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protocol A predefined set of rules that dictates how computers or devices communicate and exchange data on the network.

protocol analyzer A software and hardware troubleshooting tool that is used to decode protocol information to try to determine the source of a network problem and to establish baselines.

protocol suite The set of rules a computer uses to communicate with other computers.

proxy A type of firewall that prevents direct communication between a client and a host by acting as an intermediary. See also firewall.

proxy cache server An implementation of a web proxy. The server receives an HTTP request from a web browser and makes the request on behalf of the sending workstation. When the response comes, the proxy cache server caches a copy of the response locally. The next time someone makes a request for the same web page or Internet information, the proxy cache server can fulfill the request out of the cache instead of having to retrieve the resource from the Web.

proxy server A type of server that makes a single Internet connection and services requests on behalf of many users.

PSTN See Public Switched Telephone Network.

public For use by everyone.

public key A technology that uses two keys to facilitate communication, a public key and a private key. The public key is used to encrypt a message to a receiver. See also private key.

public network The part of a network on the outside of a firewall that is exposed to the public. See also firewall.

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