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Jargon Buster: guide to net terms   


Bandwidth - Measure of the maximum amount of data that can be transferred over a connection at any one time.

Bluetooth - Technology that allows devices to communicate wirelessly.

Cache - A store for frequently used data or files. Data can be accessed from a cache more quickly than from its original source. Internet Explorer uses a hard disk cache for web pages, while computer processors often have small amounts of very speedy memory as a cache.

Cookie - Text files generated by websites you visit and stored on your computer's hard disk. Cookies contain preferences and other information about your use of the sites, and are not harmful.

Domain name - the name used to identify a site on the Internet, the web address ie: opticalparadox.co.uk

Download - Process of transferring files onto your PC / mac directly from another computer.


Encryption - The science of scrambling data, be it text, audio or video, so that it can only be read by the authorised sender and recipient.

Firewall - A system that prevents unauthorised access to a computer over a network, such as the Internet.

FireWire - A super fast data link between a Computer and other devices i.e. transfer music to your mp3 player in a flash.

Hacker - Someone who breaks into other people's computers and networks, often in an attempt to steal sensitive information.

Hard disk - A high-capacity disk drive fitted inside a computer / server.

Home (Index) page - The first or main page of a web site, usually containing links to more detailed sections or content.

Hyperlink - A clickable link on a web page or in a document that takes you elsewhere, like to another website or a later page.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) - A company that provides you with access to the internet usually for a fee i.e. BT, Ntlworld etc.

JavaScript - A special language used to create advanced effects on websites such as animated sequences, interactive buttons and menus.

POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) - A protocol for remotely accessing and retrieving email from an ISP ie: using your email application.

Ram (Random Access Memory) - Allows you to run programs etc whereas the hard drive provides the storage space.

Search Engine - A site on the net that enables you to search for sites containing certain key words.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) - The process of improving / optimising a website so that it can be found and rank highly on search engines.

Server - A computer on a network that stores shared information.

Worm - A program that transmits and copies itself over a computer network.

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