Technical terminology


Cache refers to a reserved section of computer memory or an independent high-speed storage device used to accelerate access and retrieval of commonly used data.


A domain refers to a LAN subnetwork of users, systems, devices, and servers. Domain can also refer to the IP address of a website on the Internet.


DNS (Domain Name System) is a system used by the Internet and private networks to translate domain names into IP addresses.


Ethernet, standardized as IEEE 802.3, refers to a series of LAN (Local Area Network) technologies used to connect computers and other devices to a home or business network. Ethernet is a physical and data link layer networking protocol that supports data transfer rates starting at 10 Mbps, typically over twisted pair cabling, but also fiber optic and coaxial cabling.


IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) is the protocol used in IP multicasting that allows a host to report its multicast group membership to networked routers in order to receive data, messages, or content addressed to the designated multicast group.


IP (Internet Protocol) is the communications protocol for the Internet, many wide area networks (WANs), and most local area networks (LANs) that define the rules, formats, and address scheme for exchanging datagrams or packets between a source computer or device and a destination computer or device.


IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) is the fourth and most used version of the Internet Protocol. IPv4 uses a 32-bit IP address scheme for network identification and communication, with each unique IP address expressed as four numbers (between 0 and 255) separated by decimal points.


IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is the latest version of the Internet Protocol, developed to eventually replace IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4). IPv6 uses a 128-bit IP address scheme for network identification and communication, with each unique IP address expressed as eight groups of four hexadecimal digits (numbers from 0-9 or letters from A-F) separated by colons. In addition to exponentially increasing the number of available IP addresses, IPv6 simplifies and streamlines network communication while increasing security, compatibility, and efficiency.


LAN (Local Area Network) is a network that connects computers and devices in a room, building or group of buildings. LANs are typically deployed in homes, offices, and schools, where users share access to the same server, resources, and data storage. A system of LANs can also be connected to form a WAN (Wide Area Network).

Layer 2

Layer 2 refers to the OSI networking model's second layer or Data Link layer. A layer 2 switch uses hardware-based switching to transmit data between connected devices based on their MAC (Media Access Control) layer addresses.

Layer 3

Layer 3 refers to the OSI networking model's third layer or Network layer. A layer 3 switch uses hardware-based switching to transmit data between connected devices based on their IP addresses.

MAC Address

MAC (Media Access Control) address refers to a unique physical address identifying a network node.


Mbps (Megabits per second) is a unit of measurement for data transfer speed, with one megabit equal to one million bits. Network transmissions are commonly measured in Mbps.


mDNS (multicast DNS) refers to the use of IP multicast with DNS to translate domain names into IP addresses and provide service discovery in a network that does not have access to a DNS server.


The OSI (Open System Interconnection) reference model is a standard that defines worldwide network communication, developed by ISO (International Organization for Standardization). The OSI reference model divides network communication into seven layers: 1) Physical, 2) Data Link, 3) Network, 4) Transport, 5) Session, 6) Presentation, and 7) Application.

Packet (Frame)

A packet, also known as a frame or datagram, is a unit of data transmitted over a packet-switched network, such as a LAN, WAN, or the Internet.


A port is a communications channel for data transmission to and from a computer on a network. Each port is identified by a 16-bit number between 0 and 65535, with each process, application, or service using a specific port, or multiple ports, for data transmission.


QoS (Quality of Service) is the measure of performance for systems or networks, with considerations that include availability, bandwidth, latency, and reliability. QoS can also refer to prioritizing network traffic to ensure a minimum or required level of service, predictability, and/or control.


Subnet (short for subnetwork) refers to a distinct subdivision of an IP network, usually created for performance or security purposes. Subnets typically include the computers, systems, and devices in one location, office, or building, with all nodes sharing the same IP address prefix.


TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a network communications protocol that enables two host systems to establish a connection and exchange data packets, ensuring that data is delivered to the correct destination. TCP is typically grouped with IP (Internet Protocol) and is known collectively as TCP/IP.


Time to live (TTL) or hop limit is a mechanism that limits the lifespan or lifetime of data in a computer or network. TTL may be implemented as a counter or timestamp attached to or embedded in the data. Once the prescribed event count or timespan has elapsed, data is discarded or revalidated. In computer networking, TTL prevents a data packet from circulating indefinitely. In computing applications, TTL is commonly used to improve performance and manage the caching of data.


UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is an alternative protocol to TCP that is used when reliable delivery of data packets is not required. UDP is typically used for applications where timeliness is of higher priority than accuracy, such as streaming media, teleconferencing, and voice-over IP (VoIP).


WAN (Wide Area Network) is a network that spans a relatively broad geographical area, such as a state, region, or nation. WANs typically connect multiple smaller networks, such as LANs (Local Area Network) and MANs (Metropolitan Area Network). The Internet is an example of a WAN.

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