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point-to-point Network communication in which two devices have exclusive access to a network medium. For example, a printer connected to only one workstation would be using a point-to-point connection.

Point-to Point Protocol (PPP) The protocol used with dial-up connections to the Internet. Its functions include error control, security, dynamic IP addressing, and support for multiple protocols.

Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) A protocol that allows the creation of virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow users to access a server on a corporate network over a secure, direct connection via the Internet. See also virtual private network.

polling A media access control method that uses a central device called a controller that polls each device in turn and asks if it has data to transmit.

POP3 See Post Office Protocol version 3.

port Some kind of opening that allows network data to pass through.

See also physical port.

Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3) The protocol used to download e-mail from an SMTP e-mail server to a network client. See also Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.

POTS See plain old telephone service.

power blackout A total loss of power that may last for only a few seconds or as long as several hours.

power brownout Power drops below normal levels for several seconds or longer.

power overage Too much power is coming into the computer. See also power spike, power surge.

power sag A lower power condition where the power drops below normal levels for a few seconds, then returns to normal levels.

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