Comptia Network+ Acronyms

I’m studying for a computer certification exam and have used the link technique to remember the 7 OSI layers and it’s working great. The thing I can’t figure out how to apply memory techniques to is for memorizing 178 acronyms.

I do have them loaded into a flashcard program (ANKI - which I really like) on my phone, but I don’t know how to apply memory techniques to them. I don’t need to recall the list of acronyms from memory and the order isn’t important, I just need to know what they stand for when I see them on the test.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks in advance,


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Can you post them, so I can take look and then I will let you know how I would learn them.

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Actually there are 203 of them listed on the Comptia Network+ study guide. Here they are.

AAA Authentication Authorization and Accounting
ACL Access Control List
ADF Automatic Document Feeder
ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
AES Advanced Encryption Standard
AEP American Electric Power
AFP AppleTalk Filing Protocol
AH Authentication Header
AM Amplitude Modulation
AMI Alternate Mark Inversion
APIPA Automatic Private Internet Protocol Addressing
ARIN American Registry for Internet Numbers
ARP Address Resolution Protocol
ASP Application Service Provider
ATM Asynchronous Transfer Mode
BDF Building Distribution Frame
BERT Bit-Error Rate Test
BGP Border Gateway Protocol
BNC British Naval Connector / Bayonet Niell-Concelman
BootP Boot Protocol /Bootstrap Protocol
BPDU Bridge Protocol Data Unit
BRI Basic Rate Interface
CHAP Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol
CIDR Classless inter domain routing
CNAME Canonical Name
CRAM-MD5 Challenge-Response Authentication Mechanism – Message Digest 5
CSMA / CA Carrier Sense Multiple Access / Collision Avoidance
CSMA / CD Carrier Sense Multiple Access / Collision Detection
CSU Channel Service Unit
dB decibels
DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
DLC Data Link Control
DMZ Demilitarized Zone
DNS Domain Name Service / Domain Name Server / Domain Name System
DOCSIS Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specification
DoS Denial of Service
DDoS Distributed Denial of Service
DSL Digital Subscriber Line
DSU Data Service Unit
DWDM Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing
E1 E-Carrier Level 1
EAP Extensible Authentication Protocol
EGP Exterior Gateway Protocol
EIGRP Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol
EMI Electromagnetic Interference
ESD Electrostatic Discharge
ESSID Extended Service Set Identifier
ESP Encapsulated security packets
FDDI Fiber Distributed Data Interface
FDM Frequency Division Multiplexing
FHSS Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum
FM Frequency Modulation
FQDN Fully Qualified Domain Name / Fully Qualified Distinguished Name
FTP File Transfer Protocol
GBIC Gigabit Interface Converter
Gbps Giga bits per second
HDLC High-Level Data Link Control
HSRP Hot Standby Router Protocol
HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol
HTTPS Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
Hz Hertz
IANA Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
ICA Independent Computer Architecture
ICANN Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
ICMP Internet Control Message Protocol
ICS Internet Connection Sharing
IDF Intermediate Distribution Frame
IDS Intrusion Detection System
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
IGMP Internet Group Multicast Protocol
IGP Interior Gateway Protocol
IIS Internet Information Services
IKE Internet Key Exchange
IMAP4 Internet Message Access Protocol version 4
InterNIC Internet Network Information Center
IP Internet Protocol
IPS Intrusion Prevention System
IPSec Internet Protocol Security
IPv4 Internet Protocol version 4
IPv6 Internet Protocol version 6
IPX Internetwork Packet Exchange
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network
IS-IS Intermediate System - Intermediate system
ISP Internet Service Provider
IT Information Technology
Kbps Kilobits per second
L2F Layer 2 Forwarding
L2TP Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol
LACP Link aggregation control protocol
LAN Local Area Network
LC Local Connector
LDAP Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
LEC Local Exchange Carrier
LED Light Emitting Diode
LLC Logical Link Control
LPR Line Printer Request
MAC Media Access Control / Medium Access Control
Mbps Megabits per second
MBps Megabytes per second
MDF Main Distribution Frame
MDI Media Dependent Interface
MDIX Media Dependent Interface Crossover
MIB Management Information Base
MMF Multimode Fiber
MPLS Multi-Protocol Label Switching
MS-CHAP Microsoft Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol
MT-RJ Mechanical Transfer-Registered Jack
MX Mail Exchanger
NAC Network Access Control
NAT Network Address Translation
NCP Network Control Protocol
NetBEUI Network Basic Input / Output Extended User Interface
NetBIOS Network Basic Input / Output System
NFS Network File Service
NIC Network Interface Card
nm Nanometer
NNTP Network News Transport Protocol
NTP Network Time Protocol
NWLINK Microsoft IPX/SPX Protocol
OCx Optical Carrier
OS Operating Systems
OSI Open Systems Interconnect
OSPF Open Shortest Path First
OTDR Optical Time Domain Reflectometer
PAP Password Authentication Protocol
PAT Port Address Translation
PC Personal Computer
PKI Public Key Infrastructure
PoE Power over Ethernet
POP3 Post Office Protocol version 3
POTS Plain Old Telephone System
PPP Point-to-Point Protocol
PPPoE Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet
PPTP Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol
PRI Primary Rate Interface
PSTN Public Switched Telephone Network
PVC Permanent Virtual Circuit
QoS Quality of Service
RADIUS Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service
RARP Reverse Address Resolution Protocol
RAS Remote Access Service
RDP Remote Desktop Protocol
RFI Radio Frequency Interface
RG Radio Guide
RIP Routing Internet Protocol
RJ Registered Jack
RSA Rivest, Shamir, Adelman
RTP Real Time Protocol
SC Standard Connector / Subscriber Connector
SCP Secure Copy Protocol
SDSL Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line
SFTP Secure File Transfer Protocol
SIP Session Initiation Protocol
SLIP Serial Line Internet Protocol
SMF Single Mode Fiber
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
SNAT Static Network Address Translation
SNMP Simple Network Management Protocol
SOA Start of Authority
SOHO Small Office / Home Office
SONET Synchronous Optical Network
SPS Standby Power Supply
SPX Sequenced Packet Exchange
SSH Secure Shell
SSID Service Set Identifier
SSL Secure Sockets Layer
ST Straight Tip
STP Shielded Twisted Pair
T1 T-Carrier Level 1
TA Terminal Adaptor
TACACS+ Terminal Access Control Access Control System+
TCP Transmission Control Protocol
TCP / IP Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol
tcsh Turbo C shell
TDM Time Division Multiplexing
TDR Time Domain Reflectometer
Telco Telephone Company
TFTP Trivial File Transfer Protocol
TKIP Temporal Key Integrity Protocol
TLS Transport Layer Security
TTL Time to Live
UDP User Datagram Protocol
UNC Universal Naming Convention
UPS Uninterruptible Power Supply
URL Uniform Resource Locator
USB Universal Serial Bus
UTP Unshielded Twisted Pair
VDSL Variable Digital Subscriber Line
VLAN Virtual Local Area Network
VNC Virtual Network Connection
VoIP Voice over IP
VPN Virtual Private Network
VTP Virtual Trunk Protocol
WAN Wide Area Network
WAP Wireless Application Protocol / Wireless Access Point
WEP Wired Equivalent Privacy
WINS Window Internet Name Service
WPA Wi-Fi Protected Access
www World Wide Web
X.25 CCITT Packet Switching Protocol
XML eXtensible Markup Language
XDSL Extended Digital Subscriber Line
Zeroconf Zero Configuration


Here is how I would solve this.

Create images that contain both the acronym and the translation and link those two together.

Most letters stand for the same things. An S is usually either a Service or a System.
So for Service I would visualize a butler and for system I would take a very complicated system, like the Large Hadron Collider. Feel free to change the images to your personal preferences.

Now DoS or Denial of Service becomes easy to imagine. I would see a butler shaking his head as if to say ‘no, no’. He is denying his service.
Also ‘dos’ is an old operating system. So I would have the butler hold floppy disks in his hand, since dos used to come in floppy disks. With this I put the acronym inside the picture to memorize.
So if DoS is asked you would think ‘old operating system’=> floppy disk=>butler shaking his head to say NO=> denial of service.

Sometimes it will be difficult to find images that represent these words.
Let’s start with a couple of easy ones. Some may not be politically correct.

Universal - globe
American - american flag
Packet - a present
Time - a watch
Window - window
Key - key
Serial - ducks walking in a row
Wide - fat woman
Trunk - trunk
Network - tv
Layer - lasagna
Transmission - gear box
Virtual - a ghost
Gateway - a gate
Protected - a fence
Wireless - see a wire that is cut
Application - a man running (because programs run)
Socket - wall socket
Web - spider
Uninterruptible - a woman putting a finger to her lips and shushing sssssssst (for be quiet)
Transport - a truck
Control - a policeman
Private - a brothel

Some words may be more difficult. For example I do not see a picture when I think of the word ‘protocol’.
But when I think about it longer I could use a word that starts the same, like proton. For proton I do have an image and that is my visualization of an atom.

Just use the first image that you think of when you think of the word.
Now we have an image for the translation.
The tricky part is in coding the acronym.

Some words are easy.
For Dos I would use a floppy disk, for WAN I would see Obi Wan Kanobe, for WINS I would see twins that win.
For others I would make up a sentence. URL would be ‘You Are Lovely’ or ‘YouR Lucky charm’.
More examples:
Unc - uncle
Tcp - The Creepy Porter
Smtp - single mothers throw parties
SMF - stupid mother f**ker

With a little creativity all acronyms can be changed to something funny and memorizable.

So now you know how to create an image for both the acronym and the translation.
Make sure the images are bizarre and link the image for the acronym to the image for the translation.

Let me know if there are acronyms that you feel unable to convert and I will see if I can come up with a funny way of memorizing it.


Stellar advice, Kinma. I was going to try to help, but thought I’d leave it to someone more experienced.

Not all will require a mnemonic image as some are self-evident. Say that you know PPP is point-to-point protocol. It’s really easy to figure out that PPPoE is Point-to-point protocol of ethernet. It’d be a waste of time to create an image for that!

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Thanks Hype.

And I agree with your comment, try to keep the amount of images low.


I am just wondering whether it is really worth having a separate set of images for the acronyms, given that they will of course be the first letters of the main words? I.e. why have single mothers throw parties as well as simple mail transfer protocol…


P.S. I am also assuming you would memorise using a memory palace or journey to locate your images.

Hi Gavino,

Good question. The original question was how to link the acronym to the meaning of the acronym. So if SMTP was given, how would Rogersbilly get to the meaning of the acronym?
He can cram all 203 images into a palace or journey and mentally walk through them until he locates the acronym… OR … if every time he sees SMTP he sees single mothers throwing parties, and from that peg retrieves the 4 words, it will be a lot faster to recall them.

So IMO because ‘single mothers throw parties’ is more memorizable and because of that can be used as the peg for the acronym.

You can tell from my explanation above that I feel this can be done if you want to but it seems to me a slow solution.
If you can turn the acronym itself into a peg, you would not need a palace. This last solution imo is much faster.

Yes I see what you mean and I think that there is a personal preference angle here as well. I prefer the palace/journey as it aids review and IMO means that I get it into long term memory faster. In this case there is the added advantage of not needing an extra set of images for the acronyms. incidentally as soon as a I saw an acronym starting with s I would head straight for that section of the journey. Only time will tell!

Hi Gavino,

Using a palace to aid in review will definitely work.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not against palaces. However after Moonwalking With Einstein came out, the palace is now the only system that people use.
So I like to point out that this is not always needed :wink:

Hi Kinma,

i absolutely agree! The great thing about this forum is the exchange of ideas and there should be no sacred cows (or palaces :slight_smile: ) here.


Kinma - just wanted to say they’re some good ideas you had there. I haven’t had a need for them personally yet, as I’ve just come to memorise them through use over the years (probably about 50% of them), but if I ever need to take this exam, this is the page I’ll be revisiting :stuck_out_tongue:


Excellent. Now I do.

You know that you are responding to a thread that has been stale for a year and a half, right?