Also known as “cable” or “cable internet” a cable modem transmits digital data over existing cable television lines. Brighthouse, Charter Spectrum, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, Suddenlink and Time Warner Cable are all examples of cable internet service providers. Not to be confused with cable TV, which broadcasts television programing, cable modems are used for connecting to the internet. Unlike dial-up modem, a cable modem doesn’t connect to a phone line. Instead, the cable modem connects to a local cable TV line, hence the term “cable modem”. This allows cable modems to have a continuous connection to the internet. Cable modems also have a more complex design than dial-up modems, and are usually external devices, but some models can be integrated within a computer. Instead of connecting to a serial port like a external dial-up modem, cable modems attach to a standard Ethernet port so they can transfer data at the fastest speed possible.
Cable internet is much faster than a typical dial-up modem, and many cable internet providers now offer service plans that run faster than 38 Mbps (typically, 50 Mbps for downloads), with newer 3.x cable modems supporting connection speeds over 150 Mbps. Typically, your cable internet service provider (ISP) will supply you with a modem that connects to a coaxial cable jack in your home and converts the signal into your devices to send & receive data. You share the available bandwidth of a single cable line with other cable subscribers in your neighborhood. The more people using it at the same time, the slower the performance. Cable is not available in all locations, making satellite internet a viable option for high-speed internet in rural ares where cable is not offered.
A cache (pronounced “cash” not “catch”) allows your computer to store recently-used information so it can be accessed quickly later. Your browser caches websites you have recently viewed so you can access them without having to re-download the data. For example, a web browser like Chrome uses a cache to store the pages, images and URLs of recently visited websites on your hard drive. When you visit a webpage that you have recently been to, the pages and images don’t have to be downloaded to your computer all over again. Because accessing your computer’s hard disk is much faster than accessing the internet, caching websites can speed up web browsing significantly. Most browsers allow you to adjust the size of the cache in browser preferences. It is advised that you clear your cache on a regular basis to make your browser run better, faster.
Another common type of cache is a disk cache, which stores information recently read from your hard disk in the computer’s RAM or memory. Since accessing RAM is much faster than reading data off the hard disk, this can help you access common files and folders on your hard drive much faster.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software is used for nearly all three-dimensional designing. CAD Design allows engineers and architects to turn an object into an electronic representation more quickly and accurately than by diagraming it with a pencil and paper. Objects created with CAD software can be moved, resized and rotated instantly.
A challenge-response test that determines whether an internet user is human or an automated bot. A typical captcha includes an image of distorted text and a form field for the user to enter the text. Some newer Captchas also use image boxes and instructions for selection. Captchas are commonly found on a website’s login page or at the end of an online forms, and must be filled out in order for the login or the form to be submitted. By requiring users to decipher and enter the Captcha, website administrators can prevent automated programs from sending spam or other unwanted data through any online forms.
The term Carbon Copy (Cc) comes from “carbon copying” where a piece of carbon paper copies writing from one paper to another (often used when filling out legal forms). However, the term is now commonly used in reference to email. When you send an email message, you can use the “Cc:” field to add additional email addresses in addition to the original recipient. This will send the email to the address in the “To:” field and to each address listed in the “Cc:” field as well.
The “Cc:” option is often used in business communications when a message is intended for one person, but is relevant to other people as well. However, when you Cc an email, all the recipients can see the other addresses the message was sent to. If you want to hide the additional addresses, use Blind Carbon Copy (Bcc) instead.
Compact Disc (CD) is a circular disc 4.75 in (12 cm) in diameter. CDs can hold up to 700 MB of data or 80 minutes of audio. The data on a CD is stored as small notches on the disc and is read by a laser from an optical drive. The drive translates the notches (which represent 1’s and 0’s) into usable data.
Compact Disc Recordable (CD-R) discs are blank CDs that can record data written by a CD burner. The word “recordable” is used because CD-Rs are often used to record audio, which can be played back by most CD players. However, many other kinds of data can also be written to a CD-R, so the discs are also referred to as “writable CDs”. The data burned onto a CD-R disc is permanent, and cannot be altered or erased like the data on a hard drive. Typically, once a CD has been burned, it will not be able to record any more data. Some CD burning programs can record data as “sessions” allowing a disc to be written to multiple times until it is full. Each session creates a new partition on the disc, meaning a computer will read a disc with multiple sessions as multiple discs.
Compact Disc Read-Only Memory (CD-ROM) is a CD that can be read by a computer with an optical drive. The “ROM” part of the term means the data on the disc is “read-only” and cannot be altered or erased. CD-ROMs can hold up to 700 MB. CD-ROMs share the same technology as audio CDs, but they are formatted differently, allowing them to store many types of data.
Compact Disc Re-Writable (CD-RW) is a blank CD that can be written to a CD burner. Unlike a CD-R, a CD-RW can be erased and completely re-recorded multiple times. The data burned on a CD-RW cannot be changed, but it can be erased. You must completely erase a CD-RW every time you want to change the files or add new data. While it may be somewhat inconvenient, this capability makes CD-RWs a good choice for making frequent file backups. However, because CD-RWs can be erased, they don’t store data reliably for as long as CD-Rs do. Therefore, you should use regular CD-Rs for long-term backups.
Google Chrome is an open sourced freeware web browser developed by Google. It was first released in 2008, for Microsoft Windows, and is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and iOS operating systems. Google Chrome is also the main component of Chrome OS, where it serves as a platform for running web apps. The Google Chrome browser takes a sandboxing-based approach to web security. Each open website runs as its own process, which helps prevent malicious code on one page from affecting others (or the computer operating system at large).
A digital media streaming device developed by Google that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV. The devices, designed as small dongles, enable users with a mobile device or PC to initiate and control playback of internet-streamed audio-visual content on a high-definition television or home audio system through mobile and web apps that support the Google Cast technology. With the Google Chromecast, you can pair your mobile device and a TV to cast your favorite TV shows, movies, music, sports, games, videos and more. Chromecast works with any wireless laptop, smartphone or tablet. Alternatively, content can be mirrored from the Google Chrome web browser running on a personal computer, as well as from the screen of some Android devices
The “client-server” architecture is common in both local and wide area networks. For example, if an office has a server that stores the company’s database on it, the other computers in the office that can access the database are considered “clients” of the server. On a larger scale, when you access your email from a mail server on the internet or a free email service, your computer acts as the client that connects to the mail server.
The software that acts as the interface between the client computer and the email server. For example, if you use Microsoft Outlook to check your email, Outlook is your “email client software” that allows you to send and receive messages from the server.
The term “the cloud” comes from early network diagrams, in which the image of a cloud was used to indicate a large computer network. Today the “cloud” is a metaphor for the internet and refers to accessing computer, information technology (IT) and software applications through a network connection, often by accessing data centers using wide area networking (WAN) or internet connectivity. Anyone with an internet connection can access the cloud and share data with other online users.
The cloud may also be used to describe specific online services, which are collectively labeled “cloud computing” (see “cloud computing” below).
Cloud backup, or cloud computer backup, refers to backing up data to a remote, cloud-based server. As a form of cloud storage, cloud backup data is stored in and accessible from multiple distributed and connected resources that comprise a cloud (see “cloud computing” below). Popular cloud storage platforms include Amazon Drive, Dropbox, iCloud & Google Drive.
A general term used to describe internet services. These include social media services like Facebook and Twitter, online backup services and applications that run within a web browser. Cloud computing also includes computer networks that are connected over the internet for server redundancy or cluster computing purposes.
Also known as a “coax” is a type of electrical cable that has an inner conductor surrounded by a tubular insulating layer, surrounded by a tubular conducting shield. Most coaxial cables also have an insulating outer sheath or jacket.
Short for “coder-decoder” most audio and video files use some sort of codec compression to reduce disk space. The files are compressed with a certain codec when they are saved and then decompressed by the codec when they are played back. Common codecs include MPEG and AVI for video files and WAV and AIFF for audio files. Codecs can also be used to compress streaming media (live audio streaming & video streaming) which makes it possible to broadcast a live audio or video clip over a broadband internet connection.
A small data file stored by your browser when you visit a website. Cookies record your actions on a certain website and contain information about your activity, preferences, user name, location and other information. Some sites use them so they can tailor content to you. While cookies have many benefits, some people don’t like to have their data recorded by all the websites they visit. You can deny cookies by changing your internet settings. You can also clear them the same way you clear cache data, by going into your browser’s history settings.
Cost Per Click (CPC) is used in online advertising and defines how much revenue a publisher receives each time a user clicks on an advertisement link on a website. For example, a publisher may place text or image-based ads on a website. When a visitor clicks one of the advertisements, they are redirected to the advertiser’s website. Each click is recorded by the advertiser’s tracking system and the publisher is paid a certain commission based on the CPC.
Central Processing Unit, otherwise known as the brains of your computer, smartphone or other electronic device. More powerful CPUs allow you to run more programs and process more files simultaneously.
A way to fund a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people who each contribute a relatively small amount, typically via the internet through websites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter.
A sourcing model in which developers or organizations obtain information, input or financial aid for a particular task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the internet. Crowd-sourced services typically involve rapidly-evolving group of internet users and divides work tasks between participants to achieve a cumulative result.