Computer Network Acronyms

Aug 19, 2016 | Blog

There are lots of phrases and acronyms in the IT industry having to do with computer networks. What do they all mean? In this blog post, I write about a number of these terms, acronyms and phrases.

LAN: “Local Area Network”

Just like it sounds, the Local Area Network is the local computer network specific to a home or business. Anything inside the router qualifies as part of an organization’s LAN.

WAN: “Wide Area Network”

The WAN, as you might have guessed, is the opposite of the LAN. It is the Internet. A router serves as the bridge between the LAN and WAN.

NAT: “Network Address Translation”

Routers and firewalls translate a public IP address (WAN) with private IP addresses (LAN). This is called Network Address Translation. It allows for several computers inside a LAN to share the same public IP address that is connected to the internet. To find out what your public IP address is, you can visit

(S) FTP = “(SSH) File Transfer Protocol”

FTP is a method for someone to transfer files from 1 computer to another computer or server. Typically, web designers and programmer will need to use FTP for their various jobs. FTP is insecure, which is why people who need FTP access should always use SFTP instead (which stands for SSH FTP).

SSH = “Secure Shell”

Server and Network administrators use SSH in their day-to-day jobs. It is a protocol that allows someone to create a secure connection to routers, switches and servers that support SSH (such as Linux servers) so that the person can make changes to that device.


These are just some of the many acronyms used by industry professionals. What other acronyms do you want to learn about?


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