Host Definition

A host is a computer that is connected to a network. The term usually refers to a computer that is connected to a TCP/IP network, including the Internet. Each host on such a network has a unique IP address.

A host can range from a server or workstation, which are processing-intensive, to a thin client, which performs little or no processing (i.e., transformation of data).

Hosts communicate with other hosts by using protocols (i.e., agreed-upon formats) such as file sharing, e-mail, Telnet and FTP (file transfer protocol).

The term remote host refers to a computer that is on the network at some location other than that of the current user.

A bastion host is the only host computer on a LAN (local area network) or other private network that the network's owner permits to be accessed directly from the Internet. It is designed to shield the network from security problems.

A host is a type of node. Nodes are devices attached to a network, not only computers but also printers and other shared resources, personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones, web TVs and other network appliances.

The verb to host refers to the providing of an infrastructure for one or more computer services. Most commonly, it is used to refer to the hosting of websites by ISPs (Internet service providers).

Created October 3, 2005.
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