Letter to the editor: Http, TCP, UDP, IP, SBR, oh my!

What do all those acronyms stand for? Whereas, I am not going to go into detail about these acronyms specifically, I will tell you that they all have to do with your connection to the Internet.

This article is written in response to the article titled “Global evolving: The impact of the Internet” in the Feb. 25 Waltonian issue. I wanted to try to help some of our readers understand the Internet, what that word has come to mean, and the difference between its true and colloquial meanings.

Here at Eastern, there are two ways to connect a device, computer, phone, printer, server, etc. to our Local Area Network. Our LAN is composed of all the devices that are linked together on Eastern’s main campus and satellite campuses.

Once connected to Eastern’s LAN, devices can then have access to the Internet. Eastern has certain security parameters on its wireless network. These parameters differ between the Eastern-Full and Eastern-Guest networks.

In addition to security parameters on the wireless network, Eastern has more settings on its Internet connection to allow users to to appropriately use Eastern’s Internet connection.

Our Internet connection is like a pipe that has a certain diameter, or bandwidth. When a pipe is full of water, the water moves slowly, but it still moves. During high traffic times, users can experience some of this slowness called latency or lag.

Eastern uses a device called a packet shaper to regulate our connection and divide it into sections. These separate sections keep parts of the pipe open for the higher trafficked areas.

The packet shaper allows Eastern’s users to be able to utilize our connection appropriately for work, academic purposes and entertainment. If it was not there, all users would experience such terrible latency that no one would want to go online.

Finally, another source of issues can be the device being used to access the Internet.

Some devices do not have the proper system resources, such as processor speed and memory, to be able to access certain pages on the Internet. If a system has the proper system resources, a user can run into problems if they do not have the appropriate programs or plug-ins installed on their computer.

To be able to play flash videos, a flash player, such as Adobe or Macromedia’s, needs to be installed. Media Web sites use data formats that range from Windows Media Player to QuickTime to Real Player, just to mention a few. These players need to be installed to be able to decode and read this data.

I would encourage the Eastern community to seek help on Eastern’s Tech Support page. This page is full of guides and explanations about various services offered to our users. The link for Tech Help is found on the E-Net Services page of Eastern’s Web site

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