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asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) An implementation of DSL where the upload and download speeds are different. See also digital subscriber line.

Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) A connection-oriented network architecture based on broadband ISDN technology that uses constant size 53-byte cells instead of packets. Because cells don’t change size, they are switched much faster and more efficiently than packets across a network.

ATM See Asynchronous Transfer Mode.

Attachment Unit Interface (AUI) port Port on some NICs that allows connecting the NIC to different media types by using an external transceiver.

backbone The part of most networks that connects multiple segments together to form a LAN. The backbone usually has higher speed than the segments. See also segment, local area network.

Backup Domain Controller (BDC) Computer on a Windows NT network that has a copy of the SAM database for fault tolerance and performance enhancement purposes. See also Security Accounts Manager.

backup plan Term used to describe a company’s strategy to make copies of and restore its data in case of an emergency.

backup window The amount of time that an administrator has available to perform a complete, successful backup.

bandwidth In network communications, the amount of data that can be sent across a wire in a given time. Each communication that passes along the wire decreases the amount of available bandwidth.

baseband A transmission technique in which the signal uses the entire bandwidth of a transmission medium.

baseline A category of network documentation that indicates how the network normally runs. It includes such information as network statistics, server utilization trends, and processor performance statistics.

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