The glossary is not intended to cover every aspect of the I.T. world. While we try very hard to avoid the use of jargon in our conversations, our customers will inevitably come across technical terms and ask for an explanation. These are the most common ones.
is an abbreviation for central processing unit but most people call it simply the “processor”. It’s a chip inside a computer often described as the brain of the system. It processes all the information that is going in and out of the system and between all the components inside of the computer and sends the information to where it’s supposed to go. A functions like a very powerful calculator, it can add, subtract, multiply, divide and move billions of numbers per second. That speed enables computers to perform tasks such as accessing the internet, playing video games and creating graphics.
gets its name from the way the internet or other networks are traditionally drawn on a diagram as a computing . The term “ ” in I.T. terms is used to cover a wide variety of services. One service is not necessarily the same as another.
The “” is essentially something on the other end of your internet connection (or maybe your private network connection), which provides some kind of computing-related service.
internet connection. The most well known one is ADSL, also known as broadband. ADSL is Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line and indicates that the download speed is different to the upload speed. This is the type most prevalent in homes and small business as it is optimized for web browsing and downloading files, where most of the data traffic is being transferred into the office or home, not out.or Digital Subscriber Line is a type of
The other version is Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line or, where traffic can flow at the same speed in both directions. This is more suitable for voice traffic (Voice over IP) where the same amount of traffic flows in both directions.
When connecting to a computer or web site we usually use a host name such as www.google.co.uk. The name “google.co.uk” is known as a domain and, or domain name system, is used to translate that name to an . It is an which is used to ensure that information goes down the right connection to reach its destination. We humans would find it very tedious to remember IP addresses so we leave to do all this translation. is a distributed database, in other words, like a phone book split up into small sections. If your computer asks your usual to lookup an and it does not know the answer, it will know the name of another that it can ask. Sometimes if you have a connection to the internet but cannot access a website, it is because of a fault with .
(Ethernet in the First Mile) provides high speed, reliable internet connections for businesses that require more than traditional broadband can offer.
stands for Fibre to the Cabinet. It’s a term for broadband network architecture where copper cables going from the local telephone exchange to the street cabinet are replaced by fibre optic cable. The connection between the building and street cabinet (approx. 300m) is provided by using existing copper telephone cables. This architecture allows for use of existing infrastructure in the buildings which lowers the cost of deploying it while significantly improving speed of internet connection.
This is an acronym for Generic Ethernet Access and provides a similar, but cheaper service that(see above). It depends on the (see above) service being provided to your local street telephone cabinet.
Ais a mass storage device where a computer stores, saves and retrieves data from. It’s like a big virtual room with lots of filing cabinets where you can store your files and documents. There are currently two major technologies of , HDD and SSD. First is a traditional hard disk drive (HDD), composed of individual disks, or platters, with read/write heads contained in a sealed case. Second is the solid-state drive (SSD) which compared to HDD has no moving parts: it’s basically a huge memory card that is used in many well-known devices like cameras. Both technologies have their strengths and weaknesses. SSD is much faster but it has a limit of how many times information can be written and it’s expensive; HDD is cheaper and doesn’t have that limit but because of having moving parts inside it is more likely to fail.
An IP (Internet Protocol) address is a unique identification number for systems on a network. If anyone wants to connect to aor web site we need to know the address of it. For every person the easiest way of remembering that address is using words but in an IP network systems don’t have names but use IP addresses. There is a great real live analogy we can use to help understand it: an is like a phone number. If you want to call somebody you need to know his phone number – we have the same situation computers. If one computer needs to contact another it needs to know the other computer’s . The consist of four sets of eight binary numbers (zeros and ones), each separated by a period (or full stop) but to make it easier to users we use the decimal equivalent. So instead a lot of 0s and 1s separated by dots we get four sets of numbers (still separated by dots) from 0 to 255 which greatly help to use and memorize it. An example might be 192.168.200.2. If you want to connect to a website, the web address will be translated for your computer to an first using something called (domain name system).
or Integrated Services Digital Network is a type of telephone connection which can be used for voice and data. In the 1990s it was very commonly used for data but that function has mostly been replaced by alternatives such as broadband (ADSL, ). It is still in very wide use for carrying telephone calls as it provides better quality and reliability, plus more functionality that a standard analogue line. Most businesses requiring more than one simultaneous telephone call will use lines, rather than multiple analogue lines. The more recent alternative which is now replacing are .
An Internet Services Provider provides residential and business users with a connection to the internet.
is an acronym for random access memory and is a form of computer data storage. It’s a chip or chips used by a computer to store information currently used by the operating system (such as Microsoft Windows, or Apple OSX) and currently working programs. When not in use, all programs and data are held on mass storage devices like hard drives. because of its speed helps to prevent slowdowns when moving information from to . When an application is being used all required information is loaded to which makes it quickly accessible. A good real live analogy would be working on a project, where you take all relevant documents from a filing cabinet in the next room ( ) and put them on your desk ( ). So basically you can save the time of getting a file or document from room next door every time you need it. It makes work more efficient and quicker just like makes work more efficient and quicker for the .
This is a hardware device which directs or routes data from one network to another. It often incorporates a device (an ADSL modem) which allows connection to the internet via a telephone socket. Often when your internet connection fails, you will be asked to restart your.
is an abbreviation for Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line. It’s an internet connection service commonly known as broadband where the upload and download speed is the same. It is mainly used in small and medium professional environments where having high speed of upload data is essential (backup of data, videoconference). It cannot co-exist with conventional voice (telephone) service on the same cable as it uses the entire bandwidth. It is considered the opposite of ADSL used almost exclusively in non-professional applications (home internet) where download of data it significantly faster than upload.
A is a computer system designed to provide shared resources to users connected via a network. There are many types, some with a single purpose, others providing multiple functions. A website is provided by a web . A file , the most common type found in offices environments, allows users to share access to the same files. Other examples include printer servers and database servers.
While technically many computers including even a Windows XP based laptop can function as a , it is more common to use a computer which has been built from hardware and software specifically designed for a role. Since a is used by many users simultaneously its design parameters are focused on performance, reliability and manageability.
Portsmouth, but advertise both Portsmouth and Southampton phone lines. This also means that if you ever relocate, you can take your number with you.are taking over from . (SIP is an acronym for Session Initiation Protocol, but there is no need to understand it – just think of it as a different way of connecting telephone calls). provide the same call quality as but at a much reduced price. An additional benefit is that numbers from any area code can be applied to your . You could have an office in
Software that collects private information or monitors user behaviour secretly. The term ‘’ essentially covers any software that gathers information and passes it to a third party without adequate permission from the owner of the data.
A Service Set Identifier is used to identify and distinguish a wireless network. When scanning for a wireless network to join, the displayed list of available networks is a list of SSIDs.
This is the box that contains your desktop computer. Usually it will be connected to a screen, keyboard and mouse. In some cases it is combined with the screen – known as an “All-In-One”. Thecontains the , and other essential hardware components. If an I.T. support technician asks you to switch off your computer, it is the to which they will be referring.
A(or horse) is a malicious program masquerading as something innocuous or even useful. Trojans use social engineering to convince victims to execute their code, and often act in a clandestine manner, sometimes even providing the useful functionality promised while running malicious actions in secret.
The great majority of malware takes the form of Trojans – software such as adware andalso falls into this category, as actions which are not revealed during the installation process are carried out in a clandestine manner once installed. infections can come from malicious or hijacked websites, either using social engineering to persuade victims to install the file or exploiting vulnerabilities to carry out silent drive-by downloads. Trojans may also be sent out via email spam, with the email either including an attachment (the file itself), or including links to the malicious or hijacked sites mentioned previously, again using social engineering to persuade readers to visit the site. Trojans can also be spread via other communication methods such as Instant Messaging or Peer to Peer file sharing, or even dropped by self-replicating malware.
Manyinfestations involve a variety of files, each providing different functionality. Typical types of include downloaders, keyloggers, backdoors, clickers and diallers.
This is an uninterruptible power supply. It contains a standby battery which automatically cuts in when mains power fails. It is highly recommended for supplying power to servers and other critical equipment or for all computer systems in an area with unreliable mains power.
The term ‘computer’ is often used as a general term for all types of malware, including Trojans and other non-replicating malicious code. In a stricter sense ‘ ’ applies only to self-replicating malware, and even more specifically only to code which infects other files on the local system (rather than spreading from one system to another in the form of an unchanging file, as is the case with most worms).
Voice over IP refers to the technique of carrying telephone calls over the internet. It is a low cost alternative to traditional telephone systems.
This is a Virtual Private Network and refers to the technique of using standard internet connections such as broadband to connect multiple locations together in a secure manner. An alternative is to use private leased lines, but this is far more expensive.
Worms are a form of self-replicating malware which spread by placing copies of themselves in email attachments or instant messages, in shared folders or on visible network shares, or via backdoors or vulnerabilities in network-exposed software. As well as spreading, and using up valuable bandwidth in the process, worms often open further backdoors, disable security software and install “bot” software to add infected systems to zombie networks.
Worms have caused many of the biggest and highest-profile outbreaks in the history of malicious code, including the infamous Melissa and Loveletter incidents in the 1990s and SQL/Slammer in 2003.