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Broadband Glossary & Internet Terminology

In an effort to help consumers better understand some of the terminology they will encounter along the way, we compile on an ongoing basis terms utilized in the internet world.

DSL Terminology

  • DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) - refers to the technology and process of transferring data over a phone line with a circuit that is much faster than the data transfer of a regular phone line.
  • ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) - is a medium for transferring data over regular copper phone lines at different download and upload speeds. Usually the download speed is higher than the upload speed hence the "asymmetric" term.
  • HDSL (High bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line) - is one of the earlier forms of DSL and is used for wideband digital transmission of data. Its applications are used within a company environment as well as between the telephone company and a customer. This type of connection is symmetrical as opposed to ADSL.
  • IDSL (ISDN Digital Subscriber Line) - Basically refers to the process of transferring data through DSL technology over existing ISDN lines. This type of connection offers an always on type of connection as opposed to ISDN.
  • ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) - In layman's terms it is a technology coupled with digital telephone service that provides fast, accurate data transmission over existing copper telephone wiring.

Data Transfer Terms

  • Bandwidth - is the speed at which data is transferred over an electronic communication device like a server. The units of measurement are based on the maximum transfer rate and measured in either Kbps or Mbps.
  • Kbps (Kilobits per second) - A measure of 1024 bits of information transferred per second.
  • Mbps (Megabits per second) - A measure of approximately one million bits of information transferred per second.
  • Bit - According to Wikipedia, "a bit is a binary digit, taking a value of either 0 or 1. For example, the number 10010111 is 8 bits long, also referred to as 1 PC byte..."

Data Capacity Terms

  • Byte - A unit of data that has eight binary digits in length like the example above.
  • Kilobyte - Used to measure memory capacity equal to 1024 bytes of information. Commonly used to measure the size of files.
  • Megabyte - Used to measure memory capacity equal to about 1 million bytes. This form of measurement became popular after computers advanced and where able to store massive amounts of data. The Megabyte is commonly used to measure the capacity of a computers hard drive.

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