Network Acronyms

Network Acronyms and Terminologies

Here included is a list of common Network Acronyms or terminologies. Listed and explained in easy to understand plain text.

Authentication – Basic: Login credentials (username/password) are sent over the network in plain text. This option is less secure, but improves compatibility with some browsers.


Authentication – Digest: Login credentials are encrypted before being sent over the network. This option is more secure, but may not work with some browsers or smartphones.


Client: A computer or device that makes use of a server. As an example, the client might request a particular file from the server.


DHCP: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. In this procedure, the network server or router takes note of a client’s MAC address and assigns an IP address to allow the client to communicate with other devices on the network.


DNS Server: A DNS (Domain Name System) server translates domain names (ex: into an IP address.


Ethernet: Ethernet is the most commonly used LAN technology. An Ethernet Local Area Network typically uses twisted pair wires to achieve transmission speeds up to 1Gbps.


IP: Internet Protocol is the set of communications conventions that govern the way computers communicate on networks and on the Internet.


IP Address: This address uniquely identifies a host on a network.


LAN: Local Area Network. A LAN is a network connecting computers and other devices within an office or building.


Lease: The amount of time a DHCP server reserves an address it has assigned. If the host does not use the address for a period of time, the lease can expire and the address can be assigned to another host.


MAC Address: MAC stands for Media Access Control. A MAC address, also called a hardware address or physical address, is a unique address assigned to a device at the factory. It resides in the device’s memory and is used by routers to send network traffic to the correct IP address. You can find the MAC address of your device printed on a label usually near the network jack.


Router: A device that forwards data from one network to another. In order to send information to the right location, routers look at IP Address, MAC Address and Subnet Mask.


Server: A computer or device that fulfills requests from a client. This could involve the server sending a particular file requested by the client.


Static IP Address: A static IP Address has been assigned manually and is permanent until it is manually removed. It is not subject to the Lease limitations of a Dynamic IP Address assigned by the DHCP Server.


WAN: Wide Area Network. A WAN is a network comprising a large geographical area like a state or country. The largest WAN is the Internet.