Internet Terminology and Definitions
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What is EarthLink, or how does an ecard get sent over the Internet. What is e-commerce all about and what is the best email package. How does encryption work? What is the difference between Ethernet and Extranet.

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Internet access and communication services are provided by EarthLink to millions of people nationwide. EarthLink can provide Dial-Up Internet access, as well as high speed DSL Internet access. Earthlink can also supply high speed cable Internet access and bundle your DSL and phone service into one plan.

An electronic version of a greeting card that is sent to your e-mail address and which you receive usually by visiting a website in order to view the ecard message or greeting. Most ecard websites are created using the Adobe Flash player. If you are able to view a musical ecard then you may already have a version of the Adobe Flash player. You can download the latest version of the flash player free of charge and then you will be able to view and send the many creative e-cards available on the Internet.

The purchasing of goods and services over the Internet. E-commerce is an online transaction of business involving computers that are linked which enables a buyer at one computer to make a purchase of merchandise at another computer website over the Internet. These electronic transactions involve the transfer of ownership of goods for money. Examples of this business-to-consumer electronic transaction (B2C) includes such familiar names as,,, and just to mention a few.

E-mail (electronic mail)
A communication system that allows you to send text, files and/or graphical messages over the Internet.

The translation of data into a secret code. Encryption is the most effective way to achieve data security. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it. Unencrypted data is called plain text; encrypted data is referred to as cipher text.  Most e-commerce software applications utilize encryption technology.

A local-area network (LAN) protocol developed by Xerox Corporation in cooperation with DEC and Intel in 1976. Ethernet uses a bus or star topology and supports data transfer rates of 10 Mbps. It is one of the most widely implemented LAN standards. A newer version of Ethernet, called 100Base-T (or Fast Ethernet), supports data transfer rates of 100 Mbps. And the newest version, Gigabit Ethernet supports data rates of 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second.

An extranet is a private network that uses Internet protocols and public telecommunications lines. An extranet can be viewed as part of a company's intranet that is extended to users outside the company. The main purpose of an extranet is to share information with individuals or groups outside a company, such as suppliers, customers and partners.

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