Computer Terminology


  1. Terms Related To Computer


Applications, also called programs, use the platform to perform tasks.


A bit is the smallest unit of information that a computer handles. A single bit can hold only one of two values, 0 or 1.


A byte is a combination of eight bits arranged in sequence.


A digital video camera used to record video.

Compact disc (CD)

A storage device used to store data in a digital format.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The central processing unit (CPU) is the primary hardware device that interprets and runs the commands you give to the computer.


A command is an instruction, which you give to a computer that causes an action to be carried out. Commands are either typed by using a keyboard or are chosen from a menu.

Communication Channel

A communication channel is a path or a link that connects computers or peripheral devices, such as printers and disk drives, to transfer information.

CPU speed

The CPU speed is the rate at which the CPU can perform a task, such as moving data to and from RAM, or performing a numerical calculation.


Data is the plural for the Latin word datum, meaning an item of information.

Database Programs

Database programs are used to store and manage data in an organized way. You can also use these programs to sort or search for information stored in a database.


The desktop is an on-screen work area that uses a combination of menus and icons.

Desktop Computers

Desktop computers are made up of individual components such as a monitor, a keyboard, a system unit, and a printer.

Digital camera

A camera that stores images digitally on a memory device, such as a flash memory card or a mini hard disk.

Digital versatile disc (DVD)

A storage device used to store data in a digital format.


A folder is a container for programs and files in GUI interfaces.


One gigabyte (GB) is equal to 1,024 MB, which is approximately equal to one billion bytes.

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

A graphical user interface (GUI) displays images and pictures that allow a computer user to interact with a computer easily.

Graphics Programs

Graphics programs are used to create and edit drawings. You can also use these programs to enhance photographs.


Hardware refers to all the physical components of a computer.

Home office

An arrangement that allows people to work from home.


An icon is a small image displayed on the screen to represent an object.

Input Devices

An input device is used to provide information to a computer. A keyboard is an example of an input device.


A special type of network used to communicate and share information within an organization.


One kilobyte (KB) is equal to 1,024 bytes.

Laptop Computers

Laptop computers are lightweight and portable personal computers. Laptop computers are also called notebook computers.

Local Area Network (LAN)

A LAN connects devices within a limited area, such as a home or a small group of offices.


One megabyte (MB) is equal to 1,024 KB.


A menu is a list of options from which a user can select an option to perform a desired action, such as choosing a command or applying a particular format to part of a document. Many programs, especially those that offer a graphical interface, use menus as a means to provide the user with an easy-to-use alternative to memorizing program commands and their appropriate usage.

Mobile phone

A wireless device that has the capabilities of a traditional wired phone and allows you to make a call from almost any location.

MPEG Audio Layer 3 (MP3)

A format developed by Motion Picture Expert Group to allow compression of audio and video for digital distribution.


A network is a group of computers that are connected to share resources and exchange information.

Network Drives

A network drive is a disk drive that is shared with other computers on a network.


When a computer is connected to the Internet, it is said to be online.

Operating System

The operating system controls the computer‟s hardware and provides services and access to the hardware to programs. It also manages the computer‟s operations and tasks, such as logging on, logging off, and shutting down.


The hardware and the operating system together are referred to as a platform.

Personal digital assistant (PDA)

A handheld computer that is used as a personal organizer. A traditional PDA includes features such as an address book, task list, and a calculator.


Refers to small units that make up a picture. The higher the number of pixels, the better the quality of the picture.

Presentation Programs

Presentation programs are used to present information in the form of slides.

Processing Devices

Processing devices are used by computer users to process the input data and generate the desired output.


A program is a sequence of instructions that can be executed by a computer. A program is also known as software.

Publishing Programs

Publishing programs are used to combine text and graphics to create documents such as brochures, greeting cards, annual reports, books, or magazines.


Refers to the clarity and sharpness of a picture.


The server is the main computer on a network that provides services to other computers on the network. A server decides which computers are allowed to access the hardware and software on the network.

Setup Wizard

Setup wizards are provided by Windows Vista. They guide the user through each step of a particular task, such installing hardware or software.


Software is a sequence of instructions that a computer can execute. It is also referred to as programs.

Spreadsheet Programs

Spreadsheet programs are used to create budgets, manage accounts, perform mathematical calculations, and convert numerical data into charts and graphs.

Storage Devices

Storage devices are used to store data. A hard disk is an example of a storage device.

System Unit

A system unit refers to the box that holds the processor, motherboard, disk drives, power supply, and the expansion bus.

Tablet Computer

Tablet computers are computers that allow you to write directly on the screen by using a tablet pen.


The taskbar is a rectangular bar that is usually located at the bottom of the screen. You can use the taskbar to select a program running on your computer.


One terabyte is equal to 1,024 GB, approximately equal to trillion bytes.


Wallpaper is a pattern or picture on the screen background that you can choose.

Wide Area Network (WAN)

A WAN is a network that connects devices in geographically separated areas.


In Windows Vista, a window is a rectangular area on the monitor that displays a program. Each program has its own window.

Word-processing Programs

Word-processing  programs  are   used   to   create   and   modify   text-based documents.


A workstation refers to a computer connected to a network. You use a workstation to access the hardware and software on a network.

2.  Terms Related to Internet

Access point

An access point is a wireless connection device. It is used to connect a wireless computing device to a wired network.


Add-ons are programs that help you view files, such as animation, audio, or video, which are included in Web pages.

Back Up

To make a duplicate copy of a program, a disk, or data. The duplicate copy is called a backup.

Cache Memory

Temporary memory on your computer that is sometimes used to store local copies of files opened when you browse the Internet.

Chat Program

Chat programs allow you to send and receive messages instantly. You can use a chat program to communicate with several people at the same time.

Computer Privacy

Keeping a user‟s data, including personal files and e-mail messages, such that the data is not accessible by anyone without appropriate permission.

Computer Security

The protection of a computer system and its data from accidental or intentional loss and tampering.


A small file on a computer that is created when a user visits a Web site. A Web site uses cookies to identify users who visit the site, and also track the preferences of the users.


A method of protecting the rights of an originator of a creative work, such as text, piece of music, painting, or computer program, through law.


E-commerce refers to the business transactions made over the Internet, such as buying and selling items online.

Electronic mail (e-mail)

The exchange of text messages and computer files over the Internet.An electronic mail (e-mail) is the electronic form of the traditional postal mail. E- mail allows you to exchange messages and files over a network.


A filter that blocks unreliable information from the Internet before it reaches your computer or a private network. It provides additional protection against threats such as hackers and viruses. A firewall also helps to ensure computer privacy by restricting external access by any unauthorized user.


A person who uses computer expertise to gain unauthorized access to a computer, and then misuses or tampers the programs and data stored on the computer.


An element in an electronic document that links to another place in the same document or to a different document. Generally, you clickon the hyperlink to follow the link. Hyperlinks are the most necessary element in allhypertextsystems, including theWorld Wide Web.


The Internet is a worldwide collection of public networks that are linked to each other for information exchange.

Intellectual Property

Any information available on the Internet is an intellectual property, which is legally owned by the person who created it. The owner of an intellectual property has the exclusive rights to control the use of this information.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

An ISP is a company that provides Internet connectivity to individuals, businesses, and organizations.

IP address

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numeric address that specifies the exact location of a computer on the Web.


An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a company that provides Internet connectivity to individuals, businesses, and organizations.


A modem is a connection device that allows you to connect your computer to the Internet. It converts digital information into analog information and transmits it over a phone line.


A network is a group of computers that are connected to share resources and exchange information.


When a computer is connected to the Internet, it is said to be online.

Online communities

Online communities are formed by groups of computer users who have common interests and purpose to communicate with each other over the Internet.

Online Predator

An individual who develops contact with Internet users, through chat rooms, online forums, or e-mail, to exploit them financially or involve them in dangerous relationships.


A unique string of characters that a user types in as an identification code. It is a security measure used to restrict access to computer systems and sensitive files.


The act of extracting personal information, such as passwords and credit card details, from computer users and then use the information for malicious purposes.


The act of copying someone‟s work and using it as if it is your own work, without mentioning the source.


A portal is a Web site that offers information related to a specific topic in the form of a directory. A portal acts as a starting point to a number of resources on the Web.


A protocol is a standard method of transferring data between different computers.

Search engine

A search engine is a program that allows you to search and retrieve information over the Internet.

Software Piracy

Unauthorized copying of copyrighted software without obtaining the license or permission of its copyright owner is software piracy.


An irrelevant and unsolicited e-mail message sent by an unknown sender. A spam is sent to distribute a message to many recipients at one time.


A computer program that is installed on your computer without your knowledge. Spyware can secretly send out information about your Web browsing habits or other personal details to another computer through the network.


The name by which a user is identified to a computer system or network. To access a computer protected by username and password, a user needs to enter the correct combination of username and password.

Universal serial bus (USB) cable

A cable that helps you connect digital devices to a computer without turning off the computer.


A computer program that is designed to cause malfunctioning of a computer or damage the data stored on the computer.


A computer program that propagates itself across computers, usually by creating copies of itself in each computer’s memory. A worm might duplicate itself in one computer so often that it causes the computer to crash.

The Web

The Web, also known as the World Wide Web (WWW), is a collection of information that is accessible on the Internet. This information is arranged logically and stored on computers known as Web servers.

Web address

A Web address specifies the protocol to be used for transferring data between different computers and the exact location of the Web site. A Web address is also known as the Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

Web browser

A Web browser is a program that enables you to view and interact with various resources on the Web.

Web page

A Web page is a formatted text document on the Web.

Web site

A Web site is a collection of one or more Web pages that are linked together and made available through a Web server.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *