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Forum Glossary

This to help newbies understand the terminology used on the forums
This glossary (wholly or in part) may not be duplicated with referring to the source (this forum)
Please post any suggestions to the admin

ADSL Modem

This connects your computer to the Internet (you knew that, didn’t you). You may be used to having a dialup modem – ADSL is quite different from dial-up even though they both use the same phone line (see Microfilter/Splitter). An ADSL modem doesn’t need to dial any particular phone number since it avoids the old phone system altogether – all it needs is your ISP username and ISP password. Typically you will also need to ensure that the encapsulation and VCI/VPI settings are correct for your ISP.

Brick (verb or noun)

A ‘brick’ is an informal term often used for a ‘dead’ or non-functioning router, since a dead router is as much use as a brick. Usually, the ‘bricked’ router can be repaired using the correct software tools and a bit of patience (see THIS for more) since it is only the firmware that needs fixing. Occassionally, a router may be permanantly ‘bricked’ due to a hardware fault, in which case it would only be repairable by a qualified person (and will probably be thrown away as a consequence).


At RouterTech.Org we have divided up routers into different classes to help distinguish the different types of router that are around. It makes it a lot easier to say “Class II” than it is to say “TI AR7WRD/AR7RD based with a Linux OS”. See THIS for more information.


A software program that is used to contact and obtain data from a server software program on another computer, often across a great distance. Each client program is designed to work with one or more specific kinds of server programs, and each server requires a specific kind of client. A web browser and an FTP program are specific kinds of clients.


As with most network software there is a client and server aspect:

Type DHCP Server DHCP Client
Location LAN Configuration page (for Class I routers)
WAN Configuration page (for Class I routers)
Description The server provides IPs (addresses) from it’s pool for each device connected to the router, like your PC. This is enabled by default and will work well in most situations (some users like to / need to set them up manually for each PC – so they disable the router’s DHCP server). This is normally left enabled by default. The client retrieves IP(s) from the server you point it to, on the public Internet WAN side. It will basically get the dynamic IP your ISP wants to give you.This needs to be given a ‘Host name’ in order to work. Without a ‘Host name’ it will not remain enabled.Not used very frequently so it is disabled by default.


This is between software and hardware hence firm-ware. This is a bit like the BIOS, OS and application layer of a PC all rolled into one. Class I routers tend to have two codes on the index page like this:

Firmware Version: CX82xxx_4.1.0.9_B213
Customer Software Version:

This is where there can be some confusion – what is called the “Firmware Version” on the routers doesn’t change much between firmwares, whereas the “Customer Software Version” always changes between firmwares.

Therefore on the forum we use the “Customer Software Version” code to identify different firmwares and this is what we mean by “Firmware Version”.


Local Area Network – the network made by your computers, router and whatever else you have connected within your house.


This is the simple device that is used to split the ADSL signal for your router or ADSL modem and the normal phone signal. Most routers have a built in splitter, so they are really only essential where phones/fax machines are plugged into a phone line that is ADSL-enabled. If you don’t have a splitter for each phone then this could cause problems for that phone and may even interfere with the ADSL signal.


This simply routes data around a network. Normally a router will either have a built-in modem or be connected to a modem of some kind. With a modem, a router can share your Internet connection with multiple devices and provide a layer of protection against outside influence (by malicious software, viruses etc). Sometime the router will have built-in firewall (determined by the Firmware) and this adds to the router’s ability to protect your LAN. A router is more advanced than a modem and can be left on and connected to the Internet all the time (assuming it’s kept reasonably well ventilated and not left to get too hot). Also router can allow you to share files and folders between computers. Some routers have wireless functionality and have antennae that allow them to communicate with other wireless compatible devices.


A computer, or a software package, that provides a specific kind of service to client software running on other computers. The term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as a WWW server, or to the machine on which the software is running. A single server machine could have several different server software packages running on it, thus providing many different servers to clients on the network.


Wide Area Network – this is a public network i.e. the Internet etc. On one side of the router is your LAN and on the other side is the WAN.


Wireless Local Area Network – the part of your LAN that is wireless.

Last updated by Neo on Saturday, August 29th, 2009
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