Technology is full of jargon, and it changes continuously. If you are new to computer networking, it can be tricky to know where to start. So we’ve put together this handy guide to Tech Jargon.


What Is “Tech Jargon” And Why Do You Need It?

Jargon is the name for any particular words or phrases that professional use to define parts of the industry or profession.

Jargon has got a bit of a bad rap over the last few years. Some specialists use them to baffle that outside of the industry.

We are in constant contact with “tech people” every day. With the continued rise of Silicon Valley bosses appearing on TV, IT professional in every and the many, many tech hustlers we felt it’s time to dip into the tech jargon to enlighten us all!

However, at Comms Express, we are proud to have a supportive team who can guide even the most technophobic users. So we have set about creating this guide to all the tech jargon this industry might throw at you. If you take a look at our InfoZone, you’ll find a plethora of useful articles around different parts of the industry.

But here is a quick breakdown of terms.


Glossary of Terms


Anti-Virus: A software you install on your computer that detects viruses on your computer and removes them. Not all anti-virus software is created equal, so it’s best to research your options before you commit to one.

Access Control List (ACL): Applies rules to ports or IP addresses to work out if packets can flow through them. This is used as a security system to “white list” users and ignore unapproved devices.

Access Points: Enables multiple devices and wired networks to connect to an internet signal in areas that are far away from a router. Access points are used in businesses or very large homes. Find out more about Access Points

Air Cooling: A system that uses below cool or cold air to regulate the temperature of networking equipment, which can often overheat.

Apache: A free, cross-platform software which runs on servers. Apache helps manage and deliver requests made to servers.



Bandwidth: The amount of data which can be transmitted from one point to another over a period of time. Most internet connections or web servers tend to have a certain amount of bandwidth. The more devices connected to the internet that are demanding data the slower the internet will be.

Bandwidth hog: A term for a user or device that uses more bandwidth than all users and devices on the network.

Batamaxed: A term for when a much better product loses out to an inferior or poorly made product. This refers to the battle between Betamax and VHS.

Big Mother: Refers to the use of technology that parents use to monitor their children, such as trackers and internet monitors. The term is a pun on Big Brother from the book 1984.

Byte: One unit of data, which contains eight binary bits.

Bloatware: Software that takes up an unnecessary amount of memory or RAM, usually down to useless features. Many new computers are filled up with bloatware which often asks you to purchase a full version of the application.

Blue Screen of Death (BSoD): An error screen appearing on Window’s computers which often occurs after a crash.



Cat5 and Cat5e: a type of Ethernet cable that can transmit 10/100 Mbps Ethernet over distances of up to 100 meters. The “e” in Cat5e stands for enhanced, which means it adheres to stricter standards. Find out more about Cat5 and Cat5e.

Cat6: a type of Ethernet cable which can transmit 10 Gbps and frequencies of up to 250 MHz. This is a considerable improvement on Cat5 cables. Find out more about Cat6.

Cloud: A way of storing and accessing data over the internet instead of on a local network.



Daisy-chaining: Connecting several devices together in a line or a ring, similar to how daisies can be connected into a chain.

Data Breach: A breach of security in which personal data is stolen from a computer network.

Data Centre: A dedicated space used to house computer systems, servers and telecommunications systems. Find out more about Data Centers.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): Flooding a computer network with data with the intention of stopping it from working.

Digital native: Someone interacted with technology since they were a child.

Disaster Recovery: A way to recover and restore data after a network fails or security has been breached.

Domain Name Service (DNS): Translates IP addresses into easier-to-remember domain names.

Downtime: The time when a computer, website or network is entirely out of action.



Early adopter: A person who jumps onto a technological trend soon after release. For example, the customers who bought the first iPhone at release or the first users of a social media channel.

Edge computing: Allows data to be processed closer to where it is created instead of sending it across long routes to data centres or clouds.

Encryption: The process of changing information or data into code which prevents outside sources from accessing the data.

Ethernet cables: A cable which transmits data between network devices to create a Local Area Network (LAN). They are also used to connect devices to internet connections. Find out more about Ethernet cables



Firewalls: a security system which monitors and controls all network traffic. There are hardware and software firewalls.

File sharing: A way to easily allow multiple users to access files, usually through a server and computer network.



Gigabyte: equal to 1,000,000,000 bytes.



High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI): These cables are designed for transmitting large video files to and from devices. These are commonly used when connecting TVs and monitors to computers.

Hotspot: A location where users can gain internet signal, usually from a router. Many smartphones offer hotspots too.



Internet Protocol (IP) Camera: A digital camera which transmits and receives data over the internet. These range from small webcams to industrial-scale surveillance.

IP Address: A unique address that identifies a device or server on the internet.



Kilobyte: equal to 1,024 Bytes



Local Area Network (LAN): A computer network that is connected within a physical space. Find out more about LANs



Malware: Software which damages a computer or gains access to the network system.

Megabyte: equal to 1,048,576 bytes

Modem: A modem takes data from the ISP through the cable into your home (usually a phone line or fibre optic cable). The modem then converts it into a digital signal and sends it to the router.



Network: A group of computers connected to each other so they can share data, devices or other resources.

Network Attached Storage (NAS): A device which connects to a computer network that allows users to store data. This NAS can be accessed by those connected to it, almost like cloud storage.

Network security: A methodology which helps protect your network from viruses, hackers and other issues. This includes passwords, firewalls and more.



Patch Cable: A cable which is used to connect one device to another to create a network.

Patch Panel: A mounted hardware assembly that contains ports used to connect and manage incoming and outgoing LAN cables.

Phishing: Using a false website or email to persuade someone to hand over personal data, usually bank numbers.

Power over Ethernet (PoE): Technology that allows electrical power along an Ethernet cable. PoE can be used to power cameras, phones, computers and other devices.

PoE switch: a network switch with PoE technology built-in. Find out more about PoE Switches.

Power Distribution Unit (PDU): Device with multiple outputs designed to distribute electric power to computers and networking equipment in a data centre or server room. Find out more about PDUs.

Power Injector: Allows a network admin to add a power supply to an ethernet cable. Find out more about Power Injectors.

Private Automated Branch Exchange (PABX): Telephone network used by call centres and medium-to-large companies. Calls are digitally processed and routed through an automatic switchboard. Find out more about PABX.

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN): A global telephony system comprised of the public telephone networks. PSTN is a circuit-switched system. When it is used to make a call, a communication channel is established between two points. Copper wires carry analogue data (the voices) over the channel for real-time conversations. Find out more about PSTN


Random Access Memory (RAM): A type of computer memory which stores data and machine code that is being used at that moment.

RJ45 – Stands for “registered jack 45”. This is a type of connector used on ethernet cables.

Router – a device which sends data from the internet connection to a device. This can either be wired with Ethernet cables or over a wireless signal.


Server Rack Cabinets: A cabinet that holds the IT equipment needed to make a server. Usually, the cabinets ensure that air can flow around the server equipment and that temperature is kept low. Find out more about Server Cabinets.

Switch: Acts as a controller to enable devices to connect and “talk” to each other. Switches can be used to expand networks, connecting computers, security cameras, phones, printers and more. Find out more about network switches.

Smart Home: a home equipped with electronic devices that can be controlled from a smartphone, smart speaker or computer. Sometimes, these devices can be controlled from outside of the property. For Example, turning the heating up while on the journey home from a holiday, or asking Alexa to turn on the lights.



Total Cost Of Ownership (TCO): The complete cost of buying and maintaining your computer network. This includes the products, licences, staff and other costs relating directly to the network.

Trunking: An enclosed container which helps hide and secure cables. PVC Trunking is often used in offices to run cables at desk height.



Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS): A device that provides a temporary emergency power supply should the main power fail. This is useful to avoid devices shutting down in the event of a power cut. Find out more about UPSs.

Unmanaged Switches: Enable Ethernet devices such as computers and printers to communicate with each other. Unmanaged switches come with a fixed configuration, unlike smart or managed switches. Find out more about unmanaged switches.


Virus: a small piece of computer code that can spread through a computer system. Usually, this causes damage to the system, steals data or destroy valuable files.

Virtual Private Network (VPN): A network that connects remote users or regional office to a company’s network

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): A system which allows voice communications to be transferred over internet networks. Find out more about VoIP.

Volt-ampere (VA): A measurement of electrical power in a direct current circuit. Find out more about VA.


Wi-Fi: technology that allows devices to connect to the internet without the need for a wired connection.

Wireless Range Extender: Increases the range of a wi-fi signal to reach areas which the router doesn’t reach. Range extenders are typically used in small offices or homes.

Whole-home Wi-Fi: A system comprising of a main router and series of nodes which can be placed around a home giving a consistent, strong signal. Find out more about Whole Home Wi-Fi


So there we have it! If you want any extra terms added on here, let us know on Twitter.