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Glossary Term A - Web Hosting Glossary

A Record
An entry in your DNS table (zone file) that maps each domain name (e.g. you.com) or subdomain (e.g. abc.you.com) to an IP Address. In other words, the A record specifies the IP address to which the user would be sent for each domain name. For example, you can have abc.yourname.com point to one IP address, and xyz.yourname.com point to a different IP address.

Active Channel
Active Channel is frequently updated information residing on a Web server. Users can subscribe to the channel if they have a CDF (Channel Definition Language) capable browser such as Internet Explorer.

Active X
ActiveX is a brand name referring to a set of Microsoft's technologies and services based on COM (Component Object Model) widely released in 1997. On the Internet ActiveX can be used with IE versions 3 and above and with Netscape Navigator though plug-ins. ActiveX control is a COM object written as a DLL in a programming language like Visual Basic that follows ActiveX standards. Once downloaded ActiveX controls have a large degree of freedom presenting a security risk. ActiveX controls have to be digitally signed by their creator. Major competitor to ActiveX controls are JavaBeans. Some hosts support ActiveX server components for ASP.

Add Ons
Add component installed in or connected to a computer that expands the capabilities of the entire system. This is also applies to multimedia applications that are installed to expand the capabilities of the web browsers..

ADO - ActiveX Data Objects
Different data sources can be accessed in the same way within a single data model. The data can be located in various locations like spreadsheets databases or ordinary files.

ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Loop
A DSL line where the upload speed is different from the download speed. Usually the download speed is much greater. A High speed Internet access using the telephone line. It uses line-adaptive modulation and provides data speeds from 384kbps to 1.5 Mbps. Unlike the dial up it doesn't block the telephone line.

Adware
While not necessarily malware, adware is considered to go beyond the reasonable advertising that one might expect from freeware or shareware. Typically a separate program that is installed at the same time as a shareware or similar program, adware will usually continue to generate advertising even when the user is not running the origianlly desired program.

Affiliate Program
An advertising program offering a monetary incentive for webmasters to drive traffic to the advertiser's website. This eliminates the necessity for the advertiser to find websites with related content to list their banners. It also increases the response rate by giving the "affiliate" websites a stake in the response rate. Affiliate programs are a great plan for the websites offering them, but the websites that participate often become underpaid sales representatives.

AFILIAS
The official .INFO Registry. Afilias operates the world’s new general-purpose top-level domain .INFO

AIFF - Audio Interchange File Format
Audio Interchange File Format (or AIFF) is a file format for storing digital audio (waveform) data. It supports a variety of bit resolutions, sample rates, and channels of audio. This format is very popular upon Apple platforms, and is widely used in professional programs that process digital audio waveforms.

Alias
An object that consists of a reference to another object. An alias saves space, since the alias object is small, and can be used to reference very large objects. Resolving an alias refers to retrieving the object that the alias references.

Aliased Nameservers
Aliasing your nameserver allows you to keep your primary hosting provider transparent. By running "whois" queries on your domain name, a client can often detect that you are reselling services. Therefore, many hosting companies provide to resellers the option of aliased nameservers.

Alignment
Alignment refers to type being set flush left, flush right, centered, or justified. Justified type lines up on both the left and right sides of the columnís full measure.

Alt Tags
Alternative text tags appear in place of images when the browser preferences are set for text only (image viewing option is turned off). Including them on your site enables visually impaired user reader programs (speech synthesizers) to read the alt tag aloud. On a PC, when a user mouse’s over an image, the alt tag becomes visible, it appears as text. For instance, Alt tags are not generally visible on a Mac unless the images are turned off.

Anchor - HTML Anchor
An anchor is an HTML tag that marks a specific point in an HTML document as either the source or destination of a hypertext link. This allows you to create links from one hypertext document to another, as well as to different sections within the same document. Anchors that point to different places in the same document use the tag and are frequently used to navigate a long document with many sections. Anchors that point to other hypertext documents use href tag.

Animated Gif
A type of GIF image that can be animated by putting several images together in a single file. When the images are viewed, they cycle through the combined images. This gives the illusion of motion, or animation. Animated GIF format is by most Web browsers.

Anonymous FTP
A method for downloading and uploading files using FTP protocol without having a username or a password. In place of a username word "anonymous" is used and in place of a password email address is usually used. If a hosting plan offers this service your users will be able to download or upload files with FTP without having their own account.

Anonymous remailer
A SMTP server that allows sending anonymous email messages. It removes or changes the "From" field of all messages that it processes.

ANSI - American National Standards Institute
The ANSI is a private, non-profit organization (501(c)3) that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system.

Anti-Virus
A program that runs in the background and scans the computer’s memory, all files and diskettes that are accessed and searches for known and unknown viruses in your computer and removes them. It even helps repair the damaged files left behind.

AOL - America Online
One of the largest providers of online services. AOL offers email, interactive newspapers and magazines, conferencing, software files, computing support, and online classes, in addition to full Internet and World-Wide Web access.

Apache Web Server
One of the world's most popular Web server programs, Apache was built by a group of open-source programmers and is often used because of its outstanding performance, strong security features and the fact that it is free.

Applet
A small Java program that can be embedded in an HTML page. Applets differ from full-fledged Java applications in that they are not allowed to access certain resources on the local computer, such as files and serial devices (modems, printers, etc.), and are prohibited from communicating with most other computers across a network. The common rule is that an applet can only make an Internet connection to the computer from which the applet was sent.

Archie
A software tool used for finding files stored on anonymous FTP sites. You need to know the exact file name or a substring of it. By 1999 Archie had been almost completely replaced by web-based search engines. Back when FTP was the main way people moved files over the Internet archie was quite popular.

Archive
A site containing a large number of files, possibly acquired over time, and often publicly accessible. Or a file which contains a number of related files, usually in a compressed format to reduce file size and transmission (upload or download) time on electronic bulletin boards or download sites on the Internet. Most software which is distributed as shareware (or similar concepts) is distributed as an archive which contains all related programs, as well as documentation and possibly data files. Archived files, because of the compression, appear to be encrypted and therefore infected files inside archives may not be detected by virus or malware scanning software.

Archive Site
A machine that provides access to a collection of files across the Internet. For example, an anonymous FTP archive site provides access to arcived material via the FTP protocol. WWW servers can also serve as archive sites. Such as anonymous FTP, archie, Gopher, Prospero, Wide Area Information Servers, World Wide Web.

ARJ
Allows the user to store one or more files in a compressed format in an archive file. This saves space both in the compression and saving of disk sector clusters. ARJ is particularly strong compressing databases, uncompressed graphics files and large document.

ARPA - Advanced Research Projects Agency
Advanced Research Projects Agency is a US governmental organization responsible for creating the ancestor of today's Internet.

ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange
ASCII is the de facto world-wide standard for the code numbers used by computers to represent all the upper and lower-case Latin letters, numbers, punctuation, etc. There are 128 standard ASCII codes each of which can be represented by a 7 digit binary number: 0000000 through 1111111, plus parity.

ASP - Active Server Pages
A specification that enables database-driven Web sites. Web pages that have an .asp extension (instead of an .html or .htm extension) are rendered on the spot using updated information from the database. This enables "on the fly" updating and easier content management, but it can also present security problems because it opens "holes" in security to enable information to be accessed and viewed in real time. Ensuring security with active server pages is possible, but it requires specialized Web site development skills to create secure Web sites.

ATM - Asynchronous Transfer Mode
A very fast data transmission method. It dynamically allocates bandwidth and uses a fixed-size data packet. Large files are broken into small standard sized units that are transmitted to the receiving computer where the packets are reassembled into a copy of the original file. The number of packets transmitted per second is dynamically determined based upon the needs of the applications requesting the data.

Authentication
Determines a user's identity, as well as determining what a user is authorized to access, eg a financial database or a support knowledgebase. The most common form of authentication is user name and password, although this also provides the lowest level of security. VPNs use digital certificates and digital signatures to more accurately identify the user.

Authoritative
In the Domain Name System (DNS), the use of zones by DNS servers to register and resolve a DNS domain name. When a DNS server is configured to host a zone, it is authoritative for names within that zone. DNS servers are granted authority based on information stored in the zone.

Auto Responder
An auto responder will send a premade message to a certain person when they email to an address. This could be useful for registration, purchasing, or other information.

AVI - Audio Video Interleaved
An AVI is a sound and motion picture file that conforms to the Microsoft Windows Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) specification. AVI files (which end with an .avi extension) require a special player that may be included with your Web browser

 
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