This short article will define and explain certain acronyms and terminology used in the industry. If you have any trouble with acronyms and terms used in the other guides posted, refer to this one to refresh your memory!

Terminology and Acronyms:

IP Address:

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique number to you, it allows your internet connection to work and without one, you will go nowhere! IP addresses use the quad dotted notation, for example "".

MAC Address:

A Media Access Control (MAC) address is a unique number to identify the interface, it is completely unique and there is not a single other device with this number. An example of a MAC address "E0-DB-55-C2-D9-5C". In general this will rarely be used or looked at.


An Interface is a device that allows you to connect to the internet. This can range from the place you plug in the Ethernet cord to your PC or router, to the radios used to communicate wirelessly.


A router is a device used to connect the other device such as phones, PCs, and tablets to the internet. A comparison I like to make is that it is your gateway, the single point of entry and exit for your internet connection. A home router will likely have 3 - 8 interfaces, a Wireless interface, 4 Ethernet ports (Each individual port is an interface), and a WAN interface.


An ONT is an Optical Network Terminal. This is the only device Greenlight Networks brought into your home, it normally is a smaller white box and has our contact information on top of it. It should have 3 cords plugged in at all times, a power cord, a fiber that we connect at install time and an Ethernet cord. All three of these are needed to make connection.


An Ethernet cable is a cable used in the transmission of data in a wired connection. It looks like a fat phone cord. Make sure when unplugging an Ethernet cord you hold down the tab that keeps it secured.


The WAN is the Wide Area Network. Specifically it is our network we're building for the use of Internet, however you can think of the WAN as the Internet for sake of simplicity.


The LAN is the Local Area Network. Specifically this is your network inside of your home. Every device in your house connected to your router is on your LAN.

Default Gateway:

This is the IP address of the internal side of your router. The "internal side" is the interface that you are communicating with. For example if I plug my PC into a Ethernet jack on your router my default gateway would be the IP of the router. Without this your computer would not be able to find the way out of your LAN.


DNS is the Domain Name Service, it ties the IP address of a company or person to the name. Meaning it allows everyone to type "www.google.com" instead of "" (Go ahead copy and paste this number into your browser, it'll work).


A ping is commonly used to see if a PC can establish a connection between the PC and another PC. This simple tool will not only tell someone if their connection is broken or not, but also can determine why it is broken.


A URL is a Uniform Resource Identifier. This is the name we use to navigate the web such as "www.google.com".