Technical Jargon

Your first experience talking to your Internet Provider can be filled with lots of terminology and technical words that you might not have heard before.

To assist you with gaining a better understanding of what those words mean – we have constructed this brief summary of the words commonly used and their meanings.

We believe that we have made these definitions simple for the everyday user to understand.

  • ADSL: Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is a form of DSL, a data communications technology that enables faster data transmission over copper.
  • Anti-Virus: A computer program designed to target and destroy known infections on a computer system.
  • Exchange: Also known as Telephone Exchange, this is a building local to the area that manages all local lines and directs telephone calls.
  • Fault: A job submission requesting a trained Field Technician to make repairs to failing lines and/or equipment. This is usually done at an ISP level.
  • Firewall: A piece of software designed to monitor and control the access of connections entering and leaving a computer system.
  • Filter: A piece of hardware used on an ADSL connection to allow the Internet and Telephones to operate at the same time without interruption.
  • Handset: A standard wired telephone that is used to make telephone calls.
  • Interference: Anything that alters or disrupts the signals being sent down the line before it reaches its destination.
  • ISP: Internet Service Provider, The Company providing access to the Internet.
  • Modem: A piece of hardware that connects to the telephone line and allows a connection to the Internet.
  • No-Sync: This is a state when the modem does not have a connection to the local exchange through the Telephone Line.
  • No-Authentication: This is a state when the modem has not logged onto the Internet. Without Sync the modem cannot have authentication.
  • Powercycle: This is a step used in troubleshooting that involves temporarily turning the modem off and then back on.
  • Router: A device that forwards data from one point to another. Can be used to send data to other networks.
  • Shaping: Shaping is the term used to describe the slowing of a connection that has exceeded its specified download allowance for a period. OntheNet broadband services are shaped to 128kbps up and down for the period in which you have exceeded your quota. We only slow you for the period (on or off-peak) in which you’ve exceeded your quota.
  • Splitter: Essentially the same as a filter, this device has 2 ports instead of the usual 1 found on a Filter.
  • Virus: A software capable of reproducing itself causing damage to systems and private data.
  • Web-Browser: Software such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari that is used to access websites such as
  • Quota: A pre-determined data allowance given to a customer to control the use of downloads.

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