Unit 6. Basic computer terminologies

Topic C: Basic computer terminologies and acronyms

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Basic Internet Terms and Acronyms

Internet – A globally connected massive computer network system.

World Wide Web (WWW or the web) – A system of Internet servers that is made from millions of interlinked websites and web pages.

Firewall – A network security device designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a network.

A router.

Router – A device that transfers data between computer networks to provide access to the Internet.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) – A company that provides Internet service to customers.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) – A set of rules (a protocol) for transferring and accessing data using the web.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – A web address of a specific web page or file on the Internet. An example is https://www.princegeorgecitizen.com.

IP (Internet Protocol) – A set of rules (a protocol) for sending data from one computer to another on the Internet. Each computer has a unique IP address that distinguishes it from all other computers on the Internet.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – A set of rules (a protocol) for transferring files between computers over the Internet.

Cookie – A small text file stored in a user’s computer by a website that the user has visited so that it can remember something about the user at a later time. For example, cookies are used for online shopping. Without cookies, login information would have to be entered before every product was added to the shopping cart.

Link (hyperlink) – A word, phrase, image, etc., within a file or web page that a user can click on to jump to another document, section of the same document, or web page.

Basic Computer Terms and Acronyms

PC (Personal Computer) – a small computer designed for use by a single user at a time.

Mac (Macintosh) – a type of personal computer made by Apple Inc. It runs a version of the macOS (Apple’s operating system, pronounced “mack-oh-ess”).

A Macintosh laptop computer.

OS (Operating System) – a powerful program that controls and coordinates a computer’s hardware devices and runs software and applications. Examples includes Windows, Android, OS X, and Linux.

Reboot – to shut down and restart a computer, allowing its operating system and programs to be reloaded.

CPU (Central Processing Unit) – the brain or engine of a computer, where most of the processing and operations take place.

A central processing unit (CPU).

RAM (Random-Access Memory) – a type of data storage (memory element) used in computers that temporarily stores programs and data. RAM is a kind of volatile memory, meaning its contents are lost when the computer is turned off.

A RAM stick.

ROM (read-only memory) – A type of data storage used in computers that permanently stores data and programs. ROM is a kind of non-volatile memory, meaning its contents are retained even when the computer is turned off.

A ROM storage device.

Bits and Bytes

Rows of binary.

Bit (Binary Digit) – the smallest, most basic unit of measurement for computer data storage, represented as either a 0 or a 1. One byte is equal to 8 bits.

Byte (Binary Term) – a unit of measurement for data storage. One byte is equal to 8 bits.

Data Storage Units and Their Properties
Data Storage Unit Symbol Power of 10 One Unit Equals
Byte B 101 8 bits
Kilobyte kB 103 1024 B
Megabyte MB 106 1024 kB
Gigabyte GB 109 1024 MB
Terabyte TB 1012 1024 GB
Petabyte PB 1015 1024 TB


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Key Concepts of Computer Studies Copyright © 2020 by Meizhong Wang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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