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Networking Terminologies

Here we will be shedding light on the various terms and terminologies related to networking.


This article can be treated as a glossary, where you can find explanations and terminologies related to the subject of computer-networking.

I have tried to add as many as I could, but you can always add more if you like to. 😉

  1. Network: Computers connected together, and sharing resources.

  2. Internet: A network of networks is called Internet.

  3. Protocols: Protocols are a set of rules, defined by the Internet Society which govern how data should be transferred over the internet.

  4. Server: A server is a piece of computer hardware or software that provides functionality for other programs or devices, called "clients".
    It is a system that controls the website that we are hosting. For e.g:- YouTube.

  5. Client: A piece of computer hardware or software that accesses a service made available by a server.
    E.g:- The people who are consuming the resources.

  6. Datacenter: Collection of servers on a big scale, at a large organisation is known as a a datacenter.

  7. Ping: It measures the RTT (round trip time) for messages sent from the originating host to the destination computer.

  8. Program: A program is a sequence or set of instructions in a programming language for a computer to execute.

  9. Process: Running instance of a program (executed by one/many threads) is known as a Process.

  10. Thread: Thread is a lighter version of a process ( a lightweight sub process). It does one single job.
    A thread of execution is the smallest sequence of a process.

  11. Multithreading: Multithreading is the ability of a central processing unit to provide multiple threads of execution concurrently, supported by the operating system.

  12. IP Address: IP Address is a unique string which uniquely identifies a device on a network.

  13. Port Number: It is a number assigned to uniquely identify an application on a device.

  14. Port: 16 bits numbers, which tells us which application on a device we're working on. A port is a virtual point where network connections start and end.

    The difference between port and port number is the same as the difference between street and street number.

  15. Ephemeral Port: An ephemeral port is a temporary communication hub used for Internet Protocol (IP) communications.

  16. MAC Address: 12-digit alphanumeric string.
    It is the physical address, which uniquely identifies each device on a given network.

  17. Modem: A modem is used to convert digital signals into analog signals and vice-versa, so that it can be transferred.

  18. Router: Router is a device that routes the data packet based on their IP Address.

  19. Network Topology: A network topology is the physical and logical arrangement of nodes and connections in a network.

  20. Socket: The interface between the process and the internet is known as socket. It is the gateway between application and network.

  21. Cookies: Cookie is a string stored on the client's browser.

  22. Third Party Cookies: Third-Party Cookies are cookies that are set by a website other than the one you are currently on.
    These are cookies that are set for urls that you do not visit, but are set because of integrated urls in the websites that you visit.

  23. DNS: DNS (Domain Name System) is the hierarchical and decentralized naming system used to identify computers reachable through the Internet or other Internet Protocol networks.

  24. Multiplexing: Multiplexing is sending different things to various applications, using a single medium.
    It is a method used by networks to consolidate multiple signals, digital or analog into a single signal that is transported over a common medium, such as a fiber optic cable or radio wave.

  25. De-multiplexing: De-multiplexing is the reverse of the multiplexing, combining multiple unrelated analog or digital signal streams into one signal over a single shared medium

  26. Congestion: Traffic
    Congestion is the reduced quality of service that occurs when a network node or link is carrying more data than it can handle.

  27. Checksum: They are random numbers. A checksum is a sequence of numbers and letters used to check data for errors.

  28. Segment: A network segment is a portion of a computer network. Segmentation divides a computer network into smaller parts. The purpose is to improve network performance and security.

  29. Sequence Number: Sequence Number is a value provided/attached with each packet so we can easily identify the packets that are received and avoid duplicates.

  30. Subnetting: When a bigger network is divided into smaller networks, to maintain security, and get a higher routing efficiency then that is known as Subnetting.

  31. Subnet Masking: The subnet mask masks the network part of the IP Address and lets us use the host part.
    E.g:- Subnet Mask of class C =
    A subnet mask is a 32-bit number created by setting host bits to all 0s and setting network bits to all 1s. In this way, the subnet mask separates the IP address into the network and host addresses.

  32. Packet: In computer networks, a packet is a container or box that carries data over a TCP/IP network and inter-networks. It is a small segment of a larger message.

  33. Middle Box: These are extra devices apart from the host and the receiver, that also interact with the IP packets.
    It is present in the network, or the transport layer.
    E.g:- Firewall, NAT.

  34. Firewall: It is a middle-box which filters out data packets based on some rules.
    It acts as a wall between the internet (public network) and the networking devices (a private network). It is either a hardware device, software program, or a combination of both. It adds a layer of security to the network.

  35. Cache: A cache is a hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster.

  36. Intranet: It is a close room computer network system, as it covers a small area and only authorized people can access it.

  37. Unicasting: If the message is sent to a single node from the source then it is known as unicasting. This is commonly used in networks to establish a new connection.

  38. Anycasting: If the message is sent to any of the nodes from the source then it is known as anycasting. It is mainly used to get the content from any of the servers in the Content Delivery System.

  39. Multicasting: If the message is sent to a subset of nodes from the source then it is known as multicasting. Used to send the same data to multiple receivers.

  40. Broadcasting: If the message is sent to all the nodes in a network from a source then it is known as broadcasting. DHCP and ARP in the local network use broadcasting.

If you feel any term has been missed, and you would like to add it to the glossary, or any thing must be updated, please mention them in the comment section below 👇.
I will add them!

Thank you 🌸

Top comments (6)

subhanali675 profile image

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bastien profile image
Bastien Laureno

So many tech websites overlook the basics! Thank you for explaining all this clearly, it's been helpful to me in order to train new IT pros!
Bastien Laureno
Informatique Genève

noviicee profile image

Glad to know I could be of some help, Bastien! 😊 ❤️

ananfito profile image
Anthony Nanfito

Thanks for this great list. I’ve used a lot of the words on it but didn’t really know what they meant 😅 … until now. Thanks! 😊

noviicee profile image

Glad to know it helped! 😊 ❤️

cepearre profile image

Mobile networking refers to the infrastructure and technology that allows communication between mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, via wireless connections. It encompasses various technologies like 3G, 4G, and now 5G, enabling users to access the internet, make calls, and send messages on the go. With the emergence of smart networks, the focus shifts from mere connectivity to intelligent systems that dynamically adapt to user needs and network conditions, optimizing performance and enhancing user experience. The smart network utilize advanced algorithms and machine learning to predict user behavior, allocate resources efficiently, and ensure seamless connectivity in diverse environments.