32bit/64bit A measure of how much data a computer can process at once. Older computers are 32bit, modern ones are 64bit.
3G/4G A set of technologies that delivers faster mobile broadband.
4K Video with a resolution of at least 3840x2160 pixels.
802.11ac A standard for wireless networks that allows for much higher transfer speeds than 802.11n.
Add-on See Extension.
AMOLED Active-matrix Organic Light-emitting Diode. An alternative technology to LCD for creating flat-panel displays.
APNG Animated Portable Network Graphics. A file type that allows animated PNG files to act as GIFS.
Bandwidth A measure of how much data can be transferred through a connection at one time.
Benchmarking Comparing software and products with an accepted standard.
BIOS Basic Input-output System. Software built into every PC that connects the vital components.
Botnet A group of infected computers connected via the internet, and used to infect other PCS and send junk email.
Clean install An operating system installation that overwrites all other content on the hard drive.
Clock speed The speed at which a PC processor can perform operations. Measured in GHZ.
Clone To make an exact copy of a drive on another drive.
Core Units on a processor that carry out program instructions.
Crowdfunding When a company gets the financing to launch a new product from prospective customers online.
DDR4 The newest, fastest type of computer memory.
Displayport A new socket for connecting monitors.
Driver A file that tells Windows how to work with an external device.
Dual band A router that can work on the 2.4 and 5GHZ frequency.
Dual-boot system A PC with two operating systems.
EML Emails saved as a file.
EXE A program file designed to run in Windows. Has the file extension .exe.
Expansion slot A slot on a PC’S motherboard designed to allow the addition of expansion cards.
Extension A program that adds extra features to your browser.
Feedback The tactile response that the keys on a keyboard give when they’ve been pressed.
Firmware Software stored on hardware to control its operation.
GHZ Gigahertz. A measure of how many instructions a chip can process per second.
GPU Graphics Processor Unit. A chip designed to create 3D graphics.
Graphics card A component in a computer that produces the image shown on the monitor.
Hardware acceleration Using a graphics card to radically improve video and games performance.
HDCP Copy-protection technology for high-definition content built into Blu-ray players.
HDMI High-definition media interface. A connection that transmits high-definition video and audio.
HTTPS Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. The secure version of HTTP, the technology that sends data between your browser and the web.
IMEI Integrated Mobile Equipment Identity. A unique number used to identify each mobile phone.
IP address Internet Protocol address. A unique set of numbers used to identify computers and websites on the internet.
ISO file Image file that contains all the data from a CD or DVD.
Launcher An app that changes how the Android home screen looks and works.
LED Light-emitting Diode. An electronic device that emits light.
M.2 A standard for internal PC expansion cards and connectors.
Mesh router Wireless network system that uses multiple routers to stretch Wi-fi further.
Metadata A set of data that gives information about a file.
Microsd card A small type of memory card.
Microsim A smaller version of SIM cards used in smartphones.
MS-DOS Microsoft Disk Operating System. The standard PC operating system before Windows.
NVME Non-volatile Memory Express. An interface that lets solid-state drives work faster.
Open source Software that can be modified by anyone, not just the company that created it.
Overclock Make a processor work faster to boost performance.
Partition A large hard drive can be split into two or more partitions.
Pci-express Peripheral Component Interconnect Express. A faster version of PCI.
Phishing A form of internet fraud that tries to trick you into revealing personal details.
Product key A unique number that must be typed in by the user before a program will launch for the first time.
PUP Potentially unwanted program. Examples include unnecessary plug-ins, toolbars and browser hijackers.
Quad core A PC that has four processors on a single chip.
RAM Random-access memory. The computer’s working area.
RAW A format for digital photos that stores the image exactly as the camera captured it.
Read speed How long it takes a hard drive to ‘read’ data and respond to it.
RGB image A colour picture created on a monitor, by combining a value for red, green and blue channels.
SATA Serial ATA. An interface for connecting hard drives and optical discs to a computer.
Search operator Characters you can add to a search query to narrow the results.
SRGB A standard RGB colour space for use on monitors, printers and the internet.
SSD Solid-state drive. Storage that uses no moving parts.
Steamvr Operating system that runs on some virtual-reality gaming headsets.
Temporary file A file created by a browser to store website data.
Thunderbolt A very fast port for connecting external storage to a PC.
Timestamp The time which an event is recorded by a computer.
Travel The distance the keys of a keyboard have to be pressed before the keystroke is recognised.
Two-factor authentication A system that uses two means to identify a user.
UEFI Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. Modern version of BIOS.
USB 2.0/3.0/3.1 Faster successors to USB.
USB Type-c A new connector that‘s reversible, meaning you can plug it in upside down.
Virtual desktop System of multiple desktops you can switch between from your main desktop.
Write speed How long it takes a hard drive to save data.
ZIP file A file that contains compressed documents or files.