FTP Related Articles > Terminology


Amazon S3® - Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). An Internet storage server.

ASCII - Acronym for the American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Pronounced ask-ee, ASCII is a code for representing English characters as numbers. Each letter is assigned a number from 0 to 127. Most computers use ASCII codes to represent text, which makes it possible to transfer data from one computer to another.

Binary - A numeral system that represents numeric values using two symbols only; also known as the base-2 numbering system. Computers are based on the binary numbering system, which consists of just two unique digits, 0 and 1.

Cache - A temporary online storage area where frequently accessed data can be stored for rapid access. The most recently accessed data from the disk (as well as adjacent sectors) is stored in a memory buffer. When a program needs to access data from the disk, it first checks the disk cache to see if the data is there. Disk caching can dramatically improve the performance of applications, because accessing a byte of data in RAM can be thousands of times faster than accessing a byte on a hard disk.

CGI - Common Gateway Interface, a specification for transferring information between a World Wide Web server and a CGI program. A CGI program is any program designed to accept and return data that conforms to the CGI specification.

CHMOD - A UNIX command that means change mode and changes the access permissions for files or directories in order to read, write, or execute files.

CWD - An FTP command that means Current Working Directory.

DOS - Acronym for Disk Operating System. The term DOS can refer to any operating system, but it is most often used as an abridgment for MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System). Originally developed by Microsoft for IBM, MS-DOS was the standard operating system for IBM-compatible personal computers.

FTP - Abbreviation for File Transfer Protocol, the protocol used on the Internet for exchanging files. FTP uses the Internet's TCP/IP protocol suite to enable data transfer. FTP is most commonly used to download a file from a server using the Internet or to upload a file to a server (for example, uploading a Web page file to a server). The FTP file transfer is not random access (for example, seeks are not allowed in the file). This is why the entire file is downloaded into the cache when you open it. Most companies use FTP to enable their customers to download software updates or patches. Most access to FTP servers is done by way of an anonymous logon. This type of logon usually allows the user to have read-only access to the FTP server. Some companies also allow users to upload files to the FTP server into specific directories.

Firewall - A technology that inspects network traffic and permits or denies access based on a set of rules. It prevents unauthorized access to or from private networks. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both. Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks that are connected to the Internet, especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving the intranet pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria

FrontPage® - Refers to servers that run the Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions.

GroupDrive® - Refers to the WebDAV server with custom extensions developed by South River Technologies. GroupDrive® Collaboration Server is a multi-threaded, dynamic WebDAV Server for the Windows operating system.

HTTP - Abbreviation for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.

ISP - Abbreviation for Internet Service Provider, a company that provides access to the Internet.

LAN - Acronym for Local Area Network, a computer network that spans a relatively small area. Most LANs are confined to a single building or group of buildings.

PASV - An FTP command indicating passive mode that is a more secure mode in FTP where the client initiates the data connection. Some FTP clients and servers do not support PASV transfers.

PERL - Practical Extraction and Report Language (Perl) is a programming language especially designed for processing text.

Proxy Server - A server that acts as a gateway between a client and another server (the "real" server). A proxy server sits between a client application, such as a Web browser, and forwards requests to another server. A proxy server intercepts all requests to the "real" server to see if the requests should be permitted. If the request is permitted, the proxy server will forward the request.

Root Directory - The top directory in a file system. The root directory is provided by the operating system.

S/Key - Refers to a one-time password system. Each password used in the system is usable for one authentication only and cannot be reused.

SFTP - Refers to an SSH (Secure Shell) based encryption protocol that is more efficient and secure than FTP.

SSH - Abbreviation for Secure Shell. A protocol that allows data to be exchanged over secure channels. Encryption ensures confidentiality and integrity of the data being exchanged.

SSL - Abbreviation for Secure Sockets Layer, a secure protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents over the Internet. SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data that is transferred over the SSL connection.

Select - Refers to an instruction given in the help system, meaning to click with your mouse on a specific icon or file.

TCP/IP - Abbreviation for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, the suite of communication protocols used to connect hosts on the Internet. TCP/IP combines several protocols; the two main protocols are TCP and IP. TCP/IP is built into the UNIX operating system and is used by the Internet, making it the de facto standard for transmitting data over networks. Even network operating systems that have their own protocols, such as Netware, also support TCP/IP.

TLS - Abbreviation for Transport Layer Security, a protocol that ensures privacy between communicating applications and users on the Internet. TLS ensures that no third party may eavesdrop or tamper with any message. TLS is the successor to SSL.

UNC - Abbreviation for Universal Naming Convention. Universal Naming Convention is a file name format used to specify the location of network resources or files on a network share.

UNIX - A multi-user, multitasking operating system. UNIX was one of the first operating systems to be written in C, a high-level programming language.

URL - Abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator, the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use, and the second part specifies the IP (Internet Protocol) address or the domain name where the resource is located.

VMS - Abbreviation for Virtual Memory System, a multi-user, multitasking, virtual memory operating system that runs on VAX and Alpha computers.

VPN - Abbreviation for Virtual Private Network, a network that is constructed by using public wires to connect nodes. These systems use encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that the data cannot be intercepted.

WebDAV - Refers to the Web-Based Distributed Authoring and Versioning Protocol. An extension to the HTTP protocol that many servers now support on the Internet.