Bandwidth refers to the quantity of data that can travel through your Internet connection per second, typically measured in bits. The greater the bandwidth of your connection, the more information you can send and receive per second.


In a computer, all digital data is made up of bits and bytes. When computers talk or write to each other, they represent all of the information in ‘ones and zeros’-known as binary codes (1’s and 0’s).

BPS (Bits Per Second)

The standard measure of data transmission speeds.


The ability to use the full amount of bandwidth your connection can handle if needed at a given time. You usually get billed only on your average bandwidth use.


A byte is eight bits. (see ‘bit’ above)

Clients and Servers

Servers, or host computers, “serve” data (ranging from simple text files to software) to client computers. When you download a file over the Internet, your computer is the client and the computer that’s sending you the file is the server.

CSU/DSU (Channel Service Unit/Data Service Unit)

CSU/DSU device the performs protective transfers the telephone information into the data for the router to a T-1 modem that allows when you connect to the Internet through your home, computer is connected to a line.


A dial-up Internet account allows you to use a computer with a modem and appropriate software to connect to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP). The software “dials” the ISP’s access numbers and you can then send e-mail, browse the World Wide Web or engage in other Internet activities.

DNS (Domain Name Server)

Connected to the Internet, they translate the letters in Internet addresses into numerical designations. Why? Because it’s easier for most of us to remember than the corresponding IP address,

Domain Name

The unique name of a computer connected to the Internet. In the address, Getwireless is the domain name and the extension “net” (the domain indicates that is a network. “sales” is a mailbox. In addition to “net,” other top-level domains are “com” (commercial ventures), “org” (usually a non-profit organization), “edu” (educational institutions), “gov” (governments) and “mil” (military).

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)

Similar to a cable modem but uses phone lines.


A transport mechanism used to link computers to a LAN (Local Area Network).


A network security device (a combination of hardware and software) that prevents unauthorized users from accessing an intranet or LAN (Local Area Network).

Frame Relay

A networking protocol, which means that unlike a point-to-point private line, there’s a network switch in-between your location and to whomever you’re connecting. Actually, you get a private line to a node on the frame relay network, and the remote location gets a private line to a nearby frame relay node. When you send traffic over your line, the network gets it to the remote location by routing it through the frame relay network. Then the data is passed to the remote location’s line and it has reached its destination.


Not a single network, but a globe-encircling network of networks. The US Department of Defense first developed the Internet. It has no owner or central headquarters. Indeed, it is in constant flux as the small networks, which it comprises, come and go, and grow.

IP Address (Internet Protocol address)

A unique numerical Internet address identifying any piece of equipment hooked up to the Internet. (see ‘DNS’ above)

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Technology)

Used for high-speed Internet connections, an ISDN line can transmit data at 128,000 bits per second.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

Furnishes access to the Internet. is an International ISP.

KBPS (Kilobits per second)

Used as a means for indicating the speed of computer modems, as in 29.8kbps or 56kbps.

LAN (Local Area Network)

A network of computers, usually in the same building or group of buildings.

Leased Line

A leased phone line that provides a dedicated (full-time) Internet connection.

Local Loop

Typically for a T1 or T3 line. You pay a monthly local loop charge and any used bandwidth. With wireless you eliminate the local loop charge.


(1) When used to describe data storage, 1,048,576 (2 to the 20th power) bytes. Megabyte is a frequently abbreviated as M or MB.
(2) When used to describe data transfer rates, as in Mbps, it refers to one million bytes.


The network node of the Internet (and web). They forward packets to other routers until they reach their destination. (Think of 2 circles, in order to get between them, this device connects two or more networks).


A T-1 circuit enables data transmission at 1,544,00 bits per second.


A T-3 circuit enables data transmission at 45,000,000 bits per second.


(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) The protocol used by computers to communicate across the Internet.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Allows two or more offices to appear as one secure network through the use of strong encryption. It is a network established for the exclusive use of a single organization or business enterprise with an emphasis on privacy and security.

WAN (Wide Area Network)

A large network that links computers together that are located long distances from each other. The beauty of the Internet is that it relieves an organization of having to manage links over long distances.

Wireless Internet

Term used to describe a network connection to the Internet or an ISP using radio frequencies through the air rather then using traditional Telephone Communication wiring such as ISDN, T1 or T3.


(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) The protocol used by computers to communicate across the Internet.