IP – Internet Protocol – the networking protocol suite on which most local-area networks and the entire Internet are based.

TCP – Transport Control Protocol – one of the core protocols used in IP, used for reliable communications (where getting the whole message accurately is more important than the speed of the message)

UDP – User Datagram Protocol – one of the core protocols used in IP, used when speed is more important than complete accuracy

WiFi – the popular name, trademarked by the WiFi Alliance, for IEEE 802.11 wireless networking (802.11 a,b,g, and n)

Ethernet – Cabling standard for hard-wired networks, using 4 pairs of wire, each pair twisted together to prevent interference. IEEE 802.3 standard. Ethernet speeds can be 10BaseT (10 Megabits per second over Twisted-pair), 100BaseT (100 Mbps over Twisted-pair) and Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Megabits or 1 Gigabit per second).

Cat 5 or Category 5 – Ethernet standard for 10 Megabit per second (Mbit) networks, Cat 5e is standard for 100 Mbit networks

Cat 6 – Ethernet standard for Gigabit networks; compatible with Cat 5 networks.

Cat 7 – heavily shielded cable for 10 Gigabit networks; compatible with Cat 5 & 6.

Packet – An “envelope” full of data – all data are “cut up” into packets before being transmitted to their destination.

Router – piece of electronic equipment used to connect one network to another & control the flow of traffic (packets) between those networks

Switch – piece of electronic equipment used to make additional connections to a network available

CPE – Client Premises Equipment – Equipment your Internet Service Provider (ISP) leaves at your place to allow you to access the Internet

ISP – Internet Service Provider – Someone who sells access to the Internet

Point-to-point – sending a signal from one fixed point to another fixed point; e.g. a wireless bridge

Point-to-multipoint – sending a signal from a fixed point (an Access Point) to one or more fixed or mobile “clients”

Mesh Network – a WiFi network with multiple Access Points, connected together via wireless links.

Bridge – a device that links one part of a network to another transparently, so things on one end of the bridge appear exactly the same as things on the other end of the bridge, even though they may be geographically distant. For instance, a wireless bridge uses two data radios to extend a network in one location to a location that may be miles away.

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