of Internet Terminology
do the parts of an e-mail address mean?
E-mail addresses normally consist of lowercase letters and numbers with
no spaces. An example of such an address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
first part of the address ("webmaster" in the above example)
identifies a unique user on a given mail server. Following the "@"
symbol is the host name ("compunet1.net" in the above example),
and it identifies the mail server on which the user's account resides.
The three-letter suffix at the end of the host name and separated by
a "." (pronounced "dot") identifies the type of
organization operating the server. The most common suffixes are: .com
(commercial), .net (networking), .org (noncommercial),
.edu (educational), .gov (government), and .mil
(military). Addresses outside of the United States sometimes use a two-letter
suffix that identifies the country where the server is located. Some
examples are: .jp (Japan), .nl (The Netherlands), .uk
(United Kingdom), .ca (Canada), and .tw (Taiwan).
SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It is a special set of
communications standards that allows e-mail messages to be sent across
the Internet. With SMTP, mail can be sent from server to server, but
POP3 is required for the recipient to have access to his incoming messages.
POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol 3, and it consists of standards
that allow users to retrieve e-mail from a server. When e-mail is sent
to a user via SMTP, it is stored on the server until accessed by that
user. Once the user logs on to his account, the POP3 protocol is used
to transmit the stored mail from the server to a local mailbox, which
is located on the user's computer. In short, SMTP facilitates the sending
of e-mail from server to server over the Internet while POP3 allows
the recipient of that e-mail to download the message to his computer
and view it.
MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a special extension
to SMTP that allows users to send a variety of file types via e-mail.
For example, the transmission of attachments such as audio and video
files, images, and applications is made possible through the use of
MIME. SMTP by itself only supports the transmission of ASCII text files.
is an IP address?
An IP address is a number that is used to identify a physical point
on the Internet. The IP address consists of two distinct parts: a network
number and a host number. The network number is unique, and it identifies
a particular network on the Internet while the host number identifies
a specific node within that network. The host number is unique within
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is the
basic communications standard for the Internet, and it consists of two
layers. The first layer of TCP/IP, the TCP layer, coordinates the breaking
down of messages and files into smaller, more manageable segments of
data (called packets) that can be sent over the Internet. The corresponding
TCP layer on the receiving end of the transmission reassembles the individual
packets back into the original readable message.
IP layer (the second layer of TCP/IP) handles the required addressing
information to ensure that each packet reaches the correct destination.
Therefore, when a user sends an e-mail, the TCP layer breaks down the
message into small packets of data. The IP layer then attaches the correct
addressing information to each packet before it is sent. As the individual
packets travel to their destination, they pass through many network
gateways or routing points on the Internet. These gateways forward the
packets along the best path to the destination point. If network congestion
is detected, the packets may travel different routes, but they will
be reassembled in the correct order by the TCP layer at the receiving
is a DNS server?
The Domain Name Service (DNS) provides a method by which an Internet
domain name can be mapped to its corresponding IP address. Because IP
addresses are strings of numbers, domain names were created as "handles"
that are easier for humans to remember. For example, www.domain.com
could be translated into 109.24.872.120, which would be its physical
address. A DNS server is simply a computer that runs the DNS service.
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