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Understanding Small Business Networking Terms

This list of networking terms will help a small business better understand the world of wired and wireless networking.

Networking: Small business owners and its employees don’t really need to know the technical aspects of every networking term or phrase that reaches their ears. Still, knowing the basic networking terminology can be helpful.

Courtesy of SmallBusinessComputing.com, here are 10 networking terms that will help you to better understand the world of wired and wireless networking or small business needs.

1. DNS Definition

The Domain Name System (DNS) is responsible for determining the corresponding IP address when you type a site name like www.smallbusinesscomputing.com into a browser. DNS service is typically provided by an ISP (though many small businesses also run DNS internally to locate resources on corporate networks), and it can often be a source of poor browsing performance and intermittent site connectivity problems.  Free or inexpensive alternative DNS providers like ClearCloud, Google Public DNS or OpenDNS can provide speedier and more reliable website access, protection against malware and phishing pages, as well as enhanced features like Web content filtering and activity logging.

2. Mac Address Definition

Media Access Control (MAC) address, an identification code composed of six pairs of hexadecimal numbers (0-9 and A-F) that's permanently assigned, or "burned-in" to every network device (PCs, servers, printers and so on). Unlike IP addresses, which can change, MAC addresses are unique to each device. Devices with multiple network interfaces (e.g. both wired and wireless) will have a different MAC address for each. To view the MAC address on a Windows PC, type ipconfig /all from a command line and look for the number next to "Physical Address."

3. Network Definition

Numbers that denote different types of network traffic and act as a common communication channel between two connected computers. There are 65,536 network ports available in all, and applications may need to use numerous standard and/or custom network ports in order to function properly.  Some common standard network ports include port 80 for HTTP (Web browsing), 110 and 25 for POP and SMTP (incoming and outgoing email respectively), and 53 for the aforementioned DNS. Although you don't always need to concern yourself with the particular network ports an application uses, they can become very important when you need to configure hardware or software firewalls to permit communication on certain ports, as they automatically block communication on most ports for security reasons.

Read the complete article: Top 10 Small Business Networking Terms

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Joseph Moran is a longtime technology writer and co-author of Getting StartED with Windows 7 from Friends of Ed.

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