Tech Tips: Internet Glossary of Terms

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As we begin to rely on the internet more and more, we may come across language that we're not familiar with. Below is a list of internet terms that can help you better navigate the web.

Blogs or Blogging
A blog (short for web log) is a way for someone to present a running journal for a wide variety of readers. They have been made to be very simple to create and maintain. Sometimes readers can add their own entries or comments to the blog

Bookmark
A way for web browser users to mark a web page they want to return to later.

Cache
To store on a computer user's hard disk a local copy of a web page accessed via the Internet. The web browser compares the cached copy of the page to the original, and if there have been no changes, the browser will use the cached copy rather than reloading the page onto the client, saving processing and download time. Also refers to a web site's database generating static copies of frequently requested dynamic pages, reducing processing time.

Chat
A feature that lets you talk with other computer users in real-time online sessions.

Cookies
A unique string of letters and numbers that the web server stores in a file on your hard drive. This method is used by web designers to track visitors to a web site so the visitors do not have to enter the same information every time they go to a new page or revisit a site. For example, web designers use cookies to keep track of purchases a visitor wants to make while shopping through a web catalog. Cookies may work through a single visit to a web site, such as when tracking a shopping trip, or may be set to work through multiple sessions when a visitor returns to the site.

Domain Names
All servers on the Internet have a TCP-IP address that consists of a set of four numbers like 124.32.9.76 By assigning a name to the TCP-IP address - or vice versa - the Web becomes easier to use. URL addresses (domain names) are obtainable from many sources. Anyone can own a domain name. The real quest is finding one no one owns yet.

Download
To receive a copy of a file from another computer or web server using a modem.

Firewall
Computer hardware and/or software that limits access to a computer over a network or from an outside source. Used to prevent computer hackers from getting into a company's computer systems.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
HTML is the code that tells browsers how to display a page on your screen. This code, sometimes called "markup", uses "tags" that instruct a browser to make text a certain size or style, display an image, or link to another page or web site.

Hyperlink
An element found on web pages and other electronic documents that, when clicked with a mouse, automatically opens a file or web page in your web browser. A hyperlink may be a word, button, or graphic. When a hyperlink is text, it typically displays in a different color and may also be underlined. A text hyperlink that has already been visited is usually displayed in a different color.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A company or organization that lets users connect to the Internet by dialing into its computers using a modem. ISPs typically charge a fee for providing a dial-up telephone number, an email address, and some technical assistance (usually via email). Also called an IPP. See also online service.

IP (Internet Protocol) Address
An IP address is a number that identifies a particular server or user on the Internet. These numbers consist of four set of numbers between 0 and 255 such as 123.45.67.8 and are the basis for any transfer of information over the Internet.

JPG or JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
The second Internet graphic standard. JPEGs allow for a greater depth of color than GIF images. They can contain millions of colors with smaller file sizes than other formats. JPEGs can be compressed using various quality settings. The higher the compression, the smaller the file, but the lower the resulting quality.

Online Service
A company that allows computer users to connect to the Internet by dialing into its computers using a modem. Similar to ISPs, these services also offer features and online content available only to members.

Rich Text
Email formatting that allows the viewer to read underlined, bold, italics, colored text, and different sizes and type styles. Also known as HTML email.

Search Engine
A web-based program that allows users to search and retrieve specific information from the World Wide Web. The search engine may search the full text of web documents or a list of keywords, or use librarians who review web documents and index them manually for retrieval. Here is more information on search engines.

Upload
To send a copy of a file from a client to a server using a modem.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
A World Wide Web address. Every page on every web site on every web server has a unique URL. You can see the URL of a web page in the address or location field in your browser. This term has recently been superseded by URI, or Uniform Resource Identifier. Also known as an Internet address or web address.

Web Host
A company that allows individuals or other companies to use their server space to host web sites.

Webmaster
The person in charge of implementing and modifying a web site.

Web Page
A single document on the World Wide Web that is specified by a unique address or URL and that contains text, hyperlinks, and graphics.

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