Jargon Buster

Term - click for Wikipedia lookupDescription
BOTNETA botnet is a network of compromised computers connected to the internet and controlled by criminal groups to perform illegal operations. Botnets are renowned for hosting (often illegal) pornography, performing Denial of Service attacks, transmitting mass spam e-mails and other disruptive and nefarious acts.
EXPANSION CARDSExpansion cards are components that are attached to the mainboard inside the computer. Sound, video and network cards are all examples of expansion cards. Related jargon: ISA, PCI, AGP, PCI-E.
JARGON BUSTERThe jargon buster explains technical terms which you might not be familiar with. It also allows you to refer to the term in Wikipedia.
MOTHERBOARDThe motherboard (sometimes mainboard) is a component inside the computer into which all other components are connected. Hard drives, expansion cards, memory and so on are all connected to the motherboard.
NETWORKA computer network comprises of two or more computers which are able to pass information and files between each other. There are a number of ways to connect computers together but usually it is achieved using wire cables or wirelessly using radio waves. Computers in a network are often able to share each others peripherals, such as printers, scanners or connection to the Internet.
OPERATING SYSTEMThe operating system (OS) is the software your computer uses to be able to run other programs. Windows is the most common Operating System, but there are others such as BSD, Mac OS X, Linux, BeOS; some of which are designed for particular environments such as web servers or file servers.
PERIPHERALSA computer peripheral is one of many types of electronic devices that can be attached to the computer. These include printers, scanners, hard drives, mice, keyboards etc.
PROCESSORThe processor, central processing unit or CPU is a core component of your computer. It works with the computer memory to undertake thousands of binary mathematical functions every second which is the basis of all computer functionality.
RAMRAM (Random Access Memory) is a core component of your computer. It is used to store data for a short length of time, which can be accessed by the computer very quickly. This is necessary for the operating system, also using the processor, to do the thousands of binary calculations that is the very basis of all computer functionality.
REFORMATTINGReformatting refers to erasing an entire hard drive, usually with a view to re-installing an operating system. Formatting must be done with care as it can be difficult to recover data from accidentally formatted drives without special tools and training.
ROUTERA router is a device which connects with a computer network and is responsible for handling the transferring of data between other members.
SHOWMYPCShowMyPC is an application that facilitates remote control of your computer. It allows a technician to troubleshoot computer problems more swiftly from a remote location. To start a ShowMyPC session use the link at the top right of this website.
SPYWARESpyware is software which is usually installed without the computer owner's consent which monitors the computer user's actions, often with a view to give the spyware creator marketing data.
VIRUSA computer virus is a piece of software, frequently installed and distributed without the computer owner's consent or knowledge. Computer viruses tend to adversely affect compromised computers.
VOIPVOIP is an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol. The technology is used to make 'telephone' calls over the internet. Skype is a well known VOIP service, but others offer similar services such as Tesco, Talk Talk, BT etc.
WIRELESS ACCESS POINTA wireless access point is a device which connects with a computer network and is responsible for handling the transferring of data between other wireless devices and computers.