Computer and Network Terms

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Term Definition

a data transmission rate; the maximum amount of information (bits/second) that can be transmitted along a channel.



a number system composed of 1's and 0's used to represent information.



basic input/output system - a program embedded on the computers motherboard that contains instructions on how the computer should boot up and recognize various devices that make up the computer.


a unit of measurement of information (from binary + digit); the amount of information in a system having two equiprobable states) "there are 8 bites in a byte."


of or relating to or being a communications network in which the bandwidth can be divided and shared by multiple simultaneous signals (as for voice or data or video).



a sequence of 8 bits (enough to represent one character of alphanumeric data) processed as a single unit of information.


Central Processing Unit

the part of a computer (a microprocessor chip) that does most of the data processing.


a short line of text that a web site puts on your computer's hard drive when you access the web site.


a program that determines how a computer will communicate with a peripheral device.


a security system consisting of a combination of hardware and software that limits the exposure of a computer or computer network to attack from crackers; commonly used on local area networks that are connected to the internet.

Hard Drive


computer hardware that holds and spins a magnetic or optical disk and reads and writes information on it.



a computer that provides client stations with access to files and printers as shared resources to a computer network.


hypertext markup language - the set of tags and rules used for developing web pages.


information technology - the branch of engineering that deals with the use of computers and telecommunications to retrieve and store and transmit information.


a computer network consisting of a worldwide network of computer networks that use the TCP/IP network protocols to facilitate data transmission and exchange.