If it seems that networkers speak a whole different language, it's because they do. Here's a glossary of netspeak:
Bridge - A device used to tie two network components together, such as a phone line and Ethernet networks.
Broadband - High-speed Internet access, usually through a cable modem or a digital subscriber line (DSL) service.
Category 5 cable - The most commonly used cable in an Ethernet network. It usually has connectors that look like large telephone plugs.
Ethernet - The most widely installed local area network technology. An Ethernet LAN typically uses coaxial cable or special grades of twisted pair wires (see Category 5 cable).
Firewall - A network component, either software or hardware, that provides security from Internet hackers.
Gateway - A device that provides security for the network and distributes high-speed Internet connections throughout the home.
HomePNA or HPNA - Home Phoneline Networking Alliance, industry organization that sets standards for phone line networking. HPNA-certified components by different manufacturers should be compatible.
Hub - A device that joins all the computers and other devices on a network at one point.
IP address - Internet Protocol address. The address of a network node on the Internet or a local area network.
LAN - Local area network.
mbps - Megabits per second, or 1 million bits per second, which refers to the speed that data travel through the network. Modern home networks should provide 10 mbps transmission.
NetBEUI - Pronounced "net-boo-ey." Short for NetBios Extended User Interface, this is Microsoft's standard protocol for internal networks.
Network adapter - An expansion card for a PC or an external device with a cable jack that enables a PC to connect to a network. Also called a network adapter, LAN card, Network Interface Card, or "NIC."
Packet - A piece of data transferred over a network.
Router - Device that transfers packets of information to resources within the network, i.e., high-speed Internet to a PC. Routers also add strong security layers to a network.
Switch - A high-speed hub that connects PCs on a network..
TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. System used for data transfer on the Internet.
Wireless - Networking technology using electromagnetic, infrared, or radio waves to transmit data.
Workgroup - A small number of PCs networked together.
Source: Various Internet resources and Linksys' reference guide, "How to Sell a Network."