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The part of a network that connects most of the systems and networks together, and handles the most data. A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network.


Backbone (OSPF)

In OSPF, the backbone is the transit area to route packets between two areas. The backbone is also known as area 0.


B Channel

This is the bearer channel in an ISDN connection. B channel is a 64 Kbps full-duplex channel in both primary and basic rate ISDN.



In computer terminology, a backdoor (also called a trapdoor) is hidden software or a hardware mechanism that can be triggered to gain access to a program, online service or an entire system.



The process of routing communications between diverse connection sites (such as wireless access points) and a central hub.



BackOrifice is a remote administration tool that allows a user to control a computer across a TCP/IP connection using a simple console or GUI application.



A backplane is a circuit board containing sockets into which other circuit boards or expansion cards can be inserted.


Backup Power Supply

This feature allows a device to monitor its power connection and automatically use another power connection in the event of a power failure.


Back Pressure Flow Control

Back Pressure flow control is typically used with Ethernet ports operating in half duplex mode to send a "collision" signal to the sending port (mimicking a state of packet collision) causing the sending port to temporarily stop sending signals and resume sending them later.


Band Plan (VDSL)

Each VDSL mode operates in a different frequency range called a band plan.



This is the transmission capacity of a link usually measured in bits-per-second (bps).


Bandwidth Borrowing

A class may use bandwidth from another class if that class is not using up its current allocation and bandwidth borrowing is allowed.


Bandwidth Class

A bandwidth class defines bandwidth allowed at an interface for an application, such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and/or a subnetwork.


Bandwidth Control

Bandwidth control means defining a maximum allowable bandwidth for traffic flows from specified source(s) to specified destination(s). See also Bandwidth Management.


Bandwidth Contention Ranging

In WiMAX, a mobile station sends this request in order to access the shared resources provided by the base station.


Bandwidth Links

Links refers to traffic flow between the device port interfaces.


Bandwidth Management

Bandwidth management allows you to allocate bandwidth at an interface according to defined policies.


Bandwidth Management Lite

Bandwidth management lite uses firewall rules to limit bandwidth on traffic flows.


Bandwidth Monitoring

This is a graphical interface that allows you to gauge bandwidth usage.



This allows you to dynamically set upstream and downstream line speeds to a particular rate of speed.


Bandwidth Policy

A bandwidth policy is where you define what application(s) and/or subnetworks make up a bandwidth class.



This is a networking technology that uses a line’s entire available bandwidth to transfer a single signal of digital data. Signals are not modulated and only one kind of signal (voice or data) can be sent at a time.


Basic Encoding Rate

This is an ANSI described rule for the encoding of data units. It also refers to the ratio of bits received that are in error. See Bit Error Rate Test.


Basic Rate Interface

This is an ISDN interface that has two B (bearer) channels that carry voice or data and one 16 Kbps D (data) channel. Also called Basic Rate Access (BRA).



A unit of signaling speed representing the number of discrete signal events per second and, depending upon the encoding, can differ from the bit rate.



In OSPF, a Backup Designated Router takes over the function of sending LSA's to other routers on the network when a DR goes down. See DR, LSA, OSPF.


Beacon Interval

Data transmitted on your wireless network that keeps the network synchronized.



Beaming is the transmission of data across an infra-red Line Of Sight (LOS) connection between two devices.


Billing Profile

A billing profile is a template of predefined billing parameters such as time unit, unit cost and/or account expiration time.


Binary PKCS#7

Binary PKCS#7 is a standard that defines the general syntax for data (including digital signatures) that may be encrypted.


Binary X.509

Binary X.509 is an ITU-T recommendation that defines the formats for X.509 certificates.



In IP source guard, a binding identifies an authorized combination of MAC address, VLAN ID, IP address, and/or port number. A device uses bindings to distinguish between authorized and unauthorized packets in a network.



A Binary Digit (either a one or a zero); a single digit number in base-2. A bit is the smallest unit of computerized data / of information on a machine.


Bit Error Rate Test

This test shows the ratio of error bits to the total number of bits transmitted. Generally written as an exponential (10^5) to show that one out of a particular number of bits is in error.



Noise on a DSL tone can cause interference and lost packets. When there is noise on a tone, bit swapping allows the system to send the tone!|s data on another tone. The IP DSLAM and the subscriber (ATU-R) equipment must both support this in order for it.



BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) application and also a file sharing protocol.



A blacklist is a blocking list. For example, an e-mail blacklist contains addresses from which you do not want to receive email.



Broadband Loop Emulation Service (Voice over DSL, TR-039 Annex A) is a DSL forum standard that provides architectural requirements and recommendations for using the Loop Emulation Standard (see LES) to deploy voice services on a DSL broadband access network.


Block Encoding 

Block encoding is a system whereby a group of data bits are encoded into a larger set of code bits. Block encoding is used in Fast Ethernet.


Bluetooth is an open standard for wireless transmission of voice and data between mobile devices (PCs, handheld computers, telephone and printers.)



To start a device and cause it to start executing instructions.



Bootbase is software that contains the most basic operating instructions of the device.


Boot Module Commands

Boot Module Commands, available in the debug mode via SMT (some devices may not have SMTs), help you initialize the configuration of the basic functions and features of your device(s) such as uploading firmware, changing the console port speed and viewing product-related information.



This is a technology that a network uses to determine its Ethernet interface’s IP address.


Borrowing Priority

Borrowing priority determines which class gets to borrow bandwidth when two or more classes are vying for spare bandwidth.



RSTP (or STP)-aware devices periodically exchange configuration messages called Bridge Protocol Data Units (BPDUs). When the bridged LAN topology changes, a new spanning tree is constructed.



See PLC.



The backup power supply (BPS) constantly monitors the status of the internal power supply. The backup power supply automatically provides power to a device in the event of a power failure.



This is a standard measurement of digital transmission speeds. One byte is eight bits.



The Binary Phase-Shift Keying (BPSK) digital modulation technique is used in IEEE 802.11g wireless networks to operate at 6 and 9 Mbps. See also Differential Phase-Shift Keying (DPSK) and IEEE 802.11g.



In OSPF, a backbone router has an interface to the backbone.



This is an ISDN interface that has two B (bearer) channels that carry voice or data and one 16 Kbps D (data) channel. Also called Basic Rate Interface.



A BRAS (Broadband Remote Access Server) aggregates and routes subscriber traffic to/from the DSLAMs (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexers) in the ISPs network.



This is a networking device that forwards packets from one LAN to another. It uses the MAC address of an incoming packet to determine whether to drop or forward it. It allows the LANs to see each other’s devices, thus it is not as private or secure as a router. Also a device that connects two different kinds of local networks, such as a wireless network to a wired Ethernet network.


Bridge Mode

An AP in bridge mode can function as a wireless network bridge allowing you to connect two wired network segments. The peer device also must be in bridge mode. This wireless bridge connection is equivalent to a Wireless Distribution System (WDS). See also WDS.


Bridge Priority

RSTP (or STP) uses bridge priority to determine the root device, root port and designated port. The device with the highest priority becomes the STP root device. If all devices have the same priority, the device with the lowest MAC address will then become the root device.



Bridging provides LAN to LAN frame forwarding services between two or more LANs. Frames from one LAN are forwarded across a bridge to a connected LAN, although filtering can be employed to selectively forward frames.



When adjusting video setup, brightness controls the black levels in the television picture. This means it controls how black the dark sections of the picture look.



High-speed transmission. The term is used to define the speed of communication lines or services and most commonly refers to T1 (1.544 Mbps) rates or better, even though the actual rate may be much lower or higher, depending on the application. Broadband refers to networking technologies that use modulation or multiplexing to combine multiple channels for transmission over a single medium (copper telephone wire for instance). Broadband allows you to integrate data, video and voice so that it can share one line.



Sending data to all computers on a network.


Broadcast Storm

A broadcast storm occurs when a packet triggers multiple responses from all hosts on a network or when computers attempt to respond to a host that never replies. As a result, duplicated packets are continuously created and circulated in the network, thus reducing network performance or even rendering it inoperable.


Broadcast Storm Control

Broadcast Storm Control limits the number of broadcast frames that can be stored in the switch buffer or sent out from the switch within a certain time. Broadcast frames that arrive when the buffer is full are discarded.



Broadcatching is the downloading of digital content from Internet feeds that use the RSS format. You can use broadcatching to download frequently updated digital content like TV programs, radio shows, podcasts, and blogs.



An application program that provides a way to look at and interact with all the information on the World Wide Web.


Brute Force Hacking

A technique used to find passwords or encryption keys. Brute Force Hacking involves trying every possible combination of letters, numbers, etc., until the code is broken.


Brute-Force Password Guessing Protection

This is a protection mechanism to discourage brute-force password guessing attacks on a devices management interface. A wait-time must expire before entering the nth password after n-1 incorrect passwords have been entered.



In a WiMAX network, a base station (BS) provides wireless network access to subscriber stations and mobile stations. Base stations may also be linked to one another, as in a MAN (metropolitan area network).



Base Station IDentity. In a WiMAX network this number uniquely identifies a base station.



See Ad-Hoc



In ATM, the Burst Tolerance (BT) is the maximum number of cells that the port is guaranteed to handle without any discards. BT controls the time scale over which the SCR is enforced. BT is used to determine if a cell arrived too early in relation to SCR. Use this formula to calculate BT: (MBS – 1) x (1 / SCR – 1 / PCR) = BT. (See SCR, MBS and PCR).



A bucket is a set of data samplings on a device. When a bucket is filled, then the new data samplings overwrite the old ones.



A shared or assigned memory area that is used to support and coordinate different computing and networking activities so one isn't held up by the other.


Buffer Overflow

A buffer overflow occurs when a program or process tries to store more data in a buffer (temporary data storage area) than it was intended to hold. The excess information can overflow into adjacent buffers, corrupting or overwriting the valid data held in them. Intruders could run codes in the overflow buffer region to obtain control of the system, install a backdoor or use the compromised device to launch attacks on other devices.


Burst and WiMAX

In WiMAX, a frame consists of one or more bursts to carry data. Each burst may have different size.




A set of bits that represents a single character. There are eight bits in a byte.