Compare Broadband Deals from Leading Providers in UK About us  |  Privacy policy |  Cookie policy |  AAA Register Login

NEED IMPARTIAL ADVICE? CALL US FREE ON  “0800 090 1346”

Broadband Glossary

  • Become an expert in broadband
  • All broadband terms explained
  • Simple to understand terms
  • All terms updated regularly
Explore Topics:

A Top

ADSL: ADSL stands for an Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. It provides a fast internet connection, but upload and download speeds are different.

ADSLmax: ADSLmax is a type of broadband service. It is high speed and generally you can enjoy a high speed at a maximum of 8MB.

ADSL2+: ADSL2+ is a faster broadband service than ADSL1. It is designed to be provided through your existing phone line.

Attachment: This is a file that can be attached to an email. It could be a zipped folder, a single file or a photo.

Avatar: An avatar is a graphic online version of a specific person. It could be a cartoon, a 3D character or even a symbol.

AVI: AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave. It refers to a format for multimedia items, which can be played on various devices.

Asynchronous: This is the process of starting a second or subsequent task before the first or previous one is finished.

Attenuation: This refers to the weakening strength of a signal the further away you get from its original source.

Anti-virus software: This is software that is installed on a computer to prevent and block malicious viruses from gaining access to it.

Adware: This is software that comes pre-loaded with adverts. It is not generally harmful but many people dislike the advertising.

B Top

Backbone: This is a framework that can be used to provide structure to a wide range of JavaScript applications.

Bandwidth: Bandwidth refers to data transfer, more typically the amount of data that is able to be carried from one point to another in one period of time.

BIT: A BIT refers to the very smallest unit of information that a computer can handle, and eight bits in total make up a byte.

Bitmap: Bitmap is the term used when talking about a pixelated image. It works by dividing up an image into a grid.

Blog: A blog is a regularly updated web-based diary or journal where you can post your own content and link to other websites.

Bookmark: The Bookmark option appears on most web browsers. It allows you to organize and store your favourite or most viewed web pages.

Bot: A Bot is a computer term for software applications that run automated tasks over the internet at a very high rate.

BPS: BPS stands for Bits Per Second. This term is used as the standard measurement when referring to data transmission speeds.

Broadband: A name to describe a type of data transmission, referring to a single wire than can carry several channels.

Browser: The term browser is used to describe the software applications that allow people to display and retrieve content from the web.

Burn: The computer term burn is used to describe the process of writing, or burning, data to a CD-ROM.

Byte: A byte is made up of eight bits, and is an abbreviation of ?inary term It describes a unit of storage.

Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the term used to describe the range within a band of frequencies, and is usually expressed using the term BPS.

Broadband Checker: A broadband checker verifies your individual telephone number or landline, or even postcode, which is performed against a catalogue of broadband deals available in the UK.

Broadband Provider: An internet service company which provides access to the internet. Known as an ISP, it can be done via copper wires, wireless networks or a fibre-optic connection.

Bundle: This is a deal which incorporates at least two of the following services into one package being offered, featuring television, broadband and telephone. Base station: This is a short distance transceiver that has the ability to connect a telephone, computer, or another wireless device directly to a central hub.

Bluetooth: This wireless technology allows for the transfer of data across short distances. It includes a host of devices including mobile phones, PDAs and wireless headsets.

Business broadband provider: A company which offers fast internet network access to those who own a business and require internet at home and on the move.

C Top

Chat: This is described as the art of talking on several networks, which includes Hotmail, and also across several online chat rooms.

Client:  Normally a personal computer or an application that requests and makes use of services including transferring files and storage that is offered by another server.

Cookie: This is usually a small or short text file which contains user information which a website takes note of and saves in a computer.

Cable Broadband: Deriving from the term cable Internet access, this is a particular form of web access which uses the same network from a current telephone line.

Contention Ratio: The proportion of the possible maximum requests made to the actual bandwidth. This means the larger the contention ratio, the bigger the number of people using the bandwidth at the same time.

Convergence: This is the coming together and unifying of individual and separate aspects, including technology. E.g. the convergence of two or more technologies in a stand-alone device.

Cable broadband: A telecommunications term which refers to a method of access broadband internet by using the same system as cable television.

Cap: A restriction on the amount of data that can be downloaded from the internet within a specified time period.

D Top

Database: A location in which information is collected and stored, usually in its digital form, so it can be studied and learnt from.

Dial up: A now largely obsolete method of accessing the internet through telephone lines and with the help of a modem.

Domain: A part of every internet URL and email address. When an address or URL shares the same part, they are said to be in the same domain.

Download: To receive data such as a document, programme, music or video file to your computer from a location online.

Downstream: Data sent to a user from an internet service provider and a key element of the downloading process.

DSL: A group of technologies that enable a computer to be connected without interruption to the internet over phone lines.

Dead Zone: An area in which mobile phones cannot transmit to their nearest cell sites or repeaters, meaning that the phone cannot make or receive calls or texts.

Digital divide: A term referring to the inequalities between various groups in terms of their level of access to information technologies.

Download allowance: The amount of data that can be downloaded from the internet within a certain time period, such as a month.

Dongle: A piece of hardware like a USB stick which allows computers to access localised WiFi when it is inserted.

E Top


Ecommerce: Ecommerce is the term used for any business transaction, relating to a product or service, which is conducted via the internet.

Email: Email is an abbreviation of the term electronic mail, and is a common form of communication today.

Encryption: Encryption is the term used for the process of encoding data in order to prevent any unauthorised access.

Ethernet: Ethernet is the most common type of connection used for a Local Area Network, and enables your computer to connect to the internet.

Ethernet Cable: An Ethernet Cable is used to connect your computer to an Ethernet port on your modem. It can be used on multiple devices too.

F Top

Filters: Filters are programs through which certain types of data are input, transformed and then output.

Firewall: A firewall can be used in hardware and software, and prevents unauthorized access both to or from a private network.

Freeware: Freeware is the term used to describe copyrighted software that is given away for free. People can use this software but cannot sell it.

Fair Use Policy: Fair Use Policy allows the reproduction of copyrighted material for certain purposes, without needing permission or to make a payment.

Fibre Optic: This type of communication provides information which can be transmitted from one location to another thanks to light pulses that are emitted.

File Sharing: The ability to share and distribute a number of documents including audio clips, video content as well as digital information, such as programmes on a computer.

FTTC (Fibre to the cabinet): Copper wires are fitted in a street cabinet which lies close to the home. FTTC has its cabinet much closer to the household with access to installing wired Ethernet facilities.

FTTP (Fibre to the premises): This features an installation of wires where there are several properties where the dwellings include homes as well as business premises.

FUP (Fair usage policy): This is when customers are abusing their usage or something strange occurs in their broadband habits. An FUP ensures you are not exceeding your subscription levels of downloading.

Fair Usage Policy: A warning usually given to consumers by broadband providers if a customer is regularly downloading more than the normal amount, or is mishandling the terms of use.

G Top

Gateway: A network that provides entry to another connection. For example, in businesses the computer acts as a gateway which directs traffic to an exterior network i.e. the internet.

Gigabyte: A gigabyte is 1 trillion bytes. It comes after terabyte in terms of information. Hard drives are usually measured in this way.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format): It represents a graphics file format which is used by the internet. GIF can support up to 256 colours and different resolutions which feature data compression.

Gig (Gigabyte): An abbreviation for the word gigabyte, which is a unit of measurement with regard to computer data, more than a megabyte but less than a terabyte.

H Top

Hacker: A person with specialised knowledge of computer systems who bypasses security measures to access a user or organisation? confidential data for their own use.

Hard Drive: A device (either inside or outside a computer system) which stores data indefinitely so that it can be retrieved whenever it is needed.

History (internet browsing history): A record of all the web pages you have visited while using the internet so you can find them again if you wish.

Home : The main page of a website, usually the first that a user accesses when they log on, and the page that the site? other pages can be accessed through.

Hub: A hardware device that links a network of computers together so that they can share and send information to each other.

Hyperlink: A word or phrase on a web page that can be clicked on to take you to a different page.

Hotspot: A (usually public) location which has an access point to provide broadband services to visitors using smartphones, laptops and tablets.

HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access): A family of 3G digital data services that provides high-speed access to GSM carriers on smartphones and laptops around the world.

HTML (Hiper text markup language): The language used to create and define the structure of documents and web pages on the internet.

I Top

Internet Explorer: This is a browser which allows you to surf the internet to visit various websites. It can be downloaded onto any computer.

Internet Service: This is a service that grants access to the internet. It may be provided by a number of companies or providers.

ISP (internet service provider): An ISP is an internet service provider, a company that makes it possible to access the internet through their network.

Intranet: This is a form of computer network that is only used within a limited area, such as within a company or organisation.

IP address (internet protocol address): An IP address consists of several numbers. It is a ?abeland each computer or device has its own IP address to identify it.

Internet accelerator: This is a piece of software that enables you to speed up your internet connection to gain easier access to the internet.

IM (instant messaging): Instant messaging allows people to communicate with one another via text boxes on their computers. The messages are sent instantly.

IPTV (internet protocol television): This allows you to watch television programmes over the internet. It uses existing protocol to deliver the programming.



J Top

JPEG (joint photographic experts group): JPEG is a common format for compressing a digital photo, i.e. making it smaller and easier to save and send to others.

K Top

Kilobyte: A kilobyte is a portion of data. It is the term given to 1024 bytes of data in computer speak.

L Top

LAN: Used to describe a local area network, a LAN is a group of computers or linked devices that have a shared communications line.

Login: The process of identifying yourself to a computer or device which usually involves entering a user name and a password.

Long-Term Evolution (LTE): LTE is a wireless technology on a 4G network that has been created by a company called 3GPP or The Third Generation Partnership Project.

Latency: It is a certain quantity of time delay which happens in a device such as a computer where information uploaded may suffer from an interruption.

LCR: This term is short for least-cost routing which is the procedure of choosing a route of outbound communications traffic that is solely dependent on cost.

LLU: Shortened from local loop unbundling, this is the controlling process of enabling several Telecommunications operators to utilise particular networks from a telephone exchange direct to a client? property.

M Top

Mbps: Standing for megabits per second this is often a certain measure of bandwidth in an electrical device such as a laptop.

Megabyte: This describes the unit of digital information storage on a computer or a laptop. One unit of computer memory is equivalent to 1,048,576 (220) bytes.

Migration Fee: This is the payment you would normally have to make in order to change from your current network provider to a new one.

Modem: Shortened from Modulater, a modem is a device that enables one computer to connect to another device as well as transferring information via a telephone line.

MP3: This is a sound sequence that has been compressed down into a smaller file. MP3s can be downloaded from many sources as podcasts.

MPEG: Considered to be a compressed file, an MPEG is a folder which has been digitally compressed in both sound and video to play.

Multimedia: A mixture of both video and audio content that uses both forms as well as incorporating text, audio, images and interactive aspects.

Mac-compatible broadband packages: This is having a broadband provider that is able to support any form of Mac related hardware for the internet.

N Top

Network: Two or more computers that are connected whereby you will be able to share a wide variety of files and information across each device.

Network adaptor: A circuit board that usually fits into the computer and allows you to interface between a device and a network as well as to transmit and receive data.

O Top

Offline:  This is described as the process of not being connected either to a computer or the particular computer network i.e. the internet.

Online: Online is the opposite of offline, and is the term used to describe being connected to the internet.

P Top

Pixel: A pixel is a tiny minute area. The term is used when describing a picture, as it is made up of many pixels.

Plug-in: A plug-in is a computer term that is used to describe a circuit board that enhances a computer? functions and capabilities.

POP: POP stands for Post Office Protocol. It is used when retrieving email from a mail server, and is implemented by most email applications.

R Top

RAM: RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It is the term used when describing the memory found in devices like computers and printers.

Rip: A rip is a combination hardware and software that is used when converting a vector image into a bitmap image.

ROM: ROM stands for Read Only Memory. It is the term used to describe computer memory onto which data has been recorded.

Router: A router is a device that forwards data along networks. It is commonly used in homes to deliver broadband.

Repeater: A repeater is a network device that is primarily used for regenerating or replicating a signal.

S Top

Search engine: A search engine is what many people use to search the web. Examples are Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

Server: There are many different types of server, but it is generally used to describe a device on a network that manages network resources.

Shareware: Shareware is software that is distributed or delivered free of charge, so it can be shared and used without cost.

Spam: Spam is the term used to describe electronic junk mail or junk postings on websites, usually to promote a product or service.

Streaming: Streaming is the term used for transferring data over the internet on a continuous stream.

Surfing: Surfing is a casual term used to describe the action of browsing the world wide web using search engines.

Set-top box: A set-top box is the device that is connected to a communication channel such as a phone line or TV service.

Satellite: A satellite can be used in communications, usually to deliver broadband or TV to your home, which is retrieved from a satellite stationed in space.

Upload: This word refers to the action of transferring a computer file from one location to another. It could mean uploading to the internet or to another computer.

U Top

Upstream: In terms of computing, upstream refers to the data that is sent from a computer to a server. The server is referred to as the higher entity, thus the data goes upstream to reach it.

URL: URL stands for universal resource locator. The U can also mean uniform, without changing the overall meaning. This is the address of an individual page on the web.

USB: USB stands for universal serial bus. Every computer has several USB ports, enabling you to plug other devices into them for the exchange of information from one to the other.

V Top

Virus: In computing, a virus can infect computers by making copies of itself in order to spread to other machines. Some are harder to find and stop than others.

VPN: VPN stands for virtual private network. This allows two independent locations to be joined together securely so as to provide a private and secure link that cannot be broken into.

W Top

Webmaster: The term webmaster is generally given to someone who is capable of designing and creating websites of all kinds.

Web page: A web page is a single page on a website. It is a document with a unique URL that is able to be accessed by anyone with a connection to the internet.

Web site: A single web site is a location on the internet that is found by way of a unique URL. It may consist of one or more pages, each one of which has a slightly different URL so it may be reached easily.

Web space: Web space refers to the amount of space a person or company has that has been allocated to them by their hosting company. This space is allocated for them to use to build a website.

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi allows people to send and receive data from one place to another without the use of wires. As such it uses radio waves instead.

Worm: A worm is a type of computer virus. It is able to spread by replicating itself and attaching to other computers. This can be done via a computer network.

Z Top

Zip:If a file is too big to be transmitted as it is, it will be zipped. This process makes the file smaller, and it can be unzipped when it reaches its destination.

WAS THIS HELPFUL ? ADD BT REVIEW