Internet Glossary Terms

ACSi On-line Glossary

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Accredited Registrar – A domain name registrar accredited by ICANN and allowed to use the SRS (Shared Registry System) to directly register domain names. Non-accredited registrars must register domain names through an accredited registrar.

Administrative Contact – The individual responsible for maintenance of a domain name. This individual is authorized to interact with the registrar on behalf of the domain name registrant. Usually the Administrative Contact is the registrant.

Address Bar – The long, thin box near the top of a web browser window which contains the Web address of the Web page currently being viewed.

Alias – One of several alternative hostnames with the same IP address.

Appraisal – An evaluation of the potential market value of a domain name.

A Record – Address Record; by adding an A Record line to a DNS listing, you are adding an address for a domain that resolves to more than one network interface. A Records are entered as an IP address (111.22.333.45) and have their own line in the DNS entry.

Authoritative – A name server is considered authoritative for a domain name when it has the best source of information that can be found inside a given zone. Authoritative servers usually include a SOA (Start of Authority) record in their zone file for a domain name. For instance, if a zone file says: “@ IN SOA”, this means that is considered authoritative for the domain. Only one SOA record can be contained in a zone file.



Billing Contact – The individual responsible for a domain name’s registration fees.

Browser (see Web Browser)



Cable Modem – A device that uses a cable TV signal to connect a computer to the Internet. Cable modems offer download speeds of up to 56Mbps and upload speeds of up to 10Mbps.

Cache – A section of a computer’s memory which retains recently accessed data in order to speed up repeated access to the same data. Your computer and browser use cache memory to load Web pages more quickly. Your ISP also uses a cache for this purpose. If you ask your computer to view a page, and it finds the page in the cache, it will read the cached page instead of the page from the Internet, unless you reload the page.

Central Domain Name Database (see Registry)

Change DNS Information – To make a new set of name servers responsible for resolving a domain name.

Change Registrar – To make a new registrar responsible for maintaining your ownership of a domain name.

CNAME (Canonical Name) – A CNAME record maps an address to its canonical name. The name server handles CNAME records in a different manner than aliases are handled in the host table. When a name server looks up a name and finds a CNAME record, it replaces the name with the canonical name and looks up the new name.

Contact (see Administrative Contact, Billing Contact, Technical Contact, or Zone Contact)

Cookie – A unique identifier sent to a user’s computer during a visit to a Web site. Cookies can be used to remember information such as user names and passwords (so a users don’t have to enter them every time they visit a site) or to track future visits to a Web site.

Country Code – A top-level domain name that corresponds to a particular geographical area. Country code domain names are alternatives to “.com,” “.net,” or “.org” domain names. Examples of Country codes are “.it” for Italy and “.cn” for China. The registrar in charge of registering the different country codes varies.



Database File – The file from which a primary master name server loads zone data. See also zone file.

db File – (see Database File)

Deactivation – The process of turning off forwarding services and domain name service for a particular domain name. This is the same thing as putting a domain name “on hold.” A domain name that has been deactivated still remains registered and in Namesecure’s database.

Delegate – To instruct a server in how to resolve a domain or sub-domain.

Deleted Domain – A previously registered domain name whose registration has been cancelled by the registrar, possibly due to a dispute over ownership or a breach of contract. A dropped domain is available for registration by the public.

Dial-Up Connection – A connection to the Internet via an analog modem over regular phone lines. Analog modems can typically connect at speeds of up to 56Kbps.

DNR (see Domain Name Registration)

DNS – An acronym that can stand for both Domain Name System and Domain Name Service.

DNS Transfer – To point a domain name to a different name server in order to make another company responsible for its hosting and/or forwarding services.

Domain – A group of computers whose hostnames share a common suffix, the domain name. The last component of this is the top-level domain.

Domain Name – A meaningful, easy-to-remember “handle” for addressing computers and information on the Internet. Domain names typically end with a suffix that denotes the type or location of a resource (for instance, “.com” for commercial resources or “.jp” for resources based in Japan).

Domain Name Dispute – A disagreement concerning the ownership of or legal right to a domain name. While domain name disputes are usually handled by ICANN, lawsuits involving domain names are becoming increasingly common in the courts.

Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy – The ICANN policy which dictates how to resolve domain name disputes.

Domain Name Hosting – Maintaining the forwarding of a domain name and ensuring that it resolves.

Domain Name Owner (see Registrant)

Domain Name Record – An entry usually contained within a zone file.

Domain Name Registration – The process of alloting a new, specific domain name to an owner.

Domain Name System (DNS) – The hierarchical referencing system by which easy-to-remember domain name addresses (such as “”) are mapped to numeric IP addresses (such as “”) on the Internet. Note that the acronym DNS can stand for both Domain Name System and Domain Name Service.

Domain Name Service (DNS) – The process by which text-based domain name addresses are translated (or resolved) into numeric IP addresses by way of name servers. Many registrars, Web hosts, and ISPs offer domain name service to customers. Note that the acronym DNS can stand for both Domain Name System and Domain Name Service.

Download – To receive information from another computer over a network. The opposite of upload.

Dropped Domain – A previously registered domain name whose registration was allowed to lapse by the original owner (often times because the registration fees were not paid). A dropped domain is available for registration by the public.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) – A relatively new type of high-speed Internet connection that allows high-speed data communications over existing copper telephone lines. The speed of DSL communications ranges from about 128Kbps to over 8Mbps.

Dynamic DNS – A DNS set up to allow users to attach a domain name to a server which uses a dynamic IP Address.

Dynamic IP Address – A variable IP address that is delegated to a computer or server each time it is connected to the Internet. Many ISPs use a dynamic IP address system in order to reduce the number of IP addresses they need to maintain. Each time a computer connects, it will be assigned an available IP address from the ISP’s bank of IP addresses and will use that IP address until it disconnects. Use of this system greatly reduces the number of unused IP addresses at any given time, but, because a computer’s address continually changes, a dynamic IP address system can cause difficulty in accessing a computer online.



.EDU – The top-level domain reserved for educational institutions. The institutions must be four-year degree-granting colleges or universities.

E-mail – Electronic mail. Transmitted through the Internet.

E-mail Forwarding – A service that directs e-mail messages sent to one address to another address. E-mail forwarding is analogous to call forwarding for telephones.

E-mail – IMAP (see Internet Message Access Protocol)

E-mail – POP3 (see Post Office Protocol, Version 3)

E-mail – Web-based (see Web-Based Email)

Expired Domain – A domain name whose renewal date has passed, but which has not yet been dropped from the domain name system.



Forwarding – The process of redirecting queries related to a domain name (such as request for a web page or e-mail directed to the name) to the actual locations related to that information.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) A networking standard for transferring files from one computer to another over the Internet. FTP is used to upload files to a Web server.



.GOV – The top-level domain reserved for agencies, departments, and branches of the United States Federal Government. Registration of .gov domains is handled by the General Services Administration (GSA).



Hostname – The unique name by which a computer is known on a network, used to identify it when sending and receiving e-mail, Usenet news, or other forms of electronic information interchange such as Web hosting.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – The language used to create Web pages. HTML code consists of formatting instructions called “tags,” which are distinguished by their surrounding angle brackets (“”).

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) – The set of networking standards used to exchange information over the World Wide Web. The “http://” at the beginning of every Web address tells a Web browser that a document is a Web page.

HTTPS (or SHTTP) Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol – The set of networking standards for exchanging files in an encrypted format over the World Wide Web. If a web address begins with “https://,” it is likely a part of a secure site.

Hyperlink – A graphic or piece of text in a Web page that, when clicked with a mouse, causes another file on the Web to be accessed. The HTML code used to create a hyperlink includes the Web address (URL) of the file to which it points.



ICANN – Internet Council of Assigned Names and Numbers. The non-profit organization under U.S. Government contract that manages the domain name system, accredits and oversees domain name registrars, and manages root servers.

IMAP (see Internet Message Access Protocol)

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) – A protocol that allows users to access and manipulate e-mail messages on a mail server. IMAP lets you create, delete, and rename mailboxes as well as check for new messages, remove messages, and search through existing messages. IMAP does not specify a particular means of writing or sending mail; this function is handled by a mail transfer protocol such as SMTP.

Internet – A “network of networks” linking millions of computers worldwide for communications purposes. The Internet was originally developed in 1969 for the U.S. military and gradually grew to include educational and research institutions. Today commercial industries, corporations, and residential users all communicate using the Internet. The World Wide Web is a collection of interactive documents accessible via the Internet.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) – A company that enables companies or individuals to connect to the Internet. ISPs often provide e-mail capability, Web hosting, and other services in addition to connectivity. Large ISPs include America Online, [email protected], and Earthlink.

InterNIC – Internet Network Information Center. Formerly, the cooperative activity between the U.S. government and Network Solutions that was responsible for registering and maintaining the “.com,” “.net,” and “.org” top-level domain names. Many of the InterNIC’s functions have now been taken over by ICANN.

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address) – The numeric address of a computer on the Internet. An IP address is written as a set of four numbers separated by periods (each number can range from 0 to 255). An example of an IP address is

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) – A telecommunications technology that allows for digital voice, video, and data transmission. ISDN replaces the slow and inefficient analog telephone system with a fast digital network that can transmit data at up to 128Kbps.

ISP (see Internet Service Provider)







Local Name Server – A server, usually maintained by an ISP, that retrieves and stores domain information, such as hostnames and addresses. Local name servers cache resolved hostname information, so that the user may access infomration more quickly. This provides a faster retrieval of information, but can sometimes result in a display of old information.

Location Box (see Address Bar)



Mail Server – An Internet-connected computer set up to receive e-mail from another server and distribute it to users, and to send e-mail from those users to another server.

Mail Exchanger – A Internet-connected computer that processes or forwards e-mail messages sent to a domain name.

.MIL – The top-level domain reserved for use by the United States military. This TLD is maintained by the Department of Defense Network Information Center.

Mini-Site (see One-Page Mini-Site)

Modem – Acronym for modulator/de-modulator. A hardware device that allows a computer to transmit and receive information over telephone lines. A modem converts digital data from computers into analog data that can be transmitted over the telephone lines. Traditional modems can carry data at speeds of up to 56Kbps.

MX Record (Mail Exchange Record) – Instructions within a Domain Name System (DNS) record that routes e-mail for a particular domain to the proper mail server.



Name Server – A computer that maps domain names (such as “”) to IP addresses (such as “”). For a domain name to be functional, it must be associated with at least one name server.

Name Service (see Domain Name Service)

Network – A system of computers, databases, and other components connected by communications lines

NIC – Network Information Center, such as InterNIC

NIC Handle – Used by Network Solutions. A unique identifier, comprised of up to 10 alpha-numeric characters that is assigned to each contact record, domain name record, and network record in the Network Solutions database.

nslookup – Name Server Lookup; A UNIX utility used to query Internet domain name servers. An nslookup is usually used to find the IP address corresponding to a hostname. An nslookup may also be used to find other types of information such as CNAME – the canonical name for an alias; MINFO – mailbox or mail list information; MX – mail exchanger information; NS – the name server for the named zone; and SOA the domain’s start-of-authority information.



On Hold (see Deactivation)

One-Page Mini-Site – A single web page intended as a “place holder” for a domain name. The contact information displayed on this page may be edited by the user.



Parking – A domain name registration that does not include domain name hosting or forwarding services. Users can park a domain name to reserve it for future use.

POP3 (see Post Office Protocol, Version 3)

Post Office Protocol, Version 3 (POP3) – A protocol that allows a user to retrieve e-mail from a mail server by way of an Internet connection. POP e-mail is most useful for users who lack a permanent network connection since it provides a virtual “post office” (the POP server) that will hold e-mail until it can be retrieved. POP3 does not specify a particular means of writing or sending mail; this function is handled by a mail transfer protocol such as SMTP.

Primary Name Server – The first name server queried when attempting to resolve an Internet address or domain name. If the primary name server is unavailable, the domain name’s secondary name server (if one is defined) will be queried.

Protocol – A set of formal rules or conventions governing the transmission, treatment, and formatting of data in an electronic communications system.


Q – Registrars for “.com,” “.net,” and “.org” TLDs are required by ICANN to allow public access to certain domain name registration information, including the name of the registrant, administrative and technical contacts, and name server information. is the Web site that provides this information for Namesecure.



Refresh (see Reload)

Registrant -The person or company that carries the ownership title for a given domain name. You can determine the registrant of a domain name by performing a WHOIS lookup.

Registrar – A company that is able to register “.com,” “.net,” and “.org” domain names by directly accessing the Central Domain Name Database. Namesecure is a registrar.

Registrar Transfer – To give a different registrar the responsibility for maintaining the ownership of a domain name.

Registry – The Central Domain Name Database. This database holds the registration information for all a domain names with “.com,” “.net,” and “.org” top levels.

Registration Company – A company that is able to register domain names but must seek approval of the registration from an accredited registrar.

Reload – A command made through your web browser which forces your browser to load a web page from your ISP’s server, rather than from your browser’s cached memory.

Resolve – To successfully map a domain name to its corresponding IP address by way of name servers.

Resource Records – Databases which contain all data associated with their respective domain names and/or their respective zones.

Root Server – A central computer on the Internet that stores information about all the registered domain names. Internet specifications currently limit the number of root servers to 13. These are located in the U.S., the U.K., Sweden, and Japan. If a local name server can’t resolve a particular domain name, it will query a root server.



Second-Level Domain Name – The part of a domain name preceding the top level. In “,” “mydomain” is the second-level domain name. Within the “.com,” “.net,” and “.org” domain names, it is the second-level domain names that are registered.

Secondary Name Server – The second name server referenced when attempting to resolve an Internet address. It is reserved for use as backup if resolution via the primary name server fails.

Secure Socket Layer – A protocol that provides encrypted communications on the Internet. It is used by the HTTPS access method and was designed by Netscape.

Server – a computer used to transfer files via an Internet connection.

Shared Registration System (SRS) – A system that permits multiple registrars to provide Internet domain name registration services of top-level domains.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol – A protocol used to transfer e-mail between computers. It is a server-to-server protocol. Client-to-server protocols such as IMAP and POP3 are used to access e-mail messages.

SMTP (see Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

SOA (Start of Authority) Resource Record – A type of record in the domain name system that indicates that a particular name server contains authoritative data for a domain name.

SRS (see Shared Registration System)

SSL (see Secure Socket Layer)

Sub-Domain – A partition within a domain name, usually a third level domain name.



Technical Contact – The individual or company responsible for all technical changes to a domain name. The technical contact is usually the person or organization responsible for maintaining the primary name server for the domain name.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) – The primary language that computers use to communicate with one another over the Internet. Protocols such as HTTP and FTP run on top of TCP/IP.

Third Level Domain Name – The part of a domain name preceding the second level and top level in an address. In a Web address, the third-level domain name is usually “www.” The third level often specifies the type of information that a computer is responsible for on a network; the computer at “” will typically be a Web server while the one at “” will be a mail server.

TLD (see Top-Level Domain Name)

Top-Level Domain Name – The rightmost part of a domain name. Generic TLDs include “.com,” “.net,” and “.org”; country code TLDs include .jp (Japan), .uk (United Kingdom) and .au (Australia).

Trademark – A word, phrase, graphic image, or symbol used by a business or other organization to represent itself or its merchandise. Trademarks must be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (in the United States) or with the appropriate international authority in order to be legally recognized.

Transfer In – A change of domain name service or registrar to Namesecure from another company.

Transfer Out – A change of domain name service or registrar from Namesecure to another company.

Transfer DNS (see Change DNS Information)

Transfer Registrar (see Change Registrar)

T1 – A type of data connection able to transmit a digital signal at 1.544 megabits per second. T1 lines are often used to link large computer networks, such as those that make up the Internet.

T3 – A type of data connection able to transmit a digital signal at 44Mbps. T3 lines are often used to link large computer networks, such as those that make up the Internet.



UDRP (see Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy)

Under Construction page – A single, non-editable web page which displays the domain name used to reach it. Namesecure’s Under Construction page is available to all Namesecure customers. The Under Construction page is not editable.

URL (Universal Resource Locator) – The addressing standard used for documents and media on the Internet. The term “” is a URL. It specifies the document type (HTTP), the computer where the document can be found (, where on the computer the document is located (/info), and the document’s name (file.html).

URL Gripper – A feature that keeps a domain name in a browser’s address bar while a user browses a Web site. It hides the real location of the pages. The URL Gripper is used in conjunction with Web forwarding.

Upload – To transmit information to another computer over a network. The opposite of download.

UNIX – An interactive time-sharing operating system invented in 1969 by Ken Thompson. Co-authored by Dennis Ritchie (the inventor of C, another programming language).

Usenet – A world-wide distributed interactive system consisting of “newsgroups” with names which are classified hierarchically by subject. “Articles” or “messages” are “posted” to these newsgroups by and read by people on computers with the appropriate software. Some usenet groups are “moderated”, meaning that the posts are sent through a moderator for approval before they are displayed.



Virtual Host – A computer which can be forced to respond to multiple IP addresses and provide various services (typically different Web services) on each. Each of these IP addresess (which usually each have their own hostname) operate as if they were separate hosts on separate machines, although they are really all the same host. Therefore, they are called “virtual” hosts. An example of virtual hosting is when an Internet Service Provider “hosts” World-Wide Web and other services for several customers on the same computer but gives the appearence that each of these services use separate servers.



Web Address – A domain name or URL; usually the location currently being viewed in the web browser.

Web-Based E-mail – A service that allows users to send and receive e-mail (and usually to store e-mail and manage accounts) via a Web interface. Popular Web-based e-mail services include HotMail and Yahoo! Mail.

Web Browser – Software that gives a user access to the World Wide Web. Web browsers provide a graphical interface that lets users click buttons, icons, and menu options to view and navigate Web pages. Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer are popular Web browsers.

Web Forwarding – A service that points a domain name to an existing Web site address. Web forwarding lets you register a domain name (such as “”) and attach it to an existing Web site (such as “”).

Web Host – a company responsible for hosting a web page.

Web Hosting – A service that allows you to upload and store a site’s HTML documents and related files on a Web server. This makes the files available on the World Wide Web for viewing by the public. Also called site hosting.

Web Page – A document written in HTML that can be accessed on the Internet. Every Web page has a unique address called a URL. Web pages can contain text, graphics, and hyperlinks to other web pages and files.

Web Server – A computer that stores Web documents and makes them available to the rest of the world. A server may be dedicated, meaning its sole purpose is to be a Web server, or non-dedicated, meaning it can be used for basic computing in addition to acting as a server.

Web Site – A collection of Web pages.

WHOIS Lookup – A search of a root server to determine if a domain name has been registered and, if it has, who the owner is.

World Wide Web – A vast collection of files, including text, graphics, and other data linked through the Internet.







Zone – A section of the total domain name space that is represented by the data stored on a particular name server. The name server has authority over that particular zone – or the particular section of the domain name space – described by that data.

Zone Contact – The zone contact is the person or entity that is responsible for administration and management of a domain name, and all sub-domains that have not been delegated to different name servers.

Zone Data – Information concerning a domain and contained within a zone file or a database file.

Zone File – A file on the root server that contains domain name registration information. Zone files contain information necessary to resolve domain names to IP addresses. See also database file.

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