Internet Service Provider (ISP) Explanations

Directory of Internet Service Providers

Primary and Secondary DNS
DNS stands for "Domain Name Server". A few examples of domain names are,,, and A Domain Name Server translates these names into IP addresses. An IP address is the numerical equivalent for a particular domain name. For example, to a road like "Main Street" meaning the same road as "Route 1." There are two Domain Name Servers so that if Primary Domain Name Server is not functioning properly, your computer will be able to use the Secondary server to look up and translate the domain names you type in your favorite web browser.

POP Mail Server
POP stands for "Post Office Protocol," which is a very appropriate name for an e-mail server. To be more specific, the mail servers that your ISP uses are called POP3 servers, which means POP version 3. A POP3 server works much like a real-life Post Office. When a friend sends you an e-mail message, it ends up at the Post Office, or in this case, a POP3 Server. The Post Office or Server will then put that message into the correct Post Office Box, or POP Box. When you connect to the Internet and run your favorite mail application (i.e. Eudora, Outlook, Netscape), you are essentially picking up the mail stored for you in your electronic Post Office Box.

SMTP Mail Gateway
SMTP stands for "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol." SMTP is a gateway that delivers the e-mail messages you send to others. Essentially, the SMTP Gateway stores these messages temporarily and ensures that they are successfully delivered to the intended recipients.

NNTP News Server
NNTP stands for "Network News Transfer Protocol" and is the most commonly used protocol for Usenet Newsgroups. Internet Newsgroups are essentially public e-mail forums, much like bulletin boards you would find in a public place. Anyone with information to share can post a message to a newsgroup for others to read and reply to. People reading these messages can reply privately through e-mail, or send a public reply to the same newsgroup. There are thousands of newsgroups on the Usenet, and they are broken up into every imaginable topic and subject.

E-Mail Address
E-Mail stands for Electronic Mail. It is the electronic equivalent of your home mailing address, and it consists of your username and hostname, separated by an "@" sign (at sign).

Home Page
A Home Page is the first page that you see when you go to a particular web site. This page will typically give you access to all other pages on that particular site. For your ISP, your home page is the key to all information about your Internet service, as well as to news, sports, weather, entertainment and other vital information.

IP Address and Gateway, Dynamically Allocated
IP stands for "Internet Protocol." When you dial in and establish an Internet connection, you are automatically assigned a unique number called an IP Address. This number can be different each time you connect, so the process of assigning an IP Address is referred to as "Dynamically allocating." If it is necessary for you to have the same IP Address every time you connect to the internet, you may be assigned a Static IP Address. The opposite of a dynamic IP address, this address will always be yours.

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