Jargon Buster
ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. A technology that converts a standard phone line into a broadband internet connection.
ADSL Faceplate  This is a box front that goes on the BT pstn/landline socket that the adsl will be plugged into. There is a very long technical explanation of what it actually does, but the basic facts are that it will improve the quality of the adsl service and eliminates the need to have individual filters in every socket.
Adware Software that automatically plays, displays or downloads advertisements to a computer.
Archiving A type of long-term storage – whereby a user moves their data from a “live storage” or Backup.environment.
Backup A process whereby a user or business backs up their data estate to an alternative location. Historically, this was done to tape but now often done online using a cloud-based service. Backups can be “managed”, e.g. provided by a provider as a managed services or “unmanaged”, e.g. the customer uses a self-service approach.
Browser This is the programme on your computer that you use to visit websites. Popular browsers include Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari.
Cloud Computing A generic term for software services and applications that are provided to the user via the internet, rather than being installed on a computer hard disk.
Colocation (Colo) Colocation is where an organisation houses its servers in a server room in a third party data centre and uses a service provider for the provision of network connections, such as Internet leased lines to several servers which are housed together in a server room.
Data Centre A purpose-built facility for housing ICT resources, e.g. computing servers and telecommunications equipment.
Disaster Recovery This varies from what your provider to provider, but will basically be a plan put in place to enable them to get your business back up and working as quickly as possible in the event of a IT disaster.
DNS Since the Internet has so many websites and IP addresses, your browser does not automatically know where every single one is located. It has to look each one up. That’s where the DNS (Domain Name System) comes in. The DNS is essentially the “phonebook” for the web. Rather than translating “Joe Bloggs” into a phone number, the DNS instead translates a URL (www.google.co.uk) into an IP address, taking you to the site you’re looking for.
Ethernet  This is a network cable that is used to connect your PC to a network or the internet via a router, also known as cat5.
Filter  This is a device that you plug into your pstn/landline connection if using adsl/broadband to allow voice and data to use the same line without each interfering with each other.
Firewall Hardware or software that blocks unwanted communication from and to the internet/network.
Hosted Services Hosted services are outsourced information technology (IT) systems and functions. A hosted service provider owns and oversees infrastructure, software and administrative tasks and makes the system available to clients, usually over the Internet. 
IP address An IP address is a series of numbers that specifies where a particular computer or mobile device is on the Internet or network. It’s a bit like your mum’s phone number; just as the phone number tells an operator which house to route a call to so it reaches your mum, an IP address tells your computer how to get in touch with another computer on the Internet or network.
LAN  Local Area Network. A group of computers and associated devices that share a common communications line or wireless link. At a minimum, a LAN can be just a router and a single PC though the technology will support hundreds of devices.
Leased Line A leased line is a circuit connecting two or more locations. It is sometimes known as a "Private Circuit" or "Data Line" in the UK. Unlike traditional lines it does not have a telephone number, each side of the line being permanently connected to the other. Leased lines can be used for telephone, data or Internet services.
Malware Malware is software designed to take control and damage your computer or mobile device. This can include: Adware Software that automatically plays, displays or downloads advertisements to a computer; Spyware Software that collects small pieces of information about users without their knowledge; Trojan horse A destructive software that pretends to be a useful application. The software initially appears to do something useful, but instead steals information or harms your computer or mobile device; Virus A harmful piece of computer software that can infect your computer and files on your computer; Worm A harmful piece of software that can automatically spread itself to other computers.
Managed Cloud Hosting A form of managed hosting whereby the technology platform is based on cloud virtual machines and usually accessed via the internet or a fixed line.
Phishing Phishing is a type of online fraud where someone tries to trick the victim into sharing sensitive information like passwords or credit card information. Phishing is typically done through email, ads or other communication like instant messaging. For example, someone may try to send a victim an email that appears to be from the victim’s bank, asking for personal information. 
Private Cloud A form of cloud whereby the hardware, virtual machines and storage is deployed on dedicated hardware for one company only.
PSTN / Landline Is the network of the world’s telephone lines all connected together, ensuring any telephone in the world can communicate to another.
Public Cloud A form of cloud deployed on multi-tenant platforms, invariably very large, often spanning multiple locations and countries. These are called “public” clouds because they are accessed over the Public Internet and configured/managed through web portals. Their size means they are highly elastic and scalable, far more so than private cloud deployments. They are usually paid for in a PAYG model with highly granular usage-based tariffs across a varying variety of items. For more information, please visit the Public Cloud page.
Redundancy In technology use, a term meaning that, for any piece of the technical jigsaw, there is a redundant component ready to be used in the event of failure.  
Remote support Enables an IT technician or any kind of support representative to connect to a remote computer from their consoles via the Internet and work directly in the remote technological system.
Router cable  Sometimes called ADSL cable. The cable which is used to connect the router to the telephone socket.
Service Level Agreement SLA An SLA in a technology context defines a number of service elements in the supplier’s contract. These could include delivery time, uptime, performance levels, support levels and areas of responsibility for both supplier and customer.
Spam The abuse of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately.
Spam Filtering Blocking unwanted and potential destructive emails from reaching you.
Spyware Software installed (usually malicious) to monitor and report back on a computer's use. Spyware can also be used to record keyboard strokes and change settings.
Sync  A term used to describe the speed and connection status of a adsl/broadband.
Task manager or activity monitor  A programme on your computer that provides information about software currently running on your computer.
Test and Dev Industry short-hand for the development servers used for initial application or web service building and testing.
Trojan horse A destructive software that pretends to be a useful application. The software initially appears to do something useful, but instead steals information or harms your computer or mobile device.
URL  A URL is the web address you type into a browser to reach a website. Every website has a URL. For example, the URL www.google.co.uk will take you to Google’’s website.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure A set-up whereby user configurations and desktop software sit in a central environment and are delivered to the client PCs (and other devices like tablets) that the users log on to.
Virtual Machines In a computing context, a virtual machine replicates the tasks performed by a physical machine. Conceptually, several virtual machines can reside on a single physical server, thus saving significantly on hardware costs.
Virus A malicious computer program designed to cause at best annoyance and at worst damage to computer data. Viruses commonly spread from computer to computer by email.
VoIP (Voice over InternetProtocol). The routing of voice conversations over the internet, which is cheaper than the telephone network.
VPN Stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’ – A way of creating a private communications network over a public network (mostly the internet) using secure protocols (passwords, authentication methods etc).
Web Hosting This is whereby a company hosts their website in a third party provided hosting environment. This could be cloud, dedicated server or colocation based.
Worm A harmful piece of software that can automatically spread itself to other computers.
FTTC – Fibre to the Curb  This is rapidly replacing ADSL in the home as it offers faster speeds
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