Token

Besides those small shiny coins that allow you to play video games, there are three different types of tokens:

1. In networking, a token is a series of bits that circulate on a token-ring network. When one of the systems on the network has the "token," it can send information to the other computers. Since there is only one token for each token-ring network, only one computer can send data at a time.

2. In programming, a token is a single element of a programming language. There are five categories of tokens: 1) constants, 2) identifiers, 3) operators, 4) separators, and 5) reserved words. For example, the reserved words "new" and "function" are tokens of the JavaScript language. Operators, such as +, -, *, and /, are also tokens of nearly all programming languages.

3. In security systems, a hard token is small card that displays an identification code used to log into a network. When the card user enters the correct password, the card will display the current ID needed to log into the network. This adds an extra level of protection to the network because the IDs change every few minutes. Security tokens also come in software versions, called soft tokens.

Updated April 9, 2009

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