I’ll be explaining the 10 internet terminologies that you should know. The reason I’ve chosen these specific terminologies is, you will likely hear one or all of them on your daily bases especially when you are always on the internet. It is good to be familiar with these terminologies so that you know where to look when faced with technical issues. Some of these terminologies seem intimidating when you hear them but once you know, you’ll realise that these are just simple terms.
First let us understand what is internet because this is the term you use quite often. What is an internet? In short, the Internet is a worldwide computer network. Computers need some kind of network in order to communicate with each other across the globe. It’s like your cellphone, it needs some kind of network in order for you to receive and send calls or messages.
I just decided to define this as well cause some people don’t know the term and some use it interchangeably with the term internet. Intranet is a private or local computer network that is accessible within an organisation. You’ll likely find intranet in big companies.
A website is nothing but a collection of web pages that are identify by a single name. In simpler terms a website it’s like a book. I think I’ll be correct to define a book as a collection of pages. To give you a few examples of websites: facebook.com, twitter.com and cmalindi.co.za.
Most people confuse a webpage with a website so to clarify that, so that you no longer misuse the term website. A web page is the page result that you see after searching for a website. The most common web pages you’ll see are home, contact us, about us page. To add on our example of a website we said a website is like a book, so that makes a web page a book page. I hope that makes sense.
3. HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure)
Sometimes there are certain rules that we are bound by when we have to do specific things, so does the internet. It has rules as well. HTTPS is the set of rules on how to handle websites. It is not the only protocol, to name a few there’s FTP (File Transfer Protocol), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) and XMPP (Extensible Message and Presence Protocol). I will not go through each protocol and explain what each does if you want to know more, maybe I’ll write an article some other time. You’ll see this HTTPS at the beginning of the website name. Sometimes you will see HTTP which is not used often because it is not considered safe. It is not advisable to put sensitive information on such websites.
4. Domain Name
When they talk of a domain name they are talking about the full name of a website divided into 3 parts. So what are these categories, we have a subdomain which is your www, web, blog ,etc. Then we have a second level domain which is the name of the website like facebook, google, cmalindi, etc. Then we have a top level domain which is your .com, .uk, .co.za, etc. So the full name of a website will be like this web.facebook.com, www.cmalindi.co.za, etc. Now I hope I’ve explained that very clearly. To explain it one more time, we will have something like this subdomain.secondleveldomain.topleveldomain.
5. URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
A URL is the full address of a website including the protocols of how to fetch that site. So the URL of a specific website will be something like this https://www.cmalindi.co.za
6. HTTP Status Codes
These are the codes that are returned from the server or from your request to tell the browser how the request went. These status codes are grouped into five classes which I won’t mention them all. I’ll just give you the most common ones.
- 200 – OK: Means the request was successful, that when you see the web page that you were visiting.
- 401 – Unauthorized: When you try to access a page and you are not logged in, you’ll get this response. So you should log in first.
- 403 – Forbidden: This happens when you are trying to access information that does not belong to you or you are not allowed to.
- 404 – Not Found: Means the page that you are requesting does not exist, so maybe you made some typo, you might as well double check.
- 500 – Internal Server Error: This error means the problem is not on your side, it’s the server problem. Maybe there’s too many requests so the server is down.
7. IP (Internet Protocol) Address
This is the number that uniquely identifies every device that enters the internet. There are two types: either you have a dynamic which is mostly used by the majority or you have a static which is mostly used by big companies. There’s two versions of IP Addresses so far which are IPV4 which is 32 bit, meaning it can accommodate up to 4 294 967 296 active devices. That is huge enough to accommodate all of our devices right? No, I don’t think so, if you think about it, how many are we? Around 7 billion at the time I’m writing this article. If we are around 7 billion how many devices do you think we own? Hence the IPV6 was introduced which is 128 bit which can accommodate up to 3.402823669×10³⁸ devices which is enough so far. IPV4 addresses examples: 188.8.131.52 (google.com) and 184.108.40.206 (facebook.com). IPV6 example : 2001:4860:4860::8888.
8. Web Server
A web server is a gigantic computer where websites reside and serves your request. In layman’s term think of a Web server as a library to add on our above example.
9. Search Engine
A search engine is a software that searches the internet or web servers to fulfil your request. These are the examples of search engines that are commonly used: Google, Bing and Yahoo.
10. Web browser
Last but not least a web browser is an application software that allows you to use search engines, to search the net and to view the result. So after you have a web browser you need a search engine to crawl the internet. Most commonly used web browsers are Chrome, Internet Explore, Firefox, Safari, Opera mini etc.
There you have it, you see how simple that was, like I said these are not the only internet terminologies there’s a lot. But I’ve chosen these because they are most common. And at least now you would be familiar with the jargon on your journey when surfing the internet.
Now I leave you with this final note: surf safely and don’t become a victim of the internet.