Tech corner

Jargon buster: What do these internet terms mean?


Do you know your cookie from your cache? How about your spam filter from your firewall?

Sometimes the language surrounding the internet can be confusing. There are so many technical terms flying around you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a foreign language.

If you’re not an internet expert there are loads of baffling terms and abbreviations used to describe the online world.

But, fear not, we’ve collected some of the most used words and listed them below in our handy jargon buster.


ADSL ADSL – or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line to give it its full name – is a method of delivering the internet using old copper lines.


Browser Software you use to search for things on the internet, such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Firefox.


Browser history A list, saved by your browser, of all your recently visited websites.


Cache A cache collects files and images on your device to help web pages load faster.


Cookie The cookie feature of a website saves information about your visit to the site so the next time you visit it you can pick up where you left off.


Captcha A handful of letters and numbers which are scrambled so that only a human can read them. Some websites ask you to de-scramble them to check you are human and not a malicious ‘bot’ programme.


Download To save pictures, videos or other content from the internet to your device.


Firewall Software that controls what information your computer shares and receives from the internet. It protects against viruses and hacking..


FTTC FTTC - or Fibre To The Cabinet – is a method of delivering the internet to your home using a combination of fibre optic cable and old copper wires. The fibre goes as far as the street cabinet near your home, with the internet signals making the last leg of the journey on copper.


FTTP FTTP – or Fibre To The Premises – is a method of delivering the internet to your home using only fibre cable. This is the fastest and most reliable way of delivering the internet.


GB Gigabyte. A measure of data. A gigabyte is a large chunk of data made up of 1,024 megabytes.


Lag The delay your computer has in talking to other computer over the internet. A lag can cause problems when you’re playing games and your machine ‘lags’ behind other gamers’ computers.


Link (hyperlink) Either text or an image that directs you to another web page.


Malware / Virus / Worm / Trojan / Spyware A harmful programme or file that infects your computer and corrupts files. They can sometimes appear as safe programmes to trick you into using them and sharing your personal information.

We strongly advise all our customers to install an anti-virus programme on their computer to protect them from viruses, worms, trojans and any other harmful programmes or files.


MB Megabyte. A measure of data.


Mbps (Megabits per second) A term used to describe your internet speed based on how much data can be downloaded per second. Speeds range from around 4Mbps for old copper connections to ultrafast speeds of 100Mbps and above. The very fastest internet speeds are described using the term Gbps – gigabits per second.


Microfilter A small box that plugs into your phone socket to ensure the broadband and phone signals don’t interfere with each other.


Router / Modem A router is needed for you to connect to the internet via your home phone line. Most routers allow you to connect to the internet wirelessly so you can use your mobile, laptop and other devices without the need for cables.


Ping A ping test measures how quickly your computer communicates with another computer via the internet. The ping is measured in milliseconds (ms) and measures how much of a delay there is between your computer and the computer it’s talking to. A Ping measure of less than 100ms is considered good and less than 30ms top notch.


Pop-up A small message which pops up on your screen providing extra information, showing an advert or inviting you to complete a survey.


Software Programmes on your computer such as your browser, McAfee anti-virus and Microsoft Word.


Spam filter Software that keeps junk mail (spam) out of your email inbox.


Upload Sending information to the internet, such as your photos, videos and files.


URL A website’s “address”, for example


For more help or advice visit or call 01482 606101.

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