This article is for anyone who’s ever felt that general computer talk seems to be filled with too much jargon and terms that go right over your head.
Not knowing what www stands for isn’t likely to cause you too much grief (unless Eddie McGuire asked you that while on the hot seat). But for those who feel they could benefit from a helpful guide, read on.
A bookmark in the internet sense has the same purpose as a bookmark for saving your place in a book. It allows you to “bookmark” a web page, and then return to that exact page again at any time, simply by clicking onto the corresponding bookmark.
A browser is an application that lets you “surf the web”. That is, browse different websites. When you go to our iiNet website, you are doing so via a browser. Some common browsers are Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Safari.
This is basically when you view or access any kind of content whatsoever that is on the internet. This includes video, music, images and webpages themselves.
Short for electronic commerce. This is the business of conducting business online. If you ever find yourself shopping online and adding a product to a “shopping cart”, you have experienced E-Commerce.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
Quite the mouthful. HTML is the programming language upon which webpages are built. The webpage that we see looks markedly different from what the person who was creating it would have been seeing. This is a simplified version of what they may be working with:
<title>This is a title</title>
<p>Blah Blah Blah</p>
This is the web page that comes up by default every time you open up your web browser. You can set your home page to be any website you like through the settings of your browser.
A hyper link is a word or small collection of words that when clicked on a webpage, take you to a different webpage. They will often appear differently to other words and your mouse cursor may change from an arrow to a hand once hovered over the hyper link. There are a few examples of this in this article.
ISP (Internet Service Provider)
This is a company like iiNet, that provides the internet to its customers.
Short for Malicious Software. These are the nasties that can unfortunately get onto your computer via various websites and downloads. It is a general term which encompasses different threats such as viruses and keyloggers. The purpose is usually to cause some level of havoc on yours or others computer systems, or to spy on what websites you are looking at or what keys you are pressing on your keyboard. All the more reason to have an up-to-date security program on your computer (better safe than sorry).
Naked DSL offers Broadband without the cost of phone line rental. Ideal for those who prefer increased Broadband quota over having a physical landline. Calls can still be made using VoIP (explained later in this article).
NBN (National Broadband Network)
The NBN is the new telecommunications network that is currently being rolled out across Australia. You can find more information on the NBN via our NBN learning centre.
OS (Operating System)
If you are ever asked what operating system your computer has – chances are, you will have a Windows operating system such as Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8. If you use an Apple Macintosh computer you will have an Apple operating system such as OS X (typically followed by the name of a big cat such as Snow Leopard or Lion).
Android has cute names for the different versions of their operating system like Gingerbread, Honeycomb, and Ice Cream Sandwich. The latest version is called Jelly Bean.
RAM (Random Access Memory)
The amount of RAM that your computer has is typically measured in GB (gigabytes). The more you have the better, as it allows your computer to “cope” with more tasks at once as well as more complicated tasks (such as high end games).
A router is a device used in computer networks to connect different computers and devices in different ways. A DSL router (often called a modem) is the more commonplace way of connecting your household to the internet via our Broadband or Fibre connection. Examples are your BoBLiteTM, BoB2TM and BudiiTM.
Watching a video, listening to a song or radio station over the internet is known as streaming. While you do this, you are using your monthly downloading quota. Streaming does not save a copy of the movie, or audio file onto your computer to view or listen to at a later date. Whenever you watch something on Freezone – you’re streaming!
In the context of a web browser, a tab lets you open several web pages at the same time. This way you can quickly flick between different webpages, without needing to minimise and maximise multiple windows.
Units of measurement
You will often hear terms such as 20GB. A GB (Gigabyte) is a unit of digital capacity. Smaller units are MB (Megabyte) and KB (Kilobyte). 1GB = 1,000 MB = 1,000,000 KB.
When you download a file, you do so at a certain number of KB’s per second. There are technically 1024 KB’s in a MB, and 1024 MB’s in a GB. Example: http://www.iinet.net.au/internet/broadband/adsl/
As you may have guessed, uploading is the direct opposite of downloading. Anything that is on your computer that you choose to put up on the internet or send someone via the internet, is an upload. Examples would be putting one of your pictures or videos on Facebook or Youtube. Even emailing a picture to someone sitting in your kitchen at home is an upload as it is loaded up onto the internet and the recipient will in turn “download” it from the internet. Uploads are also included in your monthly quota.
URL (Universal Resource Locator)
An URL is the address of a webpage. For example, www.iinet.net.au.
USB (Universal Serial Bus)
A huge amount of different computing devices plug in via USB including chargers and storage devices. USB is an industry standard for cables and connectors. Your computer and often chargers for mobile devices will have a USB port that you can plug a USB into. An example would be a USB flash drive (those gum sized sticks that people store files on) or the end of an iPod/iPhone cable that plugs into your computer.
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
This technology lets you make telephone calls through your broadband connection, instead of your phone line. You may not realise, but everytime you speak to one of our friendly call centres, you are speaking with someone who is using VOIP.
Often thought to stand for Wireless Fidelity, Wi-Fi is simply its name and not an abbreviation. Wi-Fi is the wireless connection sent out by the likes of your BoB TM modem. It should typically cover the area of a house but the signal can be blocked by dense obstructions like double brick walls. Your Wi-Fi should always be secured with a password so that everyone and their dog can’t connect to it. If you’d like specific steps on how to do this – check out our iiHelp page.
WWW (World Wide Web)
When you are told about a website, it will often begin with someone saying www dot (or dub dub dub dot for short). The world wide web is the internet in (almost) all its glory. Referred to as a web as everything on it is connected. While the term “internet” encompasses the global network of computers and other devices, “World Wide Web” is strictly related to web pages. There’s an exclusive interview featuring Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, and iiNet Director Simon Hackett on Freezone.
We hope you find this brief guide useful. If there any other terms or specific areas of technology that you’d like to know more about – let us know in the comments below and we could feature another article very soon.