Computing terms explained in plain English
Filter definitions alphabetically
Search for a specific term
A small image used by Windows to identify a file or program.
A method used for storing information about an MP3 music file, such as the album, artist and track number, inside the file itself.
Integrated Drive Electronics. An interface used to connect some hard disks and optical disc drives. Often called ATA.
A file that contains a complete copy of everything from a CD, DVD or hard disk.
A tool used to create or manipulate digital images.
Internet Message Access Protocol. A method for email that allows the user to manage messages stored on a remote server.
International Mobile Equipment Identity. A unique number used to identify each mobile phone handset.
An interface that allows computer devices to communicate using pulses of infra-red light.
A plastic container of ink that can be inserted into an inkjet printer. Some incorporate a print head, while others are simply a box of ink.
A type of printer that creates documents by squirting tiny dots of ink onto the page.
A system that allows users to communicate over the internet using text-based messages.
Where a computer uses a graphics chip built into the motherboard rather than a separate graphics card. This is very common in laptops.
A device that has a chip for processing graphics data built on to its motherboard, rather than having a separate graphics card.
A global network that links millions of computers.
A web browser, made by Microsoft and included with Windows.
Making or receiving phone calls using the internet rather than a traditional telephone exchange system.
When a scanner increases the size of an image by attempting to guess what lies between existing pixels.
A website that can be accessed only inside a company or organisation.
Keeping a record of attempts to access a computer or network.
The operating system used by Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices.
Internet Protocol Address. A number used to identify a computer on a network. Rather like a phone number, an IP address can then be used to send information to the right place.
A screen technology. Monitors that use it have wider viewing angles and better, more accurate-looking colours compared with monitors that do not use this technology.
Internet Protocol Television. Sending television programmes over a computer network rather than cable, satellite or terrestrial transmission.
A new version of the Internet Protocol that assigns a unique number to devices attached to the interwebs. The prime aim of version six is to increase the number of available addresses to provide for the rising number of web-connected devices.
Internet Relay Chat. A system for running and connecting to online chat rooms.
Interrupt Request Setting. This is a technical setting for many PC parts that should not be changed.
A type of image file that contains all the data from a CD or DVD disc.
The light sensitivity of a camera. Higher ISO numbers allow you to shoot without flash in darker situations.
International Organization for Standardization, also commonly used to describe the international standard determining ink cartridge yield for colour inkjet printers.
Internet Service Provider. A company that provides users with an internet connection, for a fee.
Updating your subscription status