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Web Hosting Glossary

Select a letter to view the defination of the terms beginning with that letter.

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The network of connections and high-speed lines that forms the infrastructure of the Internet. An important consideration in choosing a Web site host is that host's proximity to the backbone. The less network distance between your provider and the backbone, the faster and more reliable your Web site will be.


The total amount of data that can be sent through a network connection in a certain time, usually measured in bits per second (bps), megabits per second (Mbps), or gigabits per second (Gbps). The bandwidth provides for a faster loading time for your web site. It is also important because most web hosts only allow a fixed amount of bandwidth each month. Going over the limit can be costly. Be sure to know your exact bandwidth limitations.


Unit of signaling speed equal to the number of discrete signal elements transmited per second. Baud is synonymous with bits per second (bps). In common usage the baud rate of a modem is how many bits it can send or receive per second. Technically, baud is the number of times per second that the carrier signal shifts value - for example a 1200 bit-per-second modem actually runs at 300 baud, but it moves 4 bits per baud (4 x 300 = 1200 bits per second).


Data represented in binary format uses only two digits - 0 and 1.

binary mode

FTP client mode used to transfer binary files (multimedia files, executables and other data files). Not suitable for transferring normal text files.


Every computer uses an instruction set that is composed of a series of "bits" or "on-off" signals that are usually represented by a "1" or a "0." A bit can be thought of a single instruction that tells a computer processor whether it is "on" or "off." Think off this like the relationship between a light bulb and a light switch -- when the switch is up, the light is on, and when it is down, the light is off. A computer language combines a series of "bits" into "bytes" and provides an instruction set that tells a computer processor what to do. .

Bit rate

The speed at which bits are transmitted over a communication link. Expressed in bits per second (bps).


A byte is composed of 8 bits or "on-off" signals. You can think of a byte as being the computer representation for a letter, like "A," a number like "7," or an instruction to multiply two numbers, like "3 * 6." For the purposes of creating a Web site, the number of bytes will measure the size of your site in terms of disk space. For instance, if your Web hosting plan allows you to publish a 2 MB (Megabytes or million bytes) Web site, then essentially it can be made up of 2 million characters or instructions.


In web hosting, burst is when a client suddenly uses more bandwidth than is expected under its contract.Typically, the web hosting company expects this to happen occasionally and has set fees for the client depending on the bandwidth used.


A network device used to connect two LANs using different cabling.


Sending a packet to all machines on the network.


Computer program that allows to search the World Wide Web and displays the content of the webpages. Examples are Mosaic, Netscape, Mozilla, Opera and Internet Explorer.

Browser sniffing

The process in which the web site tries to determine what kind of web browser the user is using. This is done to suit the website to the particular capabilities of the browser.


(Bits-Per-Second) -- A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 28.8 modem can move 28,800 bits per second.