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Terminology

DNS or Domain Name System
Data cap
Domain name
Firewall
FTP or file transport protocol
HTTP or Hyper Text Transport Protocol
Internet
IP or Internet Protocol
IP address
Limit speed
Mbit - what is it?
Pay over cap
TCP or Transmission Control Protocol
UDP or User Datagram Protocol
UFB - what is it?
URL or Uniform Resource Locator

 

DNS or Domain Name System

What’s easier to remember? www.Inspire.net.nz or 203.114.128.1?  A name, of course.

Mapping domain names to IP addresses is one of the functions of the DNS.  Another job for the DNS includes telling mail servers where to deliver email.

Data cap

A data cap is the total amount of internet usage available on your plan.  Watching videos on Youtube or TV on demand, playing games, general browsing etc. will all use your data.

Domain name

Every device on the internet has a numerical address called an IP address.  Since remembering numbers is a lot harder than remembering names, a Domain name is used to point a name to the IP address of the service you want to use.  You can use a Domain Name for websites, email and many other services.  For example you could type 60.234.81.144 into your internet browser and get our website, but www.google.com is much easier.

Firewall

The term firewall is slightly misleading, because it is actually an IP network traffic management tool. That’s a bit of a mouthful, but describes more accurately what a firewall does: a good one will give you control over what comes in and what goes out to and from your computer (or network). In this day and age, a good firewall is a necessity. Not all firewalls are created equal, however.

FTP or file transport protocol

For transferring files between computers, you will often see “ftp” being used. Although most Web browsers understand ftp, there are many specialised programs for the protocol which offer greater control over the transfer.

HTTP or Hyper Text Transport Protocol

The language used by Web browsers to fetch HTML and other content from Web servers anywhere around the world is called HTTP. You can specify this when you type in the URL in your Web browser, e.g. http://www.Inspire.net.nz.

Internet

What started out as a research project in the United States to create a network of computers with the ability to survive nuclear strikes that took out parts of it has now become a truly global medium linking people in a manner nobody foresaw.

When you connect to the Internet, your computer becomes a node on it. This is an important thing to remember: connecting to the Internet is not the same as making a telephone call, or watching broadcast television. Your computer will send as well as receive data, and thus is visible to other Internet users.

This means you need to pay attention to security for your computer, because there are unfortunately rogues – spammers, scammers and crackers – who are quick to abuse unprotected Internet-connected computers. Make sure your computer software is up-to-date and consider investing in a firewall.

IP or Internet Protocol

IP is one of many protocols on the Internet. Its role is to deliver data in packets to and from Internet-connected computers, which are identified with an IP address. Splitting the data up in packets allows them to take many different routes to computers. This is an intentional design feature of the Internet, which allows it to survive partial large-scale network outages. Unfortunately, the free routing across all hosts on the Internet is no longer done, as the networks have become commercialised and charge for traffic.

Currently, the Internet is built around IP version 4, but the more feature-rich IP version 6 is starting to appear on experimental networks.

IP address

A unique address consisting of four dot-separated groups of numbers, each of which range from 0 to 255, used to identify computers on the internet. For instance, our main Web server can be found at the 203.114.128.75 IP address.

The above addresses are for IP version 4. IP version 6 will have much longer, and thus many more addresses are available.

Limit Speed (or throttle on cap)

Once you reach data cap we will slow your internet connection down until your current billing month ends.  We limit your speed to 128Kbit but you can choose to pay more for a higher speed limit if you wish.

Mbit - what is it?

A bit is a unit used to measure digital information.  When we refer to a Mbit or Kbit we generally mean how many bits of information per second your connection can transfer.  A Kbit is 1000 bits and an Mbit is 1000 Kbits.  For example, a 3 minute song in mp3 format would take roughly 25 seconds to download on a 1 Mbit connection.

Pay over cap

If you want to keep your connection going at full speed once you have gone over your data cap, you can select a Pay Over Cap plan where you pay $10 per 10Gbyte block (or part thereof) used over your data cap.

TCP or Transmission Control Protocol

To make sure IP packets are delivered to computers on the Internet even if they arrive out of order, TCP is used. Hence, we talk about TCP/IP.

UDP or User Datagram Protocol

A simpler protocol for network communications than TCP, UDP is often used for timing-sensitive applications that only shift small amounts of data, like online games and DNS.

UFB - what is it?

Ultra Fast Broadband is the term used to describe the new fibre optic network which is being installed throughout New Zealand.  This network will eventually replace most of the existing copper based services and not only be used for internet but also TV, medical monitoring and many other services.

URL or Uniform Resource Locator

When you type in https://www.inspire.net.nz into your browser, you are using an URL. It can be used to display Web pages or files with HTTP, files with FTP or other items such as music.