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There is a lot of jargon used in the IT industry and you may not be familiar with all of the terms used.

Below is a glossary of common terms. Please check back regularly as extra terms will be frequently added and Dell and Doris will help to keep you updated.

If there are any Acronyms or terms that you would like to be added to this list, please send an e-mail to

Apache A common WEB server used on the Internet to serve WEB pages. It is an open-source platform that is maintained by an on-line community of developers. It is one of the parts that makes up a WAMP or LAMP server.
ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange
This is a mechanism for encoding simple characters into numerical values so they can be stored by computer systems. Originally ASCI was a 7 bit system (values up to 127 in decimal) for storing information but was later extended into an 8 bit system called ANSI, sometimes referred to as extended ASCII (values up to 255 in decimal). Click here for a full ASCII table.
ASP Active Server Page
This is a server scripting language used by Microsoft WEB servers. PHP is now becoming much more common.
Bit Binary Digit
Computers store information as binary numbers (just using the digits 1 and 0).
You can think of a BIT as a light bulb that can be either on or off.
e.g. Click this light bulb to change between on and off.
Lightbulb on The light bulb is now on. Represented as a 1 in binary.
Browser This is the computer program for viewing websites. Examples are Chrome (by Google) , Firefox (by Mozilla), Internet Explorer and Edge (by Microsoft) and Safari (by Apple).
Byte  8 bits make a byte. All information on computers is stored as byes. ASCII was an early system used to convert letters and other characters into bytes, but now UTF-8(Unicode) is more commonly used as this allows two bytes per character allowing a much larger number of symbols to be accommodated such as those in foreign languages.
1024 bytes = 1 Kilobyte (kb)                 = 2 ^ 10 bytes
1024 kilobytes = 1 Megabyte (Mb)     = 2 ^ 20 bytes
1024 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte (Gb)    = 2 ^ 30 bytes
1024 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte (TB)       = 2 ^ 40 bytes
1024 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte (Pb)       = 2 ^ 50 bytes
1024 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte (Eb)         = 2 ^ 60 bytes
Cache  A Cache is an intermediate storage device that can temporarily store information, improving overall performance. You will find a Cache used with hard disk and processors.
CPU Central Processing Unit
See processor
HTML Hyper Text Mark-up Language
This is the mechanism used for encoding websites. The current version of HTML is version 5 which is supported by all modern web browsers.
HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol
This is the mechanism by which information is exchanged between a web server and a web browser.
HTTPS Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
This is an extension to HTTP where the information sent between the server and the browser is encrypted using either TLS for modern browsers or SSL on older browsers.
IIS Internet Information Server
This is Microsoft's WEB server product and requires a Windows server licence to use.
Apache is more commonly used as this uses a permissive free software licence.
LAMP Linux Apache MySQL PHP
A LAMP server is a web server running Apache, MySQL and PHP on a Linux operating system. These are very popular on the Internet because all of the components are open-source and can be used without licencing costs.
MIME Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extensions
This is a standard for sending binary attachments (e.g. audio files, photos, videos or Office attachments such as Word and Excel files) via e-mail. This happens totally transparently with modern e-mail clients.
MySQL This is an open-source database used on LAMP and WAMP servers.
PHP Pre-Hypertext Processor
This is a server-side scripting language that is used for dynamic web sites.
It is part of the LAMP / WAMP stack.
Processor The Processor is the "brains" of a computer. Modern processor are measured in Gigahertz (billions of cycles per second). Older processors are measured in Megahertz (millions of cycles per second). Generally, the larger the number the faster the processor operates. However, the actual truth is a little more complicated. The speed will depend on factors such as the size of the cache, the number of cores (and the size of the data bus if comparing processors from different generations).
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
This is the mechanism used to send e-mails over the Internet. SMTP send e-mails as plain text (using TCP port 25) therefore it should not be used for sending sensitive information. SMTP can only send basic ASCII data but  MIME is used for attaching binary files such as photos or Word documents.
SQL Structured Query Language
This is a language for performing queries on a database to extract matching records, quickly and efficiently. The query is executed on a server and only the required data is sent to the client.
An example of an SQL query is:
select * from Customers where county = 'Worcestershire'
SSD Solid State Drive
An SSD is a type of storage device which has no moving parts - it uses non-volatile memory similar to that found in USB memory sticks to store information. They cost  little more than traditional hard disk but have many advantages, such as much better performance, less noise, less power requirements etc.
SSL Secure Sockets Layer
This is a mechanism for encrypting data between a WEB server and a WEB browser when a HTTPS connection is established. N.B. Modern web browsers will use TLS rather than SSL as this is more secure.
TLS Transport Layer Security
This is the encryption algorithm used on modern WEB browsers to encrypt data when using a HTTPS connection. It evolved from the SSL standard.
WAMP Windows Apache MySQL PHP
A WAMP server is very similar to a LAMP server except it runs on a Windows based operating system rather than Linux.