As a trusted managed IT service provider, we understand that navigating the complex world of IT can be challenging. Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and understanding necessary to make informed decisions about your technology needs.

This glossary is designed to demystify the jargon often encountered in the IT industry. Whether you are a business owner, IT manager, or an office manager, this resource will help you grasp essential terms and concepts related to general IT, security, networking, hardware, software, technical support, and more.

Explore the detailed definitions and explanations of various IT terms to enhance your understanding and ensure seamless communication with our team. From fundamental concepts like API and cloud computing to advanced topics such as machine learning and cybersecurity, we’ve got you covered.

At Support Stack, we are dedicated to providing you with not just exceptional IT services but also the knowledge and tools to navigate the technology landscape confidently. Dive in and discover the key terms that will help you make the most of our services and your IT infrastructure.

You can now view the entire list of IT support-related jargon and their descriptions below.

API (Application Programming Interface) A set of rules that allows different software entities to communicate with each other.
Bandwidth The maximum rate of data transfer across a given path.
Cloud Computing Delivery of computing services over the internet.
DNS (Domain Name System) The system that translates human-friendly domain names to IP addresses.
Firewall A network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules.
IP Address A unique string of numbers separated by periods that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.
LAN (Local Area Network) A network that connects computers within a limited area such as a residence, school, or office building.
Malware Software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorised access to a computer system.
Phishing A method of trying to gather personal information using deceptive e-mails and websites.
Proxy Server A server that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) A service that encrypts your internet traffic and protects your online identity.
WAN (Wide Area Network) A telecommunications network that extends over a large geographical area.
Antivirus Software designed to detect and destroy computer viruses.
DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) An attack in which multiple compromised systems attack a target, causing a denial of service for users.
Encryption The process of converting information or data into a code to prevent unauthorised access.
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) A regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) An additional layer of security that requires not only a password and username but also something that only the user has on them.
Cybersecurity The practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks.
Biometric Authentication Using a person’s unique characteristics to verify their identity, such as fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, and voice recognition.
Ethernet A system for connecting computers within a local area network (LAN).
Router A device that forwards data packets between computer networks.
Switch A device in a computer network that connects other devices together.
SSID (Service Set Identifier) The name of a Wi-Fi network.
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) The suite of communications protocols used to connect network devices on the internet.
NAT (Network Address Translation) A method used to map private IP addresses to public IP addresses for communication over the internet.
WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) The computers and devices that make up a wireless network.
QoS (Quality of Service) A term used to describe the ability of a network or system to provide predictable and reliable performance under varying conditions.
CPU (Central Processing Unit) The primary component of a computer that performs most of the processing inside a computer.
GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) A specialised processor designed to accelerate graphics rendering.
RAM (Random Access Memory) A type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly.
SSD (Solid State Drive) A type of mass storage device similar to a hard disk drive (HDD).
Motherboard A printed circuit board containing the principal components of a computer or other device.
Router A device that forwards data packets between computer networks.
Cache Memory A small, high-speed memory located close to the CPU, used to store frequently accessed data for quicker retrieval.
Direct Memory Access (DMA) Allows hardware devices to access system memory independently of the CPU, improving performance by offloading tasks from the CPU.
Drive Bay A standard-sised area within a computer case for installing additional hardware like hard drives and optical drives.
Expansion Card A printed circuit board inserted into an expansion slot on a computer motherboard to add functionality.
Expansion Slot A slot on the motherboard that allows the installation of an expansion card.
Flash Memory A type of non-volatile memory that can be electronically erased and reprogrammed, used in SSDs and USB flash drives.
Heat Sink A passive cooling component that dissipates heat from electronic components, especially the CPU and GPU.
Network Interface Card (NIC) A hardware component that connects a computer to a network, either wired or wireless.
Optical Drive A device that reads and writes data from optical discs like CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs.
Peripheral External devices connected to a computer, such as printers, scanners, and external drives.
Power Supply Unit (PSU) Converts mains AC to low-voltage regulated DC power for the internal components of the computer.
Sound Card An expansion card that facilitates the input and output of audio signals to and from a computer.
Thermal Paste A compound applied between a CPU and its heat sink to improve thermal conductivity and cooling efficiency.
Universal Serial Bus (USB) An industry standard for cables, connectors, and communication protocols used for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and devices.
Video Card An expansion card that generates and outputs images to a display, critical for gaming and graphics-intensive applications.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software that manages a company’s interactions with current and potential customers.
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) A type of software that organisations use to manage day-to-day business activities.
SaaS (Software as a Service) A software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the internet.
Version Control A system that records changes to a file or set of files over time so that you can recall specific versions later.
Power Automate A Microsoft Office 365 tool that helps streamline the modern workplace by creating automated workflows.
Azure A cloud computing service by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications through Microsoft-managed data centers.
Atom A free and open-source text and source code editor for macOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows with support for plug-ins written in JavaScript.
Beanstalk A web-based version control platform that provides a single repository for developers to write, review, and deploy code with SVN hosting and Git support.
Bitbucket A Git repository management solution designed for professional teams, offering code collaboration, pull requests, and built-in CI/CD.
Cypress An end-to-end testing framework that supports JavaScript and enables developers to write, debug, and record CI tests in one place.
Docker A platform that allows developers to automate the deployment of applications inside lightweight, portable containers.
GitHub A code hosting platform for version control and collaboration. It lets you and others work together on projects from anywhere.
GitLab A web-based DevOps lifecycle tool that provides a Git repository manager providing wiki, issue-tracking, and CI/CD pipeline features.
Jira An agile project management tool that supports any agile methodology, including scrum, kanban, and your unique flavor.
New Relic A comprehensive observability platform for monitoring, debugging, and improving your entire stack.
PyCharm An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) specifically for Python development, offering code analysis, a graphical debugger, an integrated unit tester, and support for web development with Django.
Selenium An open-source tool that supports web browser automation, enabling developers to write automated tests for web applications.
SendBird A platform that allows developers to add chat, video, and voice capabilities to their apps, providing SDKs, APIs, and a managed backend.
Slack A messaging app for teams that provides persistent chat rooms organised by topic, private groups, and direct messaging.
Smartsheet A software as a service (SaaS) platform for work management and automation solutions.
Terraform An open-source infrastructure as code software tool that provides a consistent CLI workflow to manage hundreds of cloud services.
Trello A visual collaboration tool that creates a shared perspective on any project. Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organise and prioritise your projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way.
Travis CI A continuous integration service used to build and test software projects hosted on GitHub.
VS Code (Visual Studio Code) A free source-code editor made by Microsoft for Windows, Linux, and macOS with support for debugging, embedded Git control, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring.
Xcode An integrated development environment (IDE) for macOS containing a suite of software development tools developed by Apple for developing software for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS.
IntelliJ IDEA An integrated development environment (IDE) primarily for Java, but also supports other languages like Kotlin and Groovy. It offers powerful code analysis tools and integrations with popular technologies  like Maven and Git.
HTML5 Builder A development tool for building web and mobile apps using HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and PHP. It allows for the creation of cross-platform applications with a single codebase.
Visual Studio Online A collection of services that allows developers to plan, build, and ship software across various platforms. It includes tools for manual, performance, and automated testing.
Kwatee A software tool for automating deployments of applications or microservices to multiple servers. It supports various operating systems including Linux, Windows, and macOS.
Dataiku DSS A collaborative data science platform used for exploring, prototyping, and delivering data products. It integrates with external machine learning libraries through code APIs.
Visor A data transformation tool with a drag-and-drop interface for creating roadmaps, Gantt charts, and timeline charts. It integrates with Jira, Salesforce, and HubSpot.
Ranorex A comprehensive tool for test automation of desktop, web, and mobile applications. It supports various programming languages and integrates with CI/CD tools.
Protractor An end-to-end testing framework for Angular and AngularJS applications, ensuring robust test automation for web applications.
Cucumber A tool for running automated acceptance tests written in a behavior-driven development (BDD) style. It supports multiple languages and integrates with other testing tools.
TestRail A test case management tool that helps teams manage, track, and organise their testing efforts. It provides a clean and intuitive interface for comprehensive test management.
Robot Framework An open-source automation framework for acceptance testing and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD). It has a modular architecture and integrates with various testing tools.
TestMonitor A cloud-based test management tool that offers functionalities for test planning, test execution, and issue tracking. It is suitable for both manual and automated testing.
Asana A project management tool that helps teams organise, track, and manage their work. It supports task assignments, due dates, and project tracking with a user-friendly interface. A work operating system that powers teams to run projects and workflows with confidence. It includes features for project tracking, team collaboration, and resource management.
Celoxis A web-based project management tool for agile development teams, featuring dashboards, collaboration tools, Gantt charts, and issue tracking.
GitHub Actions An automation tool integrated into GitHub that helps developers build, test, and deploy their code directly from GitHub repositories.
Azure DevOps A set of development tools provided by Microsoft for software development, including version control, CI/CD, and project management features.
Debugging The process of finding and resolving defects or problems within a computer program.
Help Desk A resource intended to provide the customer or end user with information and support related to a company’s or institution’s products and services.
Remote Access The ability to access a computer or a network remotely through a network connection.
Ticketing System Software that helps manage and maintain lists of issues as needed by an organisation.
Access Control List (ACL) A list of permissions attached to an object specifying which users or system processes can access objects, as well as what operations are allowed.
Adware Software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material when a user is online.
Backdoor A method of bypassing normal authentication or encryption in a computer system, product, or embedded device.
Bandwidth Throttling Intentionally slowing down the internet service by an ISP.
BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) Firmware used to perform hardware initialisation during the booting process.
Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) An error screen displayed after a fatal system error.
Botnet A network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners’ knowledge.
Buffer Overflow An anomaly where a program writes data beyond the boundaries of allocated memory.
Checksum A value used to verify the integrity of a file or data transfer.
Cold Boot Restarting a computer by turning the power off and then on again.
Device Manager A control panel applet in Microsoft Windows that allows users to view and control the hardware attached to the computer.
DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) A network management protocol used to automate the process of configuring devices on IP networks.
Dual-Booting The installation of multiple operating systems on a computer, allowing the user to select which one to boot.
Event Viewer A component of Microsoft’s Windows NT line of operating systems that lets administrators and users view event logs on a local or remote machine.
Firmware Permanent software programmed into a read-only memory.
Hotfix A single, cumulative package that includes information used to address a problem in a software product.
Keylogger A type of surveillance software that has the capability to record every keystroke you make to a log file.
Latency A time delay between the cause and the effect of some physical change in the system being observed.
Patch Management The process of managing a network of computers by regularly performing patch deployment to update software with the latest patches.
Rollback The process of returning a database or program to a previous state by undoing the last set of changes.
Agile A methodology for project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches.
DevOps A set of practices that combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops).
IoT (Internet of Things) The interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.
Machine Learning A method of data analysis that automates analytical model building.
Blockchain A list of records linked together using special cryptographic operations across a distributed network of computers.
Containerization The process of isolating and maintaining an application and everything it needs to run inside a container, allowing it to be moved around regardless of the host operating system.
Access Control The selective restriction of access to a place or other resource.
Ad Hoc Network A decentralised type of wireless network where nodes communicate directly without a central router.
Algorithm A step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing a task.
Benchmarking The process of comparing one’s performance metrics to industry bests or best practices.
Buffer A region of a physical memory storage used to temporarily store data while it is being moved from one place to another.
Cache A hardware or software component that stores data so future requests for that data can be served faster.
Cookie A small piece of data stored on the user’s computer by the web browser while browsing a website.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) A security vulnerability that allows attackers to inject malicious scripts into web pages viewed by other users.
Data Encryption The process of converting data into a code to prevent unauthorised access.
Load Balancer A device that distributes network or application traffic across multiple servers.
Patch A piece of software designed to update or fix problems with a computer program or its supporting data.
Protocol A set of rules or procedures for transmitting data between electronic devices.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) A technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet.