Tech Term Definitions for the Non-Tech Person


Sometimes, we use tech terms and explain things in a way that a not-so-technical person may have a hard time understanding. This blog will try to explain those terms in an easy to understand way. Enjoy!

DNS Resolution (Resolving) - During DNS resolution, a DNS server is contacted and the IP address of the URL you are trying to reach is returned. So, your computer asks the DNS server, “what is the IP address for yourhost.no-ip.com“, and the DNS server replies with the current IP address, which connects you to the correct website. This is the bread and butter of the Internet and how it works.

Delegation- Delegation is where you are assigning a group of name servers to be responsible for a domain name.  During the resolution process the name servers that are assigned to a domain are directly asked what to respond with (what IP address) for a DNS request.

Port Forwarding- If you have a router at home or your office, you will need to forward ports in order for outside traffic to get into your network. Think of your router as being a huge electric fence or wall, with a few doors or openings. This electric fence, or wall serves as your barrier and security blanket from the scary outside Internet world. Your router comes pre-configured with a few of those doors (or ports) open to let you access the internet, but the others are closed tight. So, in order to run a mail server, game server, access your computer remotely, etc you will need to open an extra door or two in your router in order for the outside traffic to get inside. This is called Port Forwarding.

IP Address- An Internet Protocol Address or IP address for short, is like your computer’s phone number. Without it, your computer wouldn’t be able to connect to the Internet. Every computer, tablet, smart phone, and internet enabled device has its own IP address (even some light bulbs have an IP address these days).  An IP address consists of numbers and periods (192.168.1.1).

Static IP Address- A static IP address is one that doesn’t change, it is assigned to you by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and often costs extra money. A static IP address is YOURS and will never change (unless you cancel the subscription).

Dynamic IP Address- A Dynamic IP address is one that is NOT static. It changes from time to time. If you are unsure if your IP address is static or dynamic, chances are pretty high that it is dynamic. They are more cost effective for your ISP.

Hostname vs. Domain Name- A hostname is the beginning part of the domain, which usually consists of www. Another word for a hostname is a subdomain.

With our No-IP Free Dynamic DNS service, you choose one of our free domains, (no-ip.org, systes.net, no-ip.net) and you use a host or subdomain on it. You are essentially sharing the no-ip.org (or whatever domain you choose) domain with everyone else that uses that domain, but you have your own little space on it. That little “space” is called your hostname.

In comparison, with our No-IP Plus service, you register your OWN domain name, and then you use the subdomains or hosts on that domain. No one else will be able to add subdomains or hosts to this domain, because it is yours. Get it?
(Example: www.mydomain.com and the hostname would be something like…. myhost.mydomain.com)

Redundant- This is a term to explain that the network is guarded against downtime because the domain or hostname that you are using is hosted on many different servers that are located in various locations across the globe, not just one. So, if you are located in Los Angeles, and there is an earthquake, your website will stay live even if the servers located in Los Angeles are not online. Check out our 19 points of presence across the globe!

URL- Abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator (URL) it is the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. (www.no-ip.com or yourhost.no-ip.org)

HTTP- Hypertext Transfer (or Transport) Protocol, the data transfer protocol used on the World Wide Web. The secure and encrypted version of HTTP is HTTPS. If you are browsing the internet and want it to be secure, add the S. Make sure websites that you enter passwords and private data on have the HTTPS. Without that S, your not browsing securely.