Many computer users have come across words such as "IP Address", "DNS", "WAN" on their computers or in some relation to a router. Some of these words we know as they are now apart of our daily technical lives when using our computers, but other words we may not fully be aware of what they mean and what they are used for when it comes to Computer Networking. Below are some common networking terms and meaning.
- IP Address = The unique network address that identifies a computer or a device on the internet or a network. Example: Your router's IP address is 192.168.1.0 and your Dell Computer that is connected to your router wirelessly, has an IP address of 192.168.1.3. The next device or computer that is connected to your router may have an IP address of 192.168.1.11.
- Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) = A network server that assigns IP addresses to computers and devices that are on the internet or a network. Example: Your router will have a DHCP server feature that will enable it to assign IP addresses to each computer and device that is connected to it (Router).
- Domain Name System (DNS) = A system or service that translates and transforms domain names into a IP Addresses. Example: Microcenter's website is "Microcenter.com". Microcenter.com is the domain name for that website. But behind the domain name the website sites on a web server that is on a network. DHCP (see above for the meaning) assigns an IP address (see above) of 10.10.10.10 to the web server for Microcenter.com. DNS allows your computer to identify the IP address for domain names such as Microcenter.com or CNN.com. All websites have an IP Address for the server the website sits on even though the name (domain) is only seen.
- Local Area Network (LAN) = It identifies the collection of multiple devices and computers connected together in a physical location as a network for a home or small business. Example: Your router will connect your computer, smart TV, smart cell phone, etc., all together in a network locally in your home and location.
- Wide Area Network (WAN) = It connects multiple computers and devices over a wide spread area such as cities, states and countries. LAN's are connected or linked together to make up WAN's. Example: The internet is a WAN. To see the Microcenter.com website from your computer at home, different LAN's have to be connected or linked over the internet to enable the website to show up on someone's computer, wherever they are located.