.

Bounce
The action of an email message being returned because of some kind of error. Usually caused by the email address being incorrect.

Browser
A program that allows you to look at or "browse" Web pages on the Internet by enabling you to download them and display them on your computer screen. The two most popular browsers are Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.

Button
An area that you can click on to perform an activity, often rectangular or circular in shape.

Bulletin Board Service (BBS)
A computer set-up to allow users to connect to it via a modem. One of the ways that Internet users can exchange messages and files.  

Cache (Internet context)
An area on your computer where your browser stores information on your most regularly visited web pages so that when you visit them again the pages are more quickly displayed.

Case Sensitive
A word that is recognised by program software according to whether it is written in lower case, mixed case or upper case. e.g. when you type in or log in johnsmith is recognised JohnSmith or JOHNSMITH is rejected.

CD-ROM (Compact disk read-only memory)
A disk containing files that can be read but not edited or deleted. A CD ROM drive is required to read these disks.

Channel
web site information that can be downloaded quickly and viewed off line. Or, a way to describe a particular grouping of information on a web site – i.e. News Channel, Sports Channel.

Chat (or Internet relay chat)
Allows messages to be exchanged as they are typed and so aren't subject to any delay between sending and receipt.

Click (left click)
To depress and release the button on the left hand side of the mouse one time only.

Click Through
The process of clicking on an advertisement, image or link that will take you through to another page on a website or to a page on a different site. These can be monitored to provide figures on visitor numbers to different sites and pages.

Client
A computer or program provided with information by another computer or program (server) usually over a network, e.g. the web browser is a web client that requests web pages from a web server.

COM port
A communication port that is the interface in your computer to which your modem is attached.

Compressed files
Computer files that have been reduced in size by a compression program such as Zip or Win Zip. These files normally have to be decompressed before being read by the appropriate application program.

Configure
To 'set up' your computer or related hardware or software for use.

Cookie
A cookie is a file that a web server stores on your computer. The most common use for cookies is to customise the way a web page appears when you view it. Many ISP's require you to have "cookies enabled" in your browser settings.

CPC
Cost per Click. Each time a visitor uses a link to go to a clients website a set charge is made.

CPL
Cost per lead is a new concept. When a lead is created and driven to a clients site, a charge is made.

CPT or CPM
Cost per thousand or Millennia. Each time an ad is viewed, a charge is made regardless of whether they visit the client’s site.

Crash (software)
When a program or operating systems fails to respond or causes other programs to malfunction.  

Desktop
The area displayed on your monitor behind any open windows where various icons are displayed.

Dial-up connection
A means of accessing the Internet through your modem, or ISDN connection via a telephone line.

Domain (see URL)
This is your address on the Internet. The standard way of writing, e.g. www.mycompany.com or me@mycompany.com.

www explains that this is a World Wide Web address.

mycompany is the name of the company.

com tells people that this is a commercial enterprise.

When combining with your user name to form your email address you use the format username@mycompany.com

Other common domain names end with:

.ac.ukacademic organisation, e.g. www.swan.ac.uk refers to Swansea University

.co.uk - UK company e.g. www.bbb.co.uk is the web address of the BBC

.gov.ukrefers to a UK government department e.g. www.dti.gov.uk is the web address of the DTI

.org.uk UK organisation e.g. www.isis.org.uk is the web address of the Independent Schools Information Service

Domain Name Registration
The process of registering a unique domain name for your own business or personal use. This is highly recommended if you intend to construct a business web site for a professional image and is easier to remember.

Domain Name System (DNS)
The system which enables one Internet host to find another in order to send mail and information

The DNS translates the hierarchical system of Internet host domain names from words into numbers (an IP address) that the computers connected to the Internet can understand. [ see below ]

Double Opt-In
Used in E-mail Marketing, this defines that a name on an e-mail list has been made aware that they are on the list AND has confirmed that they wish to continue receiving information.

Download
The process of transferring information you've found on a computer on the Internet (server) onto your computer. You may decide you want to download the latest software or business information from sites you find on different web servers. Also used to describe your email retrieval.

Double click
The quick depression and release of the left mouse button two times only.

Driver
A small instruction set used to control hardware installed on your computer e.g. your modem.  

Email
Electronic mail is the system used for sending and receiving messages between users on the Internet.

Email address
This is the equivalent of your home or business address on the Internet. It is unique to you and is made up of your username, the @ sign and your domain name. So johnsmith@business.com is the address for John Smith located in the business domain. Many companies have their own domains so you often find email addresses have the company name after the @ sign.

FAQ's
This stands for Frequently Asked Questions. These files are often placed in a prominent position on web sites and can usually give advice when you are stuck on something.

Favourites
The term used by Internet Explorer for the bookmarks list.

Favourites button (browser toolbar)
Opens up the folder containing pages you have 'bookmarked' as ones you want to visit again.

File
Data stored on a computer, such as a program, image or document.

Firewall
Used to protect internal or private networks from unauthorised access and can only be crossed via an ultra secure proxy server.

Flash
Flash is multimedia software that allows for the design of fast vector based animation with sound. It is particularly useful for web-based multimedia. Produced by American multimedia software specialists Macromedia, Flash requires a plug in for the web browser.

Forum
A discussion group.

Forward button (browser toolbar)
Used to move forward again if you've used the Back button to display a previous page or pages.

Freeware
Software provided free by its creator. This is not the same as public domain software and copyright applies.

FTP (File transfer protocol)
A protocol that defines how files transfer from one computer to another. FTP programs are used to transfer files across the Internet. One typical use is to upload a web site to the web server hosting the site. 

Gateway
It enables incompatible networks or applications to communicate with each other.

General Search Term
A generic keyword like “Holiday” or “Recruitment” etc, general business types. On paid for placement this would not produce the most targeted responses.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
The most widely supported graphics format for storing compressed images, i.e.. logos and icons, for use in web pages. It is not ideal for storing high quality photographic images that are better seen in the JPEG format.

Gigabyte
A measure of memory or disk space, equal to 1 073 741 824 bytes of data.

GUI (Graphical User interface)
A program that provides the user with onscreen tools such as menus, buttons, dialog boxes etc.

Handshaking
Regulating the flow of data between two modems so that you don't have to wait too long for information to come through, or get swamped by data all at once.

Highly Targeted Terms
A precise keyword like “Cottage Holiday South Devon” or “Cheap Hotel Edinburgh”. These are specific search terms that would increase the chance of a visitor to a relevant client's website converting to a booking.

Home button (browser toolbar)
Takes you to the page you generally open up when you first connect to the Internet.

Home page
The first page you see when you connect to your Internet Service Provider or to a web site on the Internet.

Host
A computer connected directly to the Internet. The computer used by your Service Provider is a host.

Hot Text
Hot text is text that can be clicked on with the mouse cursor. This interaction causes the display of either another web page or another part of the current web page. Also known as a link.

HTML (Hypertext mark up language)
The programming language used to build web pages and documents.

HTTP (Hypertext transfer protocol)
The data transmission protocol for transferring HTML documents across the Internet.

HTTPS (Hypertext transfer protocol secure)
The secure data transmission for transferring HTML documents across the Internet.

Hypertext
A system where documents contain links that allow readers to move between areas of the document, following subjects along a variety of pathways through the documents.

Hypertext link
Words or images that, when selected, link you to a different web page (or site) or part of a web page. Normally indicated by the word(s) being underlined or when the cursor is placed over the image the cursor shape changes, thus indicating a link.  

Impression
A view of your ad, sold as CPT (CPM). The number of impressions denotes the number of times your ad appeared regardless of clicks.

Intranet
A closed network that is normally restricted within a company or organisation.

Internet
A global network of computers and communications that provides the technology to host and move the information provided via applications such as email and the World Wide Web.

Internet Protocol
The standard protocol used for system communication across the Internet.

Internet Protocol (IP) Address
A 32 bit address used to define the location of a host computer on the Internet, e.g. the IP address for BT Connect to Business Primary DNS is 193.113.209.14 and your Service Provider will either allocate one for you or allocate on when you connect.

Internet Services
A collective term for applications available over the Internet.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)
A company that provides you with a connection to the Internet through it's gateway.

Intelligent agent
A program you can send out to search for information (such as the latest product update or lowest price) rather than manually check web sites.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
A digital phone line that allows faster and more reliable access to the Internet and online services. The common version is ISDN2e offering 64k or 128k access via an ISDN Terminal Adaptor (TA).  

JANET
Joint Academic Network linking UK universities, colleges and research establishments.

Java
A flexible computer language allowing you to write software that will work on a variety of platforms. Java is currently the most popular language among programmers for Internet applications.

JPEG
A highly compressed photographic image file which takes its name from the Joint Photographic Experts Group who developed it.

Keyword
Like a search term, but a single word.

Kilobyte
A measure of memory or disk space, equal to 824 bytes of data.

LAN (Local area network)
A computer network that is usually within one office or building.

Link (hypertext)
Words or images that when selected link you to a different web page or part of a web page. Normally indicated by the word(s) being underlined or when the cursor is placed over the image the cursor shape changes indicating a link.

Listings
When a search engine displays results in the form of a list for a search term, these are referred to as listings.

Log on or Log in
Connecting to the Internet, your Internet Service provider or a private network of information. Also called going "online".

Log off
Disconnecting from a remote computer when you have finished a connected session. Also called going "off-line".  

Mailbox
Where your "mail server" stores your email.

Mailing List (email)
Used to send messages relating to a particular topic to a group of people on your list by entering just one group name but mailing to each individual.

Mail Server
A program that either distributes information in response to email requests or handles the incoming or outgoing email for a host.

Meta Tag
Meta tags are used in HTML web authoring to add non-visible information to a web page. This information can, for example, be used to store information used by web search engines.

Megabyte
A measure of hard disk space, equal to 1 048 576 bytes of information.

MIME (Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extensions)
A protocol that enables you to send computer files attached to emails.

Modem
A device that converts digital signals from your computer into analogue signals for transmission on a telephone line (modulation) and also converts analogue signals received back on the telephone line into digital signals your computer can understand (demodulation). E.g. it enables the digital information on the web server to be received and understood by your computer.

MPEG
A compressed format for storing high quality video on a computer. The name originates from the Moving Picture Expert Group who defined the standard.

Navigate
Navigation describes the act of browsing or 'surfing' around web pages using various means including following links and entering URL's or addresses to other web pages.

Netiquette
A code of conduct for users of newsgroups, mailing lists and chat areas. If you use these applications, check out the FAQ's sections for guidelines on correct use.

Newbie
A new Internet user or a user new to a particular area of the Internet.

Newsgroups
The Internet equivalent of bulletin boards or discussion groups covering all kinds of subjects. These are accessed via newsreaders that often come with your original installation disk.

Newsreader
A program to help you find your way through messages in a newsgroup.

NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol)
The system used by the Internet for the distribution of Usenet news from any of the tens of thousands of newsgroups.

 Offline
When you disconnect from your Internet Service Provider or any other online service you are said to have gone offline.

Online
You are said to be online when you are connected to another computer hosting an online service over a network connection. E.g. you are online when you connect to your Internet Service Provider in order to send or receive email or down load information from the Internet.

Oracle
A common type of database.

Outlook Express (Microsoft Outlook Express)
A messaging program used to send and receive email and view newsgroups. It can be used offline to read or compose messages. Going online allows new messages to be sent and / or received.

PDF (Portable Document Format)
Files similar to web pages except normally with more complex graphics and layouts.

PING (Packet InterNet Groper)
A program that enables you to test if a particular host computer is accessible.

Pixel
Derived from Picture Element, pixels are individual bits of data that make up a bit mapped image. They are also used to measure screen resolution (size).

Plug-in
A small software program that extends the function of a browser. e.g. extending the capabilities of video or sound playback for instance. They are usually found on web sites and are usually very cheap or even free to download.

PoP (Point of Presence)
A local Internet access point that enables you to connect at local call rates.

POP (Post Office Protocol ) latest version POP3
A program running on your Internet Service Providers computer(s) which enables the mail program on your computer e.g. Outlook Express to retrieve your email.

Pop Up
A form of advertisement like a button, except it “Pops up” when a page is opened.

Portal
A website that often serves as a starting point for a web user's session. It typically provides services such as search, directory of website's, news, weather, e-mail, etc. Examples include Yahoo!, Wanadoo, MSN, Lycos etc.

Postmaster
A person at the host who is responsible for managing the email system. If you need information about a user at a particular host or have enquires about email delivery problems to that user you can email the postmaster @ hostname, e.g. postmaster@business.com

Protocol
A set of rules to define how computers transmit information.

Proxy server
A server acting as a secure gateway between an internal network and the Internet, through which clients must send and receive outgoing and receive incoming data. A proxy can also provide cache for frequently accessed web pages, resulting in a quicker response time.

Public domain software
Software that has no owner which can be used without payment and modified where the source code is available.

Push
A program that periodically retrieves information data or emails from the Internet and displays it on your desktop without you requesting an update.  

Quicktime
A program for viewing movies and JPEG's on your computer display.

RealPlayer
A plug-in that lets you play RealAudio audio and RealVideo video clips by selecting a hyperlink that points to the clip.

RealAudio or RealVideo
A well-known streaming audio or video format.

Refresh Button (browser toolbar)
Updates a web page to replace what could be 'cached' text or graphics on your browser.

Rendered
An HTML document displayed in a web browser when only the normal text is visible. An un rendered document is the source document including all the HTML code.

Resolution (Monitor)
Refers to the number of horizontal and vertical pixels that make up the display screen area .Common resolutions today are 800 wide x 600 high and 102 wide x 768 high.

Right click
To depress and release the button on the right hand side of the mouse once only.

Robot (or bot)
A program that automates tasks such as searching for information (or prices) through databases or responding to messages

Roll Over
Text or graphics that appear on the screen as annotations, often to show users sub-navigation or explanations.  

Search Engine
Many search engines exist that scan the World Wide Web in order to locate web pages that will satisfy a user's query. Some web sites have their own search engine, which will search just their site. These search engines make the World Wide Web very powerful and it is worthwhile for all users to spend some time getting to know how to use the search engines properly. Search engines drive over 90% of internet traffic.

Search Term
A phrase or keyword that a search engine user enters to try and find information about a particular subject they want information on.

Server
A computer or program that services another computer or program (the client), e.g. web servers send pages to web browsers (web clients).

Shareware
Software freely distributed for a limited period. After this the author expects payment from the people who decide to continue using it.

Shockwave
A popular multimedia plug-in. It lets you view interactive web content like games, business presentations, entertainment and advertisements from you web browser.

Single Opt- In
Old style E-mail Marketing lists were made up of single opt-in names. These people rarely realised they were on the lists and rejected e-mails sent to them at a higher rate than recipients of the new double opt-in.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol)
The standard protocol used to transmit (send) email from your computer onto the Internet.

Spam
Posting the same message to multiple people or multiple newsgroups. Generally unsolicited and is a breach of netiquette! The scourge of the internet detracting from the importance of real email.

Streaming
Audio or video delivered in real time rather than having to wait for a whole file to download before it can be played.

Surf
To browse pages or skip from web site to web site.

SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array)
A standard for PC systems that provides a display screen resolution up to 1024 x 768 pixels, and a colour palette in excess of 256 colours. This is now the standard for most new PCs and laptops.

Targeted Search Term
Between General ST & Highly Targeted ST, for example if you were looking for a cheap hotel in London, the General ST would be “Hotel” the Highly Targeted ST would be “Cheap hotel in London” and the targeted ST would be “Hotel London”.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol)
A set of protocols that control data transfer between computers on the Internet.

Telnet
A protocol that allows you to log on to a remote computer or network (other than our Internet Service Providers computer or network) over the Internet.

Text-box
A box into which you can type text.

Thread
A discussion topic in a newsgroup or forum.

Traffic
Volumes of visits that a website receives.

Threading
This refers to the ability of a message reader or Usenet News reader to read all the messages in a particular discussion topic in the order that they were posted.

Toolbar
An area containing a number of buttons or links that are used to select specific functions (usually the most commonly accessed).

 Unique User
If a site says it has 5 million hits a year; that can include 250 people visiting 20,000 times each. If they say they have 400,000 unique users you know that there were 400,000 different people.

UNIX
An operating system on most servers used by most service providers and universities.

Upload
The process of sending information from one computer to another which is usually a web server.You upload to servers and download from server to clients.

URL (Universal Resource Locator)
The uniform resource locator is the address of a given page. When typing the URL into the location field or address box you should be exact. The website's name and location of the page are part of this i.e. http://www.cyberview.co.uk

Username
The name by which the user identifies himself or herself to the Internet Service Provider. (Used in conjunction with the password to login to BTConnect or BTAccess, services from BTclickforbusiness).

UseNet
A global system where messages relating to topics are distributed in the form of newsgroups.

Viewer
A program that plays or displays video files that you find on the web.

Virus
A program written to cause mischief or damage to your computer. Viruses are transferred by loading or downloading infected files (data) onto your computer. Virus protection software is easy to load and update, and it is now often supplied with your computer.

Web hosting company
A company such as BT that sells space on a web server to people who want to set up web sites.

Web page
An individual document on the web usually composed of a combination of hypertext, graphics and links to other web documents (pages).

Web site
A collection of subject related web documents usually located on the same web server.

WWW (World Wide Web)
A global hypertext system that allows users to move through linked documents following any chosen route. Documents on the World Wide Web also contain topics that, when selected, lead to other documents creating a global "web" of information where the linked pages can be located anywhere around the world.

X

Yahoo
Leading search directory.

Zip or Win Zip
File compression programs.

Zone
An area within an Internet service containing a specific type of content.

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How the Domain Name System (DNS) works

Summary

This article provides a basic introduction to the domain name system.

IP addresses

Every internet service - whether it be a website, or a mailserver - runs from a physical computer somewhere in the world.

Each of these physical computers are uniquely identified by an IP address. An IP address is a series of four numbers, of the form : xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx. For example, 195.157.100.23 is an IP address of one of CyberViews' web servers.

Domain names

The domain name system exists so that people can use domain names, rather then IP addresses, to identify and locate internet services. Domain names take the form domain. extension. For example, CyberView.co.uk.

The Domain Name System

The function of the domain name system therefore, is simply to resolve a domain name into an IP address.

Whenever you request an internet service - a website (www.CyberView.co.uk), or a mailserver (mail.CyberView.co.uk) - the internet service is resolved into an IP address.

A user's computer gets the IP address from the DNS server specified in its TCP/IP configuration and then exchanges the data directly with the internet service running on the computer, which is uniquely identified by that IP address.

Your domain name, the internet services associated with your domain name and the IP addresses associated with these services, is your DNS information. Your DNS information is a collection of records that maps each of your internet services to an IP address.

An A-record maps your website address (www.CyberView.co.uk) to an IP address, while an MX-record maps your mailserver address (mail.CyberView.co.uk) to an IP address. SOA-records specify the authorative nameservers for your domain.

All the internet users in the world however, use a variety of different Internet Service Providers (ISPs), each running their own caching DNS servers. There are thousands of these scattered around the world, all resolving domain names into IP addresses, for their internet users.

For an internet user to be able to view your website, or send you email, these DNS servers must be able to retrieve the correct DNS information for your internet services.

DNS propagation

Whenever a domain name is registered, transferred, or the IP addresses of your internet services changed, your DNS information changes and has to be updated.

The process of disseminating your updated DNS information, is referred to as propagation. This is a process that is beyond the control of any one person or organisation and which takes up to 72 hours to propagate your updated DNS information to the thousands of DNS servers around the world.

Nameservers

When you register a domain name with a domain registrar, you have to specify two authorative nameservers for your DNS information. These are typically the nameservers provided by your domain host. For example, CyberViews' nameservers are ns1.cview.co.uk and ns2.cview.co.uk.

Your domain registrar provides the authorative nameservers for your domain to 13 root servers which are maintained by an organisation called ICANN.

When your DNS information changes, your registrar updates this information and provides the updated information to the 13 ICANN root servers. From here, your updated DNS information is propagated to DNS servers around the world.

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