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Computer talk is confusing and if you do not know what certain terms are, you can become lost in the conversation easily. Here are several computer and internet terms that will get you from confused to understanding.

DNS
Domain Name System. This translates the domain names (google.com, amazon.com, etc.) into internet protocol (IP) numbers.
DSL
Digital Subscriber Line. This is a method for moving data over your telephone line. This is what your internet service provider (ISP) uses for high-speed internet. Your Westell or other modem is what your phone line is connected to, and this is what gives you your high-speed internet.
FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions. These are generally the questions that get asked most about a product, website or service. It is often referred to when you are searching for something that is not in the FAQ.
Firewall or Fire Wall
This is something that protects your computer from unwanted access (hackers) and can also prevent certain programs on your computer from accessing the internet.
FTP
File Transfer Protocol. It is a common way of moving funds from one website to another.
Gateway
A means for providing access to the internet. A great example of a gateway is AOL.
HTML
Hyper Text Markup Language. Coding used to create websites.
IMAP
Internet Message Access Protocol. This is gradually replacing POP messaging for use by email clients.
IP Number
Internet Protocol Number – Occasionally called a dotted squad. You see this in several places. A great example of this is 135.113.245.3.
ISP
Internet Service Provider. This is who you are getting your internet from.
Java
This is a network programming language. It was invented by Sun Microsystems.
LAN
Local Area Network. This is a computer network that is limited to an immediate area. Most companies use a LAN network so that all employees have access to all the information instead of several copies of important documents floating around.
MIME
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. A standard for when one computer program needs to "talk" to another computer program about the kind of file being sent.
MOO
Mud, Object Oriented. One of several kinds of multi user, role playing environments.
Netiquette
Etiquette used on the internet. Being polite and considerate while emailing, messaging, posting, or other forms of communication on the internet.
NIC
Network Information Center. Any office that handles information for or in a network.
PDF
Portable Document Format. Adobe Acrobat has perfected these documents. They cannot be edited unless the user has a specific software program. This is a document that should look the same on every computer it is viewed on.
Proxy Server
This sits between the client and the actual server. The client makes all its requests to the proxy server. The proxy server than makes the requests to the real server, and relays the information back. A go-between or middle man.
Search Engine
A website used to search the internet for information or websites. Google is one of the most popular search engines.

And these are only a few of the terms that are now easy to understand. If necessary, ask for clarification when in conversation with someone who knows their computer systems.

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