Glossary of Internet Terms

©2007 by Walt Howe

Select the first character of the term you want to look up or use the Search link below.

0-9   A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Letter H


  1. Originally, a hacker was a term of respect among computer designers, programmers, and engineers for those among them who created truly original and ingenious programs, devices, or sometimes very clever practical jokes.
  2. Unfortunately, the current popular meaning of the term is to describe those who break into systems, destroy data, steal copyrighted software, and perform other destructive or illegal acts with computers and networks. See cracker.
Hertz, Hz
Cycles per second. Used to describe the cycle rate in radio, electronics, and audio. Abbreviated Hz, and often combined with numeric prefixes, such KHz, MHz, GHz, and so on. Named for the German physicist Heinrich Hertz, who discovered electromagnetic waves.
hex, hexadecimal
Base 16 arithmetic. Conventionally, the 16 digits are represented by the digits 0 through 9 and the letters A through F. The letter A, for example, represents the decimal number 10. A byte (8 bits of data) is often represented by two hexadecimal numbers. The hexadecimal values can range from 00 to FF or from decimal 0 to 255. Hexadecimal values are often differentiated from decimal by either following them with the letter h or preceding them with an angle bracket, for example 33h or >0B. Hexadecimal numbers have many applications in computer programming, and they are frequently used in RGB (red/green/blue) color coding for web pages.


  1. In search terminology, every listing a search engine returns from a search is called a hit.
  2. The term hit is also used to refer to calls on a web server, and it is much misunderstood. Technically, if a web page is called by a remote browser, and it includes three graphics, there are four hits on that server, one for the page, and one for each graphic. Many people and most ‘hit counters’ use the term hit to mean hits on the web page only, not the calls to graphics or other supporting files that come with the page. When someone quotes figures on hits, be aware that definitions and uses vary, and try to find out what definition was used in producing the figures.
There are many hoaxes continually popping up on the nets. False viruses are the most common of these with names like “Join the Crew” or “PenPal Greetings”, but there are many more themes that keep recurring. Appeals to charity is a common theme for a hoax, sometimes partially based in fact. If you get a chain letter appeal about Jessica Mydek or Craig Shergold or anything involving the Make A Wish Foundation, please check it out first before spreading it.

There are also lots of stories going around about Bill Gates and money-making schemes and expensive cookie recipes and stolen kidneys, all of which are interesting stories, but usually false or even fraudulent. You can read more about hoaxes at

When in doubt, never spread a story around.

home page
A home page is a web page. In most familiar terms, it is a personal page for an individual. It can also be the basic main page for a more complex web site for individuals, organizations, or web communities. On complex web sites, it is the page which a server will show when no HTML filename is listed, usually with the name index.html, home.html, or default.html or the same names with the shorter extension .htm.
A message or data packet travels a path among routers on a network through a series of hops from the source to the destination.
HyperText Markup Language. The coding system used to create WWW pages. A page written in HTML is a text file that includes tags in angle brackets that control the fonts and type sizes, insertion of graphics, layout of tables and frames, paragraphing, calls to short runnable programs, and hypertext links to other pages. Files written in HTML generally use an .html or .htm extension. See the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) HTML Page for more information.
HyperText Transfer Protocol. It is the main protocol used on the World Wide Web that enables linking to other web sites. Addressing to other web pages begins with “http://” and is followed by the domain name or IP address. See URL.
A device that connects the cables from computers and other devices such as printers in an ethernet local area network. Traditionally, hubs are used for star topology networks, but they are often used with other configurations to make it easy to add and remove computers without bringing down the network. Smart hubs or switching hubs are often used to improve performance by managing traffic.
A link in a web page that brings you to another location or resource when activated. Hyperlinks usually appear as underlined text and printed in a contrasting color, but they may also appear as graphics, such as buttons to click. Hyperlinks may link to another place in the same page, to a different page, to play an audio or video file, to download a file, to set up a message to an e-mail address, to search a database, to read Usenet newsgroups, and to link to other Internet resources.
Like hypertext, but includes other interlinking media, such as graphics, audio, video, and VRML.
A form of text which includes visible links to other pages of text or media, accessible by clicking or selecting the links.
See Hertz

(last updated 22 October 2012)