Glossary of Terms

Desktop support -- Assistance with laptop and desktop PCs by telephone, email or hands-on. May include software installation or maintenance, operating system configuration, help understanding and using applications, etc.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) -- A company that sells Internet connectivity to individuals and/or businesses. ISPs often include utility-based firms providing telephone or cable service. Note that ISPs provide connectivity, but do not support the local area network within an office or provide desktop or application support.

Local Area Network (LAN) -- The wired and wireless network within an office that connects computers to each other and to shared Internet connectivity. A LAN includes wireless access points, Ethernet switches, patch panels, in-wall cabling, wall jacks, patch cables and the network adaptor in a PC.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) -- A logical way to connect one machine or LAN to a remote network when direct physical connectivity is not available. For example one office LAN might be directly connected to a central LAN making them essentially the same network, while another office LAN might connect to the Internet through a local ISP and therefore require a VPN to connect the two networks together.

Wide Area Network (WAN) -- The connectivity between a machine or LAN and the Internet or another LAN. WANs connect Extension offices to the Internet or directly to ISU.