Key Terms

What is a network?

In computing terms, a network is a system of computers and servers connected together with a series of cables and devices. The purpose of a network is to exchange data or communicate information between users. When you are reading your email or sharing files with other people, you are using a network.

What is the Internet?

The Internet is the collection of all computer networks. It can be described as all the network-related devices from all companies and organizations grouped together to form one large entity.

What is an Intranet?

An Intranet consists of the private computer networks within an organization or company. It is primarily for the internal users in the company. It is used to communicate and share data between users that is not meant for outside users. These internal resources could include portal websites and message boards.

What is an IP address?

An IP address consists of several numbers that represent your location. It has the following format (x.x.x.x). Each ‘x’ can be replaced with a number between 0-255. An example of one would be ‘’.

Your address can be compared to your home address. When the post office receives a package with your address, it knows how to deliver it to your home. The same concept applies to IP addresses. When a network device receives internet data with an IP address, it should know how to pass on to other devices so it can reach its destination.

What is DNS?

DNS (Domain Name System) is the naming system for all computer-related resources found on the Internet. This system translates URLs or links (such as or into IP addresses. It makes it easier for the user to tell computers where they want to go. Instead of needing to remember or enter IP addresses, users can simply type the domain name.

What is a LAN?

A LAN (local area network) is a computer network that covers a small physical area like a company or school. A LAN usually consists of a high-speed network that is in a small geographic area. Its borders are usually the edge of the business or organization’s location.

What is a NIC?

A NIC (network interface card) is a physical card located inside your computer. It connects to a network where you can access the Internet and other VPUL server resources.

What is Ethernet?

Ethernet is a type of computer networking technology that is used in a LAN to transfer data across cables and devices. The term ‘Ethernet cable’ is commonly used for the cable that connects your NIC to a network device.

What are some network devices?

Switches, routers, and firewalls are some devices that comprise our network.

  • Switches and routers are used to sort out and route the Internet traffic to the proper locations. Algorithms are used to determine the best and quickest paths to take for the network data to reach its destination. If a network device goes down, calculations are continuously performed to detect available paths.
  • Firewalls are devices used to filter network traffic. They can have rules set on which traffic to allow through and which traffic to drop. Rules are often based on the source and destination of ports and IP addresses.
Where can I get more information about network drives?
How can I set up AirPennNet on MacOS High Sierra?

This PDF will show you how to set up AirPennNet on Macs with High Sierra.