Business Internet – Glossary of Terms

189

Our glossary of business internet terms helps you gain understanding of the industry’s most common terminology and definitions.

As businesses consumers, we should have some understanding of how we can transmit, protect and store our data. Yet sometimes it feels as though the information provided to help us understand business broadband internet packages is unduly complicated, veiled behind cryptic acronyms and tech-speak.

The BusinessTechWeekly.com team has put together a series of technical terms to help you navigate through “tech-speak” when researching broadband internet suppliers and packages. Below you’ll find brief explanations of many of the terminology and acronyms relating to business broadband and internet.

We realise it’s not exhaustive, and we update this list this on a regular basis. If you come across any broadband or business internet related words you don’t understand and don’t find below, get in touch and we’ll put that right. 

# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


[/vc_column_text]

#


3G

Third Generation, commonly abbreviated to 3G. A mobile communications standard which allows mobile devices (phones, computers, and other portable internet capable electronic devices) to wirelessly access the Internet.

 

4G

Fourth Generation, commonly abbreviated to 4G. A mobile communications standard meant to replace 3G.  4G allows higher speed wireless access to the internet than 3G.

 

5G

Fifth Generation, commonly abbreviated to 5G. The next iteration of mobile technology, i.e. the fifth generation (5G). Expected to be faster than 4G.  A mobile communications network which will support the demands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices as well as mobile device users. In the UK, the first 5G network was launched in 2019 by EE.

 

20CN

20th Century Network, commonly abbreviated to 20CN. 20CN enabled standard copper broadband speeds of up to 8Mbps. 20CN has now been superseded and replaced by BT’s 20Mbps 21CN network in most locations.

 

21CN

21st Century Network, commonly abbreviated to 21CN.  Next generation network (NGN) to bring UK’s telecoms network in to the digital age.  Will allow the transition of BT’s network from PSTN to an Internet Protocol (IP) system – thereby enabling the national rollout of newer technology like ADSL2 and FTTC (fibre to the cabinet).  Approximately 92 per cent of the UK is served by BT’s 21CN network.

 

A

 


 

ADSL/ADSL2+

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. A broadband technology which allows for faster transfer of data across regular telephone lines than the old dial-up connections. Phone calls can be made at the same time – all you need is a microfilter or modern telephone faceplate and you can run both telephone and broadband connection simultaneously. An ADSL line will at minimum allow for a broadband connection of up to 8Mb, however ADSL2+ is now available at nearly all exchanges throughout the UK and improves data transfer rates, allowing for broadband speeds over copper wire of up to 17Mb.

 

 

Assured throughput

This term
describes the performance of an internet connection. The measure of assured
throughput is the average daily rate over a 24 hour period and helps ensure
consistent performance.

 

 

Asymmetrical

If a
connection is described as “asymmetrical” it means the upload and download
speeds differ. Standard broadband connections are asymmetrical, offering a
higher download speed than upload speed.

 

 

Availability

This is a
measure of how reliable your connection is. A high availability means the
connection rarely fails. Availability equals being “online”.

 

 

B

 


 

Bandwidth

This
figure denotes the maximum throughput of a connection – or how much data can
travel along the line at any one time. It is measured in Mbps (mega bits per second).

 

 

Bearer

This
refers to the cable (either copper or fibre) which carries the service
provided. However, it is most commonly used in terms of Leased Line as the
capacity of the bearer (or cable) limits the speed of the link.

 

 

Bonded DSL

A
broadband solution for those in rural areas suffering from low speed, or
businesses wanting to double, treble or quadruple their current speeds. Bonded
DSL bonds together up to four ADSL lines and can be achieved in any location
with a phone line.

 

 

Buffering

This occurs
when there is a delay between clicking “play” on music or video downloaded from
the internet, and the item starting to play. The delay is caused by the time it
takes your computer to download enough data to start streaming the content and
keep up. If your connection is fast enough, buffering will not occur but the
length of time you experience in buffering is relative to the speed of your
connection. If you suffer from a particularly bad connection, you are likely to
experience buffering throughout streaming rather than just at the start.

 

 

C

 


 

Cabinet

The name
given to the kerbside box where broadband and telephony is delivered to your
area. The cabinet contains the ends of the cables which carry the internet into
your personal premises. Your local cabinet is the nearest point of contact with
the local infrastructure.

 

 

CASE

Cisco
Anti-Spam Engine. An important part of the six layers of protection in our
anti-virus and anti-spam solution: EmailShield. The CASE scans and scores the
complete context of each message – resulting in much more accurate filtering
than traditional techniques – allowing the user to fix a different level of
protection for each email address.

 

 

Cloud computing

This term
refers to a huge sector of computing but basically refers to the use of any
hosted applications or services. It means using a programme or software which
is not loaded into your own PC but hosted online. Use of cloud services allows
flexible working as the programmes, applications or even servers are available
from anywhere, at any time. Webmail is a simple example of a cloud service.

 

 

Co-location (colo)

A colo is
a data center facility where a business can rent space for servers and other
computing hardware. Typically, a colo provides the building, cooling, power,
bandwidth and physical security and the customer provides servers and storage

 

 

Configuration

Configuration
of any device basically refers to the set up process – making it work for you,
in your circumstances and with your existing system.

 

 

Contention ratio

This
refers to how many other users are connecting to the internet and sharing the
network with you. The higher the contention ratio, the slower the connection will
be. Some bespoke connections like an Internet Leased Line offer businesses
unsurpassed speeds by guaranteeing a 1:1 contention ratio – no competition, in
other words. It is hard to put a figure on contention ratios for ADSL, FTTC or
FTTP lines these days, however, as fixed contention ratios no longer exist.

 

 

Cookies

Cookies
are tiny bits of data that websites place on your computer when you visit them
for the first time. It’s a cookie that helps a website “recognise” you when you
return, and can alter what you view on that site to your benefit. Some cookies
are more sophisticated and can record data on your browsing habits for that
site but they are generally designed to be beneficial. Without cookies, for
instance, online shopping would be much harder. If you really don’t want
cookies on your PC, your web browser will have an option to block them but this
will make surfing the net harder, and some sites won’t work.

 

 

CPU

Central
Processing Unit – the brains of your computer, where most calculations are carried
out.

 

 

D

 


 

Data Centre

Generally
refers to a bespoke, offsite warehouse which is high-security, highly resilient
and protected which contains servers and storage facilities to safely keep
customer data. It means your data is always accessible and can’t easily be
lost.

 

 

Dialup

An old
form of internet technology but often used as a backup. Dial-up was the
precursor to the broadband system of connecting to the internet and used the
phone line itself along with a modem to get online. It is much slower than modern
broadband (and more than 700 times slower than Lightspeed fibre broadband, for
instance) and means you can’t make a phone call whilst using dial up.

 

 

Domain

A domain name is the address of a website. businesstechweekly.com is a domain. Businesses or individuals use them to get a personalised online identity – a website and email address that’s specific to them.

 

 

Downstream

Also
known as “download speed”, the measure of downstream capability (in Mbps)
determines how much data can be downloaded from the internet per a second. This
term also refers to the direction of traffic and means data transfer from the
internet into your computer.

 

 

Downtime

This
refers to the period in which a system is unavailable. A hosted application,
hosted server or the network itself may suffer from downtime.

 

 

E

 


 

EFM

Ethernet
in the First Mile. This service is offered in certain areas which have been
enabled for EFM and provides a very cost-effective type of Leased Line. EFM
means that rather than the connection being fibre from end to end (as for a
Leased Line), bundled copper pairs are used between the premises and the
exchange. EFM offers symmetrical speeds (same up as down). EFM does have its
limits when compared to the fibre-based Internet Leased Line, however, as it
can only achieve speeds up to 10Mbps.

 

 

Encryption

A
security measure which sees data converted using an algorithm to make it
unreadable to anyone without the encryption key. It’s often used to safely
transfer data across networks or store it more safely against theft.

 

 

EoFTTC

Ethernet
over FTTC is a superfast fibre Ethernet connection over fibre broadband
infrastructure.

 

 

Ethernet

Refers to
a computer networking technology used in Local Area Networks (LANs). It’s a
method of sending data.

 

 

Exchange

This is
the main delivery point for the internet and telephony networks within your
nearest town or city.

 

 

F

 


 

Failover

The
automatic switching over to a standby computer, server, system or network upon
the failure of the main application.

 

 

False Positive Rate

A term
often used in anti-spam technology to mean the rate at which the anti-spam
engine wrongly identifies good mail as bad. A low false positive rate is a good
thing.

 

 

Fault rate

A way of
measuring performance – the fault rate is the number of times a service goes
wrong.

 

 

Five nines

Giving a figure in percentage terms is often done to represent “uptime” (how consistently a service is available and working). The “five nines” refers to the figure 99.999%.

 

 

FTP

Stands
for “file transfer protocol” and refers to a way of up or downloading data to
and from another computer.

 

 

FTTC (fibre)

Fibre to
the Cabinet. This is the way superfast fibre broadband is predominately
delivered currently in the UK. It means the line is fibre as far as your
cabinet – which is the kerbside box that delivers the internet to your
neighbourhood.

 

 

Full root access

The most
authoritative control possible over a server. Full root access gives you
complete control of that server.

 

 

FUP

Fair
Usage Policy. Part of the “small print” in some broadband agreements. If your
provider has one, you’d benefit from reading it as it will explain how your
connection is managed and what limits are placed on it.

 

 

G

 


 

Gb/Gbps/gigabit

Gb is short for gigabit, which is a unit used to describe data transfer speed. It is often written as Gbps, or gigabits per second, but on Broadband Genie we use Gb as this is the style most commonly used by ISPs.

 

 

GB/gigabyte

GB is short for gigabyte, used to describe the size of computer files and memory capacity. There are 1000 bytes in a kilobyte (KB), 1000 kilobytes in a megabyte (MB), and 1000 megabytes in a gigabyte. A small text file could be measured in bytes, a basic Word document in kilobytes, a music file in megabytes and a Blu-ray quality film in gigabytes.

 

 

Gigabit broadband

Broadband service offering speeds of 1Gb or more. A gigabit connection is very fast – at a rate of 1Gb it would theoretically take just 32 seconds to transfer a 4GB DVD. Most home broadband connections in the UK cannot support gigabit yet but there are a few areas where FTTH networks have made it possible.

 

 

H

 


 

Hardware

Technology
you can see. Hardware is the physical manifestation of your computer system, as
opposed to software which is intangible.

 

 

High Availability (HA)

This is a
measure of the standard of service you can expect from an application. When the
phrase High Availability was coined it used to mean availability of 99.9% or
above but today just generally represents reliability and high standards.

 

 

Hosted PBX

A private
branch exchange (PBX) phone system that’s delivered as a hosted service
service.

 

 

Hosting

The term
used to refer to the ability to store data or applications on a server or other
computer so that it can be accessed over the internet.

 

 

HTTPS

Hypertext
Transfer Protocol Secure – this is an encrypted way to send webpages to your
computer. Sites like online banking, for instance, will use this more secure
version.

 

 

I

 


 

IMAP

Internet
Message Access Protocol – this is a way of syncing mail between devices by
retaining messages on a central server. It means you can access your mail from
anywhere and any changes will be saved and viewable on all devices.

 

 

Incremental Backup

An often
automated backup system which checks for changes in your files, rather than
repeatedly backing up the whole content. A time and data-saving technique for
much more efficient backup.

 

 

ISDN

Integrated
Services for Digital Network (ISDN) is a set of communication standards for
simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network
services over the traditional circuits of the public switched telephone
network.

 

 

J

 


 

Jitter

Jitter is the term for frequent changes in latency. While the latency of a connection will constantly fluctuate by a small amount, it can be a problem if data packets are experiencing drastic changes in latency – for example jumping from 30ms to 200ms to 40ms to 180ms, etc. High jitter indicates a problem with the connection, but you may need to do some troubleshooting to see whether it’s due to your local network connection, the connection to a remote server, or an issue with your broadband ISP.

 

 

K

 


 

Kb/Kbps

Kilobits per second (Kbps) was commonly used to measure dial-up internet speeds and still crops up with slower mobile broadband connections and slow uploads and downloads of internet files. In terms of data file size or storage capacity, 1Kb equals 125 bytes.

 

 

KB (or kilobyte)

1,000 bytes. This is most often used as measure of storage capacity or data size, as opposed to Kilobit which typically describes data transmission speed.

 

 

Knowledge Base

A database used for knowledge sharing and management. Available from most ISPs to help you find the answers to many FAQs plus detailed instructions for many common processes.

 

 

L

 


 

Latency

Latency is the reaction speed of a network connection – the time it takes to send data and receive a reply – measured in milliseconds (ms). If this is too high the resulting “lag” can be a problem for activities which rely on rapid communication, such as online gaming. This is not something most of us need to worry about as any fixed line home broadband service will, on average, have very low latency. But a satellite broadband connection will have a very high latency due to the time it takes to transfer data to and from orbit.

 

 

Leased Lines

Bespoke
technology providing an uncontended connection to the internet, or connection
between two points.

 

 

Load Balancer

This is a
computing technique that shares the workload between machines, network links or
other resources to improve resilience and reduce stress.

 

 

M

 


 

MAC address

Media Access Control address. An identifier for hardware devices connected to a network.

 

 

Mb/Mbps

Mb is an abbreviation of megabit. In terms of data storage a megabit (also abbreviated as Mb) is 1/8th the size of a megabyte. In relation to broadband speeds, this means a 1Mb connection will be able to transfer 1MB (megabyte) of data in eight seconds. When talking about the speed of a broadband connection the full phrase is megabits per second (Mbps), however as ‘Mb’ is currently the term most often linked with the measurement of internet speeds.

 

 

MB (Megabyte)

While megabits is typically used to describe data transmission speed, megabyte is most often used to describe the size of computer files and storage capacity (though a notable exception to this rule is the digital gaming service Steam, which measures its download rate in Megabytes Per Second). Officially, 1MB equals 1,000KB though it’s still common to see it defined as 1,024KB (which is now formally known as a mebibyte – MiB).

 

 

Microfilter

The piece
of hardware you plug into your phone socket which splits your telephone line
into a phone link and broadband link and allows both to be used simultaneously.

 

 

Mirrored Servers

These
offer security and redundancy. Two servers are set up in duplication, providing
an automatic alternative if one fails. This set up helps ensure business
continuity.

 

 

Modem

Short for modulator-demodulator – A piece of hardware which sends and receives signals through the internet which is connected to your phone line. A modem simply converts digital signals to analogue signals and vice versa allowing your computer (which is digital) to use the phone system (which is analogue)

 

 

N

 


 

N1

This is a
way of talking about redundancy or mirroring – the ability to automatically
switch processing onto another server, storage facility or application in case
of failure. It refers to a set up where two machines are running in tandem so that
one can take over from the other if it fails.

 

 

NOC

Network
Operations Centre – the central point of control for a computer or
telecommunications network.

 

 

O

 


 

Operating system (OS)

Software which controls your computer and allows you to use it.

 

 

P

 


 

Phishing

A work to
describe online scamming. Often characterised by spam emails such as the
infamous “lottery wins” or “security requests” for bank details. It’s a way of
trying to obtain confidential information such as usernames, passwords or bank
details by posing as a trustworthy source.

 

 

POP

Post
Office Protocol – an alternative to the IMAP system for email. It transfers the
messages directly to your local computer, removing them from the server. It is
therefore great for local access but doesn’t help with access via multiple
devices.

 

 

Proactive monitoring

Allows Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to understand how your service is performing, along with identifying potential areas of risk, typically 7 days a week, 24 hours a day . By proactively monitoring your internet connection ISPs can troubleshoot, fix faults more quickly and avoid errors altogether.

 

 

PSTN

PSTN
(public switched telephone network) is the world’s collection of interconnected
voice-oriented public telephone networks, both commercial and government-owned.
It’s also referred to as the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS).

 

 

R

 


 

RAM

Random
Access Memory. This is the most common type of memory found in computers,
printers and other devices.

 

 

Redundancy

Another
way of achieving resilience, redundancy simply means that you have a fallback
option ready to go. If one device fails, the system will reboot onto another so
the customer doesn’t notice any downtime.

 

 

Replication servers

As with
mirrored servers, replication servers simply mean more than one server working
together in tandem to achieve resilience by providing a seamless transfer in
case of failure.

 

 

Resilience

A term
used to describe a method of ensuring continuity of service. Adding resilience
to a network means having backup systems and hardware on standby.

 

 

Resilient Pair

As above,
a resilient pair is just that – two of the same thing providing double
protection against failure.

 

 

Router

A router
is a piece of hardware that enables messages to flow from the internet into
your computer. Routers both link networks together and connect networks to the
internet.

 

 

RSS

RSS feeds
are a way to deliver regularly changing web content to the consumer. Many
publishers allow you to follow their news by setting up RSS feeds automatically
inform you of new content.

 

 

S

 


 

SAN

Storage
Area Network – a dedicated network of storage devices connected by a high-speed
data link. A SAN storage system increases security for data and helps raise
storage capacity.

 

 

SDSL

Symmetrical
Digital Subscriber Line. SDSL is an alternative to ADSL which offers
synchronised speeds both up and down (as opposed to ADSL which usually has much
faster download speeds).

 

 

SEO

Search
Engine Optimisation. This refers to a technique used to help achieve a higher
ranking for your website in online search engines. It’s a good marketing tool
because it improves the visibility of the website and therefore the business.

 

 

SIP Trunk

A SIP trunk is a direct connection between your organization and an ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider). It enables you to extend VoIP telephony beyond your organisation’s firewall without the need for an IP-PSTN gateway.

 

 

SLA

Service
Level Agreement. This is a service standard set by your provider which comes as
a guarantee on a product or service you are buying.

 

 

Software

A term
referring to computer programs or associated data that provides the
instructions for telling the computer what to do and how.

 

 

Spyware

A type of
malware (malicious software) that can infect your computer like a virus and
collects information with your knowledge or consent.

 

 

SSL Encryption

A type of
encryption to increase the security of data when it is transferred online.

 

 

Static IP addresses

Provision
of a fixed IP address which identifies your computer on the internet so it can
communicate with others. Generally your computer will make use of dynamic IP
addresses which are assigned as and when you use it.

 

 

Symmetrical connection

A way to
describe a service such as SDSL – or any connection – which provides the same
speeds up as down.

 

 

T

 


 

Throttling

This term refers to internet service providers deliberately slowing internet connections. It is most commonly employed during peak broadband usage times, and against customers deemed to have overstepped their usage cap or fair usage policy.

 

 

Traffic

Network or data traffic is a term for data being sent across a network.

 

 

Traffic management

The practice of controlling and managing data traffic across a network. Traffic management, or traffic shaping, can be benign and simply intended to improve performance for the majority of users. For example it may be implemented to prioritise bandwidth-heavy video streaming during busy periods. But aggressive traffic management used to throttle connections can cause a severe drop in performance for certain activities, particularly file sharing. While some ISPs no longer routinely use traffic management it is still in place on many services, so check this before you buy.

 

 

Throughput

This is a
measure of the actual working performance of a line. An “assured throughput”
will guarantee you a certain rate of performance for a certain percentage of
the time.

 

 

U

 


 

Uncontended

Essentially
means un-shared. A contended line has more than one user using. An uncontended
connection means you are the only person connecting to the internet on that
line and should mean much faster speeds.

 

 

Upstream

Also
known as “upload speed”, the measure of upload capability (in Mbps) determines
how much data can be uploaded to the internet per a second. This term also
refers to the direction of traffic and means sending data from your computer to
the internet.

 

 

Uptime

A good
measure of performance. Uptime means a device, application or server that is
online, accessible and in working order. Downtime is the opposite – when
something is unavailable and offline.

 

 

URL

Stands
for Uniform Resource Locator – but is just another way of describing the web
address. Some URLs are domain names.

 

 

Usage

A
measurement for the amount of data transferred up and down your internet
connection whilst you use it. The majority of your usage is generally download
use. Usage is measured in GB of data.

 

 

V

 


 

VDSL

Very-high-bit-rate
Digital Subscriber Lane – this provides faster transmission over a DSL line
than the alternatives. This makes it ideal for high definition video streaming
or VoIP telephony. This is the technology behind our business fibre
products.

 

 

Virtual Dedicated Server

A virtualised, cloud-based server which has dedicated processing power and in-built resilience coupled with top of the range data storage and backup.

 

 

Virtualisation

The
process of creating a virtual machine which acts like a real computer with an
operating system. Virtualisation allows High Availability because it makes an
operating system available regardless of hardware failure. It does this by
detaching the service (or server) from the physical hardware, allowing you to
balance or move it across physical machines regardless of failure with minimal
disruption.

 

 

VoIP

Voice
over IP refers to a telephony system which uses the internet rather than
traditional analogue phone lines.

 

 

VPN

Virtual
Private Networks are used by businesses to allow remote workers to access
internal resources like software or files securely. It enables safe flexible
working thanks to the encryption of data.

 

 

W

 


 

WAN

Wide Area Networks are those which span a large area, offering metropolitan, regional or even country-wide cover. In contract to LAN (Local Area Networks) which tend to be confined to a smaller, specific area relevant to that business, WANs are used to securely transfer information between sites or offices over a much greater geographical spread.

 

 

Webhosting

A type of
internet hosting service which allows individuals or businesses to make their
website available to all on the web.

[/vc_column][/vc_row]

Business Internet – Glossary of Terms

Our glossary of business internet terms helps you gain understanding of the industry’s most common terminology and definitions.

As businesses consumers, we should have some understanding of how we can transmit, protect and store our data. Yet sometimes it feels as though the information provided to help us understand business broadband internet packages is unduly complicated, veiled behind cryptic acronyms and tech-speak.

The BusinessTechWeekly.com team has put together a series of technical terms to help you navigate through “tech-speak” when researching broadband internet suppliers and packages. Below you’ll find brief explanations of many of the terminology and acronyms relating to business broadband and internet.

We realise it’s not exhaustive, and we update this list this on a regular basis. If you come across any broadband or business internet related words you don’t understand and don’t find below, get in touch and we’ll put that right. 

# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

#


3G

Third Generation, commonly abbreviated to 3G. A mobile communications standard which allows mobile devices (phones, computers, and other portable internet capable electronic devices) to wirelessly access the Internet.

 

4G

Fourth Generation, commonly abbreviated to 4G. A mobile communications standard meant to replace 3G.  4G allows higher speed wireless access to the internet than 3G.

 

5G

Fifth Generation, commonly abbreviated to 5G. The next iteration of mobile technology, i.e. the fifth generation (5G). Expected to be faster than 4G.  A mobile communications network which will support the demands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices as well as mobile device users. In the UK, the first 5G network was launched in 2019 by EE.

 

20CN

20th Century Network, commonly abbreviated to 20CN. 20CN enabled standard copper broadband speeds of up to 8Mbps. 20CN has now been superseded and replaced by BT’s 20Mbps 21CN network in most locations.

 

21CN

21st Century Network, commonly abbreviated to 21CN.  Next generation network (NGN) to bring UK’s telecoms network in to the digital age.  Will allow the transition of BT’s network from PSTN to an Internet Protocol (IP) system – thereby enabling the national rollout of newer technology like ADSL2 and FTTC (fibre to the cabinet).  Approximately 92 per cent of the UK is served by BT’s 21CN network.

 

A

 


 

ADSL/ADSL2+

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. A broadband technology which allows for faster transfer of data across regular telephone lines than the old dial-up connections. Phone calls can be made at the same time – all you need is a microfilter or modern telephone faceplate and you can run both telephone and broadband connection simultaneously. An ADSL line will at minimum allow for a broadband connection of up to 8Mb, however ADSL2+ is now available at nearly all exchanges throughout the UK and improves data transfer rates, allowing for broadband speeds over copper wire of up to 17Mb.

 

 

Assured throughput

This term
describes the performance of an internet connection. The measure of assured
throughput is the average daily rate over a 24 hour period and helps ensure
consistent performance.

 

 

Asymmetrical

If a
connection is described as “asymmetrical” it means the upload and download
speeds differ. Standard broadband connections are asymmetrical, offering a
higher download speed than upload speed.

 

 

Availability

This is a
measure of how reliable your connection is. A high availability means the
connection rarely fails. Availability equals being “online”.

 

 

B

 


 

Bandwidth

This
figure denotes the maximum throughput of a connection – or how much data can
travel along the line at any one time. It is measured in Mbps (mega bits per second).

 

 

Bearer

This
refers to the cable (either copper or fibre) which carries the service
provided. However, it is most commonly used in terms of Leased Line as the
capacity of the bearer (or cable) limits the speed of the link.

 

 

Bonded DSL

A
broadband solution for those in rural areas suffering from low speed, or
businesses wanting to double, treble or quadruple their current speeds. Bonded
DSL bonds together up to four ADSL lines and can be achieved in any location
with a phone line.

 

 

Buffering

This occurs
when there is a delay between clicking “play” on music or video downloaded from
the internet, and the item starting to play. The delay is caused by the time it
takes your computer to download enough data to start streaming the content and
keep up. If your connection is fast enough, buffering will not occur but the
length of time you experience in buffering is relative to the speed of your
connection. If you suffer from a particularly bad connection, you are likely to
experience buffering throughout streaming rather than just at the start.

 

 

C

 


 

Cabinet

The name
given to the kerbside box where broadband and telephony is delivered to your
area. The cabinet contains the ends of the cables which carry the internet into
your personal premises. Your local cabinet is the nearest point of contact with
the local infrastructure.

 

 

CASE

Cisco
Anti-Spam Engine. An important part of the six layers of protection in our
anti-virus and anti-spam solution: EmailShield. The CASE scans and scores the
complete context of each message – resulting in much more accurate filtering
than traditional techniques – allowing the user to fix a different level of
protection for each email address.

 

 

Cloud computing

This term
refers to a huge sector of computing but basically refers to the use of any
hosted applications or services. It means using a programme or software which
is not loaded into your own PC but hosted online. Use of cloud services allows
flexible working as the programmes, applications or even servers are available
from anywhere, at any time. Webmail is a simple example of a cloud service.

 

 

Co-location (colo)

A colo is
a data center facility where a business can rent space for servers and other
computing hardware. Typically, a colo provides the building, cooling, power,
bandwidth and physical security and the customer provides servers and storage

 

 

Configuration

Configuration
of any device basically refers to the set up process – making it work for you,
in your circumstances and with your existing system.

 

 

Contention ratio

This
refers to how many other users are connecting to the internet and sharing the
network with you. The higher the contention ratio, the slower the connection will
be. Some bespoke connections like an Internet Leased Line offer businesses
unsurpassed speeds by guaranteeing a 1:1 contention ratio – no competition, in
other words. It is hard to put a figure on contention ratios for ADSL, FTTC or
FTTP lines these days, however, as fixed contention ratios no longer exist.

 

 

Cookies

Cookies
are tiny bits of data that websites place on your computer when you visit them
for the first time. It’s a cookie that helps a website “recognise” you when you
return, and can alter what you view on that site to your benefit. Some cookies
are more sophisticated and can record data on your browsing habits for that
site but they are generally designed to be beneficial. Without cookies, for
instance, online shopping would be much harder. If you really don’t want
cookies on your PC, your web browser will have an option to block them but this
will make surfing the net harder, and some sites won’t work.

 

 

CPU

Central
Processing Unit – the brains of your computer, where most calculations are carried
out.

 

 

D

 


 

Data Centre

Generally
refers to a bespoke, offsite warehouse which is high-security, highly resilient
and protected which contains servers and storage facilities to safely keep
customer data. It means your data is always accessible and can’t easily be
lost.

 

 

Dialup

An old
form of internet technology but often used as a backup. Dial-up was the
precursor to the broadband system of connecting to the internet and used the
phone line itself along with a modem to get online. It is much slower than modern
broadband (and more than 700 times slower than Lightspeed fibre broadband, for
instance) and means you can’t make a phone call whilst using dial up.

 

 

Domain

A domain name is the address of a website. businesstechweekly.com is a domain. Businesses or individuals use them to get a personalised online identity – a website and email address that’s specific to them.

 

 

Downstream

Also
known as “download speed”, the measure of downstream capability (in Mbps)
determines how much data can be downloaded from the internet per a second. This
term also refers to the direction of traffic and means data transfer from the
internet into your computer.

 

 

Downtime

This
refers to the period in which a system is unavailable. A hosted application,
hosted server or the network itself may suffer from downtime.

 

 

E

 


 

EFM

Ethernet
in the First Mile. This service is offered in certain areas which have been
enabled for EFM and provides a very cost-effective type of Leased Line. EFM
means that rather than the connection being fibre from end to end (as for a
Leased Line), bundled copper pairs are used between the premises and the
exchange. EFM offers symmetrical speeds (same up as down). EFM does have its
limits when compared to the fibre-based Internet Leased Line, however, as it
can only achieve speeds up to 10Mbps.

 

 

Encryption

A
security measure which sees data converted using an algorithm to make it
unreadable to anyone without the encryption key. It’s often used to safely
transfer data across networks or store it more safely against theft.

 

 

EoFTTC

Ethernet
over FTTC is a superfast fibre Ethernet connection over fibre broadband
infrastructure.

 

 

Ethernet

Refers to
a computer networking technology used in Local Area Networks (LANs). It’s a
method of sending data.

 

 

Exchange

This is
the main delivery point for the internet and telephony networks within your
nearest town or city.

 

 

F

 


 

Failover

The
automatic switching over to a standby computer, server, system or network upon
the failure of the main application.

 

 

False Positive Rate

A term
often used in anti-spam technology to mean the rate at which the anti-spam
engine wrongly identifies good mail as bad. A low false positive rate is a good
thing.

 

 

Fault rate

A way of
measuring performance – the fault rate is the number of times a service goes
wrong.

 

 

Five nines

Giving a figure in percentage terms is often done to represent “uptime” (how consistently a service is available and working). The “five nines” refers to the figure 99.999%.

 

 

FTP

Stands
for “file transfer protocol” and refers to a way of up or downloading data to
and from another computer.

 

 

FTTC (fibre)

Fibre to
the Cabinet. This is the way superfast fibre broadband is predominately
delivered currently in the UK. It means the line is fibre as far as your
cabinet – which is the kerbside box that delivers the internet to your
neighbourhood.

 

 

Full root access

The most
authoritative control possible over a server. Full root access gives you
complete control of that server.

 

 

FUP

Fair
Usage Policy. Part of the “small print” in some broadband agreements. If your
provider has one, you’d benefit from reading it as it will explain how your
connection is managed and what limits are placed on it.

 

 

G

 


 

Gb/Gbps/gigabit

Gb is short for gigabit, which is a unit used to describe data transfer speed. It is often written as Gbps, or gigabits per second, but on Broadband Genie we use Gb as this is the style most commonly used by ISPs.

 

 

GB/gigabyte

GB is short for gigabyte, used to describe the size of computer files and memory capacity. There are 1000 bytes in a kilobyte (KB), 1000 kilobytes in a megabyte (MB), and 1000 megabytes in a gigabyte. A small text file could be measured in bytes, a basic Word document in kilobytes, a music file in megabytes and a Blu-ray quality film in gigabytes.

 

 

Gigabit broadband

Broadband service offering speeds of 1Gb or more. A gigabit connection is very fast – at a rate of 1Gb it would theoretically take just 32 seconds to transfer a 4GB DVD. Most home broadband connections in the UK cannot support gigabit yet but there are a few areas where FTTH networks have made it possible.

 

 

H

 


 

Hardware

Technology
you can see. Hardware is the physical manifestation of your computer system, as
opposed to software which is intangible.

 

 

High Availability (HA)

This is a
measure of the standard of service you can expect from an application. When the
phrase High Availability was coined it used to mean availability of 99.9% or
above but today just generally represents reliability and high standards.

 

 

Hosted PBX

A private
branch exchange (PBX) phone system that’s delivered as a hosted service
service.

 

 

Hosting

The term
used to refer to the ability to store data or applications on a server or other
computer so that it can be accessed over the internet.

 

 

HTTPS

Hypertext
Transfer Protocol Secure – this is an encrypted way to send webpages to your
computer. Sites like online banking, for instance, will use this more secure
version.

 

 

I

 


 

IMAP

Internet
Message Access Protocol – this is a way of syncing mail between devices by
retaining messages on a central server. It means you can access your mail from
anywhere and any changes will be saved and viewable on all devices.

 

 

Incremental Backup

An often
automated backup system which checks for changes in your files, rather than
repeatedly backing up the whole content. A time and data-saving technique for
much more efficient backup.

 

 

ISDN

Integrated
Services for Digital Network (ISDN) is a set of communication standards for
simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network
services over the traditional circuits of the public switched telephone
network.

 

 

J

 


 

Jitter

Jitter is the term for frequent changes in latency. While the latency of a connection will constantly fluctuate by a small amount, it can be a problem if data packets are experiencing drastic changes in latency – for example jumping from 30ms to 200ms to 40ms to 180ms, etc. High jitter indicates a problem with the connection, but you may need to do some troubleshooting to see whether it’s due to your local network connection, the connection to a remote server, or an issue with your broadband ISP.

 

 

K

 


 

Kb/Kbps

Kilobits per second (Kbps) was commonly used to measure dial-up internet speeds and still crops up with slower mobile broadband connections and slow uploads and downloads of internet files. In terms of data file size or storage capacity, 1Kb equals 125 bytes.

 

 

KB (or kilobyte)

1,000 bytes. This is most often used as measure of storage capacity or data size, as opposed to Kilobit which typically describes data transmission speed.

 

 

Knowledge Base

A database used for knowledge sharing and management. Available from most ISPs to help you find the answers to many FAQs plus detailed instructions for many common processes.

 

 

L

 


 

Latency

Latency is the reaction speed of a network connection – the time it takes to send data and receive a reply – measured in milliseconds (ms). If this is too high the resulting “lag” can be a problem for activities which rely on rapid communication, such as online gaming. This is not something most of us need to worry about as any fixed line home broadband service will, on average, have very low latency. But a satellite broadband connection will have a very high latency due to the time it takes to transfer data to and from orbit.

 

 

Leased Lines

Bespoke
technology providing an uncontended connection to the internet, or connection
between two points.

 

 

Load Balancer

This is a
computing technique that shares the workload between machines, network links or
other resources to improve resilience and reduce stress.

 

 

M

 


 

MAC address

Media Access Control address. An identifier for hardware devices connected to a network.

 

 

Mb/Mbps

Mb is an abbreviation of megabit. In terms of data storage a megabit (also abbreviated as Mb) is 1/8th the size of a megabyte. In relation to broadband speeds, this means a 1Mb connection will be able to transfer 1MB (megabyte) of data in eight seconds. When talking about the speed of a broadband connection the full phrase is megabits per second (Mbps), however as ‘Mb’ is currently the term most often linked with the measurement of internet speeds.

 

 

MB (Megabyte)

While megabits is typically used to describe data transmission speed, megabyte is most often used to describe the size of computer files and storage capacity (though a notable exception to this rule is the digital gaming service Steam, which measures its download rate in Megabytes Per Second). Officially, 1MB equals 1,000KB though it’s still common to see it defined as 1,024KB (which is now formally known as a mebibyte – MiB).

 

 

Microfilter

The piece
of hardware you plug into your phone socket which splits your telephone line
into a phone link and broadband link and allows both to be used simultaneously.

 

 

Mirrored Servers

These
offer security and redundancy. Two servers are set up in duplication, providing
an automatic alternative if one fails. This set up helps ensure business
continuity.

 

 

Modem

Short for modulator-demodulator – A piece of hardware which sends and receives signals through the internet which is connected to your phone line. A modem simply converts digital signals to analogue signals and vice versa allowing your computer (which is digital) to use the phone system (which is analogue)

 

 

N

 


 

N1

This is a
way of talking about redundancy or mirroring – the ability to automatically
switch processing onto another server, storage facility or application in case
of failure. It refers to a set up where two machines are running in tandem so that
one can take over from the other if it fails.

 

 

NOC

Network
Operations Centre – the central point of control for a computer or
telecommunications network.

 

 

O

 


 

Operating system (OS)

Software which controls your computer and allows you to use it.

 

 

P

 


 

Phishing

A work to
describe online scamming. Often characterised by spam emails such as the
infamous “lottery wins” or “security requests” for bank details. It’s a way of
trying to obtain confidential information such as usernames, passwords or bank
details by posing as a trustworthy source.

 

 

POP

Post
Office Protocol – an alternative to the IMAP system for email. It transfers the
messages directly to your local computer, removing them from the server. It is
therefore great for local access but doesn’t help with access via multiple
devices.

 

 

Proactive monitoring

Allows Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to understand how your service is performing, along with identifying potential areas of risk, typically 7 days a week, 24 hours a day . By proactively monitoring your internet connection ISPs can troubleshoot, fix faults more quickly and avoid errors altogether.

 

 

PSTN

PSTN
(public switched telephone network) is the world’s collection of interconnected
voice-oriented public telephone networks, both commercial and government-owned.
It’s also referred to as the Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS).

 

 

R

 


 

RAM

Random
Access Memory. This is the most common type of memory found in computers,
printers and other devices.

 

 

Redundancy

Another
way of achieving resilience, redundancy simply means that you have a fallback
option ready to go. If one device fails, the system will reboot onto another so
the customer doesn’t notice any downtime.

 

 

Replication servers

As with
mirrored servers, replication servers simply mean more than one server working
together in tandem to achieve resilience by providing a seamless transfer in
case of failure.

 

 

Resilience

A term
used to describe a method of ensuring continuity of service. Adding resilience
to a network means having backup systems and hardware on standby.

 

 

Resilient Pair

As above,
a resilient pair is just that – two of the same thing providing double
protection against failure.

 

 

Router

A router
is a piece of hardware that enables messages to flow from the internet into
your computer. Routers both link networks together and connect networks to the
internet.

 

 

RSS

RSS feeds
are a way to deliver regularly changing web content to the consumer. Many
publishers allow you to follow their news by setting up RSS feeds automatically
inform you of new content.

 

 

S

 


 

SAN

Storage
Area Network – a dedicated network of storage devices connected by a high-speed
data link. A SAN storage system increases security for data and helps raise
storage capacity.

 

 

SDSL

Symmetrical
Digital Subscriber Line. SDSL is an alternative to ADSL which offers
synchronised speeds both up and down (as opposed to ADSL which usually has much
faster download speeds).

 

 

SEO

Search
Engine Optimisation. This refers to a technique used to help achieve a higher
ranking for your website in online search engines. It’s a good marketing tool
because it improves the visibility of the website and therefore the business.

 

 

SIP Trunk

A SIP trunk is a direct connection between your organization and an ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider). It enables you to extend VoIP telephony beyond your organisation’s firewall without the need for an IP-PSTN gateway.

 

 

SLA

Service
Level Agreement. This is a service standard set by your provider which comes as
a guarantee on a product or service you are buying.

 

 

Software

A term
referring to computer programs or associated data that provides the
instructions for telling the computer what to do and how.

 

 

Spyware

A type of
malware (malicious software) that can infect your computer like a virus and
collects information with your knowledge or consent.

 

 

SSL Encryption

A type of
encryption to increase the security of data when it is transferred online.

 

 

Static IP addresses

Provision
of a fixed IP address which identifies your computer on the internet so it can
communicate with others. Generally your computer will make use of dynamic IP
addresses which are assigned as and when you use it.

 

 

Symmetrical connection

A way to
describe a service such as SDSL – or any connection – which provides the same
speeds up as down.

 

 

T

 


 

Throttling

This term refers to internet service providers deliberately slowing internet connections. It is most commonly employed during peak broadband usage times, and against customers deemed to have overstepped their usage cap or fair usage policy.

 

 

Traffic

Network or data traffic is a term for data being sent across a network.

 

 

Traffic management

The practice of controlling and managing data traffic across a network. Traffic management, or traffic shaping, can be benign and simply intended to improve performance for the majority of users. For example it may be implemented to prioritise bandwidth-heavy video streaming during busy periods. But aggressive traffic management used to throttle connections can cause a severe drop in performance for certain activities, particularly file sharing. While some ISPs no longer routinely use traffic management it is still in place on many services, so check this before you buy.

 

 

Throughput

This is a
measure of the actual working performance of a line. An “assured throughput”
will guarantee you a certain rate of performance for a certain percentage of
the time.

 

 

U

 


 

Uncontended

Essentially
means un-shared. A contended line has more than one user using. An uncontended
connection means you are the only person connecting to the internet on that
line and should mean much faster speeds.

 

 

Upstream

Also
known as “upload speed”, the measure of upload capability (in Mbps) determines
how much data can be uploaded to the internet per a second. This term also
refers to the direction of traffic and means sending data from your computer to
the internet.

 

 

Uptime

A good
measure of performance. Uptime means a device, application or server that is
online, accessible and in working order. Downtime is the opposite – when
something is unavailable and offline.

 

 

URL

Stands
for Uniform Resource Locator – but is just another way of describing the web
address. Some URLs are domain names.

 

 

Usage

A
measurement for the amount of data transferred up and down your internet
connection whilst you use it. The majority of your usage is generally download
use. Usage is measured in GB of data.

 

 

V

 


 

VDSL

Very-high-bit-rate
Digital Subscriber Lane – this provides faster transmission over a DSL line
than the alternatives. This makes it ideal for high definition video streaming
or VoIP telephony. This is the technology behind our business fibre
products.

 

 

Virtual Dedicated Server

A virtualised, cloud-based server which has dedicated processing power and in-built resilience coupled with top of the range data storage and backup.

 

 

Virtualisation

The
process of creating a virtual machine which acts like a real computer with an
operating system. Virtualisation allows High Availability because it makes an
operating system available regardless of hardware failure. It does this by
detaching the service (or server) from the physical hardware, allowing you to
balance or move it across physical machines regardless of failure with minimal
disruption.

 

 

VoIP

Voice
over IP refers to a telephony system which uses the internet rather than
traditional analogue phone lines.

 

 

VPN

Virtual
Private Networks are used by businesses to allow remote workers to access
internal resources like software or files securely. It enables safe flexible
working thanks to the encryption of data.

 

 

W

 


 

WAN

Wide Area Networks are those which span a large area, offering metropolitan, regional or even country-wide cover. In contract to LAN (Local Area Networks) which tend to be confined to a smaller, specific area relevant to that business, WANs are used to securely transfer information between sites or offices over a much greater geographical spread.

 

 

Webhosting

A type of
internet hosting service which allows individuals or businesses to make their
website available to all on the web.

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More