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FAS Help Documents: Glossary

Glossary of terms:

The amount of traffic allowed to flow over a communications connection during a specified period of time. Often defined as the amount of Gigabytes or GB per month, the higher the number the more traffic and files can be transferred or web pages that can be viewed during the specified period. Example: 10 GB or 10 billion bytes per month equates approximately to 4000 bytes of transfer per second for every second of every minute of every hour of every day of the month, or in other words 10 GB of bandwidth per month allows (4) 1 KB web pages to be viewed every second. It is important to note most websites do not receive web page requests every second of every day so that unused bandwidth is available when web page requests are made.
Domain Name
A name which identifies computers on a network such as the internet. Commonly used to identify a website such as or your email such as The name is usually mapped to a physical internet protocal or IP address and in conjuntion with the IP used for computer communications. Domain names are an easy way to remember a physical computer address. Your computer then uses the domain name to lookup the actual address in order to communicate with the website or email your message.
Domain Name Registration
The aquisition or registration of a domain name for a specific period of time. This is analagous to leasing an appartment. During the lease period you can more or less do anything you want with the appartment but at the end of the lease you either have to renew your lease or give the appartment back (i.e. moveout). With a domain name you either have to renew your registration or give up the domain name.
Domain Name Server or DNS
An online database which maps domain names to physical IP addresses. Without DNSs domain names could not exist. additionally the lack of communications with DNSs is frequently the cause of the common "page not found" error. The website may in fact be online and running properly but if your computer can not resolve / map the domain name to the IP address because one or more of the DNSs required to resolve the name are not online you will not be able to find/connect to that website. This issue can be corrected for critical websites manually via the use of a Host file located on you own computer which maps domain names to IP address locally, thus eliminating the need for the online DNS for that particular domain name.
A service typically provided by a hosting company which combines most of the necissary features required to make websites work, such as a place to store the web pages or files, a database server, a web server to communicate with the internet, and a connection to the internet usually with a specified amount of bandwidth. The most notable feature not typically included in your website hosting package is the design and creation of the web site files themselves. All websites with a dedicated domain name require hosting.
ICANN or Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
ICANN is a company formed primarily to oversee policy and the assignment of domain names and IP addresses in cooperation/partnership with the United States Department of Commerce. For more information visit:
IP or Internet Protocal Address
An IP address looks like and is used by computers connected to the internet in order to communicate with each other. It acts similar to a street address in that it tells computers specifically where to send and retrieve information, like your address does for package and envelope delivery.
Registrant or Domain Name Registrant
A person who registered or is requesting the registration of a domain name.
Registrar or Domain Name Registrar
A registrar is a company who registers internet domain names. In the United States this company would be accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Web Server or Website Server
A computer or program that is typically connected directly to the internet via an always on connection which excepts requests for and responds with online content such as web pages. Often web site pages, content, and files will reside on the same computer as the web server, and is an integral part of any web site hosting package.
Web Design
The creation of web pages and other media for the purpose of creating an online identity to be hosted on the internet often for the purpose of public viewing / interaction.
WHOIS Record
A online publically available domain name registration record showing all or some of the following information: the registrants name, address, email, phone number, the registrar's name, the current IP address, DNS Servers, expiration and registration dates, country location, and information about the website if any associated with the domain name. To perform a WHOIS look up visit the following page:
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