Glossary: CCNA & General Networking Terms 


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The top level in a hierarchical network. Stub and transit networks which connect to the same backbone are guaranteed to be interconnected. See also: stub network, transit network. [Source: RFC1392]
Technically, the difference, in Hertz (Hz), between the highest and lowest frequencies of a transmission channel. However, as typically used, the amount of data that can be sent through a given communications circuit. [Source: RFC1392]
bang path
A series of machine names used to direct electronic mail from one user to another, typically by specifying an explicit UUCP path through which the mail is to be routed. See also: email address, mail path, UNIX-to-UNIX CoPy. [Source: RFC1392]
Backbone Access Router between a MAN and the JANET backbone.
A transmission medium through which digital signals are sent without complicated frequency shifting. In general, only one communication channel is available at any given time. Ethernet is an example of a baseband network. See also: broadband, Ethernet. [Source: NNSC]
Basic Encoding Rules (BER)
Standard rules for encoding data units described in ASN.1. Sometimes incorrectly lumped under the term ASN.1, which properly refers only to the abstract syntax description language, not the encoding technique. See also: Abstract Syntax Notation One. [Source: NNSC]
See: Bulletin Board System
Be Seein' You [Source: RFC1392]
The newest subseries of RFCs which are written to describe Best Current Practices in the Internet. Rather than specifying a protocol, these documents specify the best ways to use the protocols and the best ways to configure options to ensure interoperability between various vendors' products. BCPs carry the endorsement of the IESG. See also: Request For Comments, Internet Engineering Steering Group. [Source: RFC1983]
Netscape's Browser Distribution Program.
British Educational Communications and Technology Agency.
See: Basic Encoding Rules
Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND)
Implementation of a DNS server developed and distributed by the University of California at Berkeley. Many Internet hosts run BIND, and it is the ancestor of many commercial BIND implementations. See also: Domain Name System. [Source: RFC1983]
Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD)
Implementation of the UNIX operating system and its utilities developed and distributed by the University of California at Berkeley. "BSD" is usually preceded by the version number of the distribution, e.g., "4.3 BSD" is version 4.3 of the Berkeley UNIX distribution. Many Internet hosts run BSD software, and it is the ancestor of many commercial UNIX implementations. [Source: NNSC]
See: Border Gateway Protocol
A format for storage or transmission of binary data in which the most significant bit (or byte) comes first. The term comes from "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift. The Lilliputians, being very small, had correspondingly small political problems. The Big-Endian and Little-Endian parties debated over whether soft- boiled eggs should be opened at the big end or the little end. See also: little-endian. [Source: RFC1208]
See: Berkeley Internet Name Domain
Birds Of a Feather (BOF)
A Birds Of a Feather (flocking together) is an informal discussion group. It is formed, often ad hoc, to consider a specific issue and, therefore, has a narrow focus. See also: Working Group. [Source: RFC1392]
Because It's Time NETwork. An academic computer network that provided interactive electronic mail and file transfer services, using a store-and-forward protocol, based on IBM Network Job Entry protocols. Bitnet-II encapsulated the Bitnet protocol within IP packets and depended on the Internet to route them. [Source: RFC1208]
Blue Book
the document describing a File Transfer Protocol used in the UK academic and research community which was implemented on a wide range of computers and which allowed file transfers between dissimilar computers. Also known as Network Independent File Transfer Protocol (NIFTP). Now mostly superseded by Internet protocols (see FTP).
An IEEE standard 802.15.1 for short range (up to 10m) wireless links between mobile computers, phones and other portable peripheral devices. This uses the 2.4GHz band with a data rate of 1Mbit/s. Work was in progress in March 2002 on a High Rate (20Mbit/s or greater) version 802.15.3 in the same 2.4GHz band. Also known as Personal Area Network. See also: Wireless Local Area Network.
Bayonet Nut Connector. A connector used on coaxial cables such as 10Base2 Ethernet.
Bell Operating Company. More commonly referred to as RBOC for Regional Bell Operating Company. The local telephone company in each of the seven U.S. regions. [Source: RFC1208]
See: Birds Of a Feather
The Bootstrap Protocol, described in RFC 951 and RFC 1084, is used for booting diskless nodes. Updated in RFC 1395 and RFC 1497 and superseded by DHCP. See also: Reverse Address Resolution Protocol, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. [Source: RFC1392]
Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)
The Border Gateway Protocol is an exterior gateway protocol defined in RFC 1267 and RFC 1268. It's design is based on experience gained with EGP, as defined in STD 18, RFC 904, and EGP usage in the NSFNET Backbone, as described in RFC 1092 and RFC 1093. See also: Exterior Gateway Protocol. [Source: RFC1392]
The return of a piece of mail because of an error in its delivery. [Source: ZEN]
A device which forwards traffic between network segments based on datalink layer information. These segments would have a common network layer address. See also: gateway, router. [Source: RFC1392]
A transmission medium capable of supporting a wide range of frequencies. It can carry multiple signals by dividing the total capacity of the medium into multiple, independent bandwidth channels, where each channel operates only on a specific range of frequencies. See also: baseband. [Source: RFC1392]
A special type of multicast packet which all nodes on the network are always willing to receive. See also: multicast, unicast. [Source: RFC1392]
broadcast storm
An incorrect packet broadcast onto a network that causes multiple hosts to respond all at once, typically with equally incorrect packets which causes the storm to grow exponentially in severity. [Source: RFC1392] See also: Ethernet meltdown.
A device which bridges some packets (i.e., forwards based on datalink layer information) and routes other packets (i.e., forwards based on network layer information). The bridge/route decision is based on configuration information. See also: bridge, router. [Source: RFC1392]
See: Berkeley Software Distribution
An abbreviation for ``By The Way''.
Bulletin Board System (BBS)
A computer, and associated software, which typically provides electronic messaging services, archives of files, and any other services or activities of interest to the bulletin board system's operator. Although BBS's have traditionally been the domain of hobbyists, an increasing number of BBS's are connected directly to the Internet, and many BBS's are currently operated by government, educational, and research institutions. See also: Electronic Mail, Internet, Usenet. [Source: NWNET]


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