Network Terms
    • 31 May 2023
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    Network Terms

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    Article Summary

    The content provides definitions and explanations of various terms related to networking and telecommunications. It covers topics such as bandwidth, call forwarding, call handling, call screening, DSCP, DSL, DTMF, E911 location, firewall, HD calling, HTTPS, IMAP, IP address, IP phone, IVR, jitter, LAN, NAT, packet loss, packet switched network, payload, POP, port blocking/forwarding/triggering/porting, POTS/PSTN, QoS, RJ11 connector/router/RTP/SIP/SNMP/SRTP/SSID/STUN/TCP/TLS/UDP/VLAN/VoIP/WAN/WLAN/WMM/WSS. The content aims to provide a basic understanding of these terms and their significance in the field of networking and telecommunications.



    The amount of data that can be carried from one point to another in a given time period (usually a second). Network bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps). 

    Bandwidth Limiting

    Limiting the data rate on your router to cap individual users from consuming the entire transmission capacity of the shared resources.


    Call Forwarding

    Allows you to work from anywhere by routing calls to your other devices (mobile for instance).

    Call Handling

    All the available ways to answer calls, like transfer, play a recorded greeting, or send callers directly to voicemail.

    Call Screening

    View who's calling before you opt to answer the call. By default, Dialpad should display your caller's phone number on your incoming call notification.  



    Differentiated Services Code Point. A field in an IP packet that enables different levels of service to be assigned to network traffic. To do this, each packet needs to be marked on the network with a DSCP code to appropriate it to the corresponding level of service.


    Digital Subscriber Line. Range of high-speed (broadband) communications services offered over the PSTN.


    Dual Tone Multi Frequency. The signal to the phone company that you generate when you press an ordinary telephone's touch keys.


    E911 Location

    Your physical address associated with your Dialpad phone number. This address will be used in the event of an emergency call, so make sure to update it if you ever change office locations.

    Learn more about E911.



    A piece of hardware or software program which protects a computer or network from attacks.


    HD Calling: See VoIP


    Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) within a connection encrypted by Transport Layer Security. A protocol for secure communication over a computer network.



    Internet Message Access Protocol. Internet protocol used by email clients to retrieve email messages from a mail server over a TCP/IP connection.

    IP Address

    Numerical label assigned to each device (e.g. desktop) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.

    IP Phone

    Uses VoIP technologies for placing and transmitting telephone calls over an IP network, instead of the traditional PSTN.


    Interactive Voice Response. Technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and DTMF tones input via keypad.



    Measures the variation in the arrival time of the individual voice packets as they make their way along various routes over the Internet. Measured in ms. Users normally notice jitter as choppy audio.



    Local Area Network. Computer network that spans a relatively small area - single room, building, or group of buildings.



    Network Address Translation. Method of remapping one IP address space to another by modifying network address information in IP datagram packet headers while they are in transit across a traffic routing device.


    Packet Loss

    Occurs when some packets are dropped by congested network routers/switches, or discarded by the jitter buffer on their journey to their final destination. Users normally notice packet loss as a drop in audio.

    Packet Switched Network

    Network in which relatively small units of data, packets, are routed through a network based on the destination address contained within each packet. 


    A unit of data that's routed between an origin and destination on the Internet or any other packet-switched network. When a file is sent over the Internet, the TCP layer of TCP/IP divides the file into packets to increase routing efficiency.


    Located within a packet. This is a piece of the file that's being transmitted inside the packet.


    Post Office Protocol. Application layer IP used by local email clients to retrieve email from a remote server over a TCP/IP connection.

    Port Blocking

    ISP identifying Internet traffic by the combination of port number and transport protocol and blocking it entirely. Can potentially prevent the use of particular applications altogether by blocking the ports those applications use (like Dialpad!)

    Port Forwarding

    Also referred to as Port Mapping, is the act of forwarding a network port from one network node to another.

    Port Triggering

    A type of port forwarding where outbound traffic on predetermined ports sends inbound traffic to specific incoming ports.


    Transferring of a number from one carrier to another.

    Learn more about porting.


    An endpoint of communication in the operating system. A port is always associated with an IP address of a host and the protocol type of the communication. Specific port numbers are often used to identify specific services.


    Plain Old Telephone Service. See PSTN.


    Public Switched Telephone Network. The world's collection of interconnected voice-oriented pubic telephone networks, both commercial and government-owned.



    Quality of Service. Industry-wide set of standards that ensure high-quality performance for your business applications.



    Telephone connector that holds up to six wires. RJ-11 is the common connector used to plug a telephone into the wall and also plug the handset into the telephone.


    A device that forwards data packets from one LAN or WAN to another.


    Real Time Protocol. Network protocol for delivering audio and video over IP networks. RTP is used extensively in telephony.



    Session Initiation Protocol. Communication protocol for signaling and controlling multimedia communication sessions.


    Application Layer Getaway. Commonly found in many routers, it intends to prevent some of the problems caused by router firewalls by inspecting VoIP traffic (packets) and if necessary, modifying. Many routers have SIP-ALG turned on by default.


    Simple Network Management Protocol. Internet standard protocol for collecting and organizing information about managed devices on IP networks and for modifying that information to change device behavior.


    Secure Real Time Protocol. An extension of RTP that incorporates enhanced security features.


    Dedicated Service Set Identifier (SSID) for Enterprise users can help control traffic limits, provide security, and assign priority while keeping it separate from your guest network.


    Session Traversal Utilities for NAT. Standardized set of methods and protocols to allow an end host to discover its public IP address if it's behind a NAT.



    Transmission Control Protocol. TCP enables two hosts to establish a connection and exchange data. TCP helps data delivery and guarantees packets will be delivered in the same order they were sent.


    Transport Layer Security. Its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) are cryptographic protocols that provide communications security over a computer network.



    User Dynamic Protocol. Offers a direct way to send and receive datagrams over an IP network. Used most commonly for broadcasting messages over a network.



    Virtual Local Area Network. Used to put your devices in separate networks, and to manage security and routing policies separately.


    Voice over Internet Protocol. Telephone calls are placed and received over the internet instead of through the PSTN. We refer to this as HD Calling.

    Learn more about placing HD calls



    Wide Area Network. A system of LANs connected over any distance via telephone and radio waves.


    Wireless Local Area Network. Wireless computer network that links two or more devices using a wireless distribution method within a limited area (house, school, office building).


    WiFi Multimedia, previously known as Wireless Multimedia Extensions (WME) is a subset of the 802.11e wireless LAN specification that enhances QoS on a network by prioritizing data packets according to four categories: voice, video, best effort, background.


    Web Server Software. Program that serves content using the HTTP protocol. This content is usually in the form of HTML documents, images, or other web sources. 

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