Click Networks - IT Support Glasgow
IT Terminology

IT Support > IT Terminology

Clicknetworks provides a good place to start and become familiar with some IT support technological terminology:

Antivirus for Networks

Is a solution to provide antivirus protection throughout your network for a safer more efficient running of the network.


Bandwidth refers to how much data you can send through a network or modem connection. It is usually measured in bits per second, or "bps". You can think of bandwidth as a highway with cars travelling on it. The highway is the network connection and the cars are the data. The wider the highway, the more cars can travel on it at one time. Therefore more cars can get to their destinations faster. The same principle applies to computer data -- the more bandwidth, the more information that can be transferred within a given amount of time.


The software used to access the Internet. Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Safari are today's most popular browsers.


This refers to high-speed data transmission in which a single cable can carry a large amount of data at once. The most common types of Internet broadband connections are cable modems (which use the same connection as cable TV) and DSL modems (which use your existing phone line). Because of its multiple channel capacity, broadband has started to replace baseband, the single-channel technology originally used in most computer networks.

Broadband Router

A broadband router connects to your broadband enabled phone line and allows your computer to receive broadband. To set it up you will need your access details from your ISP and the instructions that came with your computer. Once it is set up it does very little but sits between your computer and your phone line.


A small data-memory storage area that a computer can use to instantly re-access data instead of re-reading the data from the original source, such as a hard drive. Browsers use a cache to store web pages so that the user may view them again without reconnecting to the Web.


A text file sent by a website that is stored on your computer and relays back to the website things about you or your computer. These are generally required by online shopping sites.


This stands for Central Processing Unit and in simple terms is the heart of your computer. Every piece of information runs through it and it pumps it out and makes the computer work. The faster your CPU, the faster your computer will run. The two most common manufacturers of CPU's are Intel and AMD.


A collection of similar information stored in a file, such as a database of addresses. This information may be created and stored in a database management system (DBMS).


The main directory of the user interface. Desktops usually contain icons such as "My Computer" or "Trash Can" etc. It can also display icons of frequently used applications, as requested by the user.

Dual Core Processor

The Intel Core Duo, the AMD X2, and the dual-core PowerPC G5 are all examples of CPUs that use dual-core technologies. These CPUs each combine two processor cores on a single silicon chip (computer chip). This means they can perform operations up to twice as fast as a single processor can.

This dual core technology is different to a "dual processor" configuration, in which two physically separate CPUs work together. However, some high-end machines, such as the PowerPC G5 Quad, use two separate dual-core processors together, providing up to four times the performance of a single processor.

E-mail Web Access

Is a solution to making emails accessible from anywhere through a Standard internet connection.


Encryption is the process of transmitting scrambled data so that only authorized recipients can unscramble it. E.G. passwords in complex computer systems.


This is a network cabling standard for a local-area network (LAN).


A firewall will block unwanted intrusions on your computer. When accessing the internet it is recommended that you use a firewall for protection. Firewall’s can be built into your Router or can be software on your computer.


Apple® Computer's high-speed data transfer. Frequently used to import video to a computer.

Graphics Card

This is a dedicated device to processing the visuals that you see on the screen. The resolution or quality of the visuals on your screen will be determined by this. Many games will require you to have a powerful graphics card though most programs will run on a basic one.

Hard Disk Drive

The hard drive is where all of your files on your computer are stored. Think of this as a big filing cabinet where you put your documents, music, pictures etc.


Hypertext Markup Language. A standard of text markup conventions used for documents on the World Wide Web. Browsers interpret the codes to give the text structure and formatting (such as bold, blue, or italic).


Hypertext Transfer Protocol. A common system used to request and send HTML documents on the World Wide Web. It is the first portion of all URL addresses on the World Wide Web (e.g.,


Text or an image that is connected by hypertext coding to a different location. By selecting the text or image with a mouse, the computer "jumps to" (or displays) the linked text.

IP address

Also known as an "IP number" or simply an "IP," this is a code made up of numbers separated by three dots that identifies a particular computer on the Internet. Every computer requires an IP address to connect to the Internet. IP addresses consist of four sets of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by three dots. For example "" or "".


This is where your computer stores files (or parts of files) temporarily for processing. Do not confuse this with the hard drive; a computer user cannot store anything in the memory, unlike a hard drive. The more memory you have the smoother your computer will run when you have many things open. This will not directly affect the speed of your machine.

Operating System

All computers have an operating system that, among other things, is used for starting the computer and running other programs. It is what makes the computer functional. The operating system performs important tasks like receiving input from the keyboard and mouse, sending information to the screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, as well as controlling the various units such as disks, printers, etc. Examples of operating systems are: Windows XP, Mac OS, Novell, UNIX and Linux.


One hard disk can be divided into one or more partitions. Each partition is regarded as one logical storage unit, and normally contains one file system. In the Windows operating systems (95/98/NT/2000) each partition is assigned one station letter (C:, D: etc). For the user it looks like there are several hard disks in the computer.


A network is when you have two or more computers connected to each other. The purpose of a network is to enable the sharing of files and information between multiple systems. The Internet could be described as a global network of networks.

Screen Resolution

This refers to the amount of pixels (individual dots) that appear on the screen. Common resolution sizes are 1024x768 and 1280x800. The higher the resolution the more crisp the image will appear on your screen. Your graphics card and monitor combined will have an optimum resolution; try not to exceed this amount as it will affect the speed at which graphics can be rendered on your computer.

Sound card

A card inside the computer which allows the computer to produce sounds through internal or external speakers. Sound cards allow the computer to play digital audio and/or musical instrument sounds.


The URL is the address of a website that you type into the address bar of your browser to view that website. Use the "favourites"/"bookmarks" feature of your browser to save the URL’s of the websites you like so you won’t have to remember them. Click here to save the URL of PCIQ


This stands for Universal Serial Bus. Devices that have a USB connection plug into the USB slot on your computer. Older computers may not have this but today it is standard. External devices such as printers, mice, cameras etc will have this connection type.

Wireless Access Point (WAP)

This connects to the Router and allows your wireless enabled computer to connect to the internet without the use of wires. If this device is set up right it will also allow you to communicate from one computer to another. It is worth taking care when setting up this device as there are security considerations. To take the stress out of setting up this device and for peace of mind contact PCIQ for an agent to come and set it up for you.

Wireless Integration

Is a solution that enables your office network to run without wires.

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