IT Terminology


Please note that the explanations provided below are aimed more at clarity than exact technical definitions.

Term It means Some extra comments
Internal Memory Storage for data and apps that is part of the phone, tablet or computer. On a laptop or desktop computer this storage would usually be a Hard Disc Drive.
HDD and SSD HDD means hard disc drive. This can be internal storage or a portable HDD that plugs in to a computer. SSD, Solid State Drive, is a newer technology that is replacing HDD where speed is important. SSD is faster but much more expensive than HDD. In many computers an SSD is used for applications and data is stored on HDD. This gives fast performance and large data storage
Expansion Memory Phones and tablets can add memory cards like ‘microSD’. These are fitted in a slot in the phone. These cards are a tiny version of the memory cards used in digital cameras to store photos.
Download This is information that is coming into your device from the internet. Example “To download an App to your phone” means to get a copy from the App store onto your phone. On the internet material from websites are downloaded to your device. For consumer use, internet download speeds are normally around 10 times higher than upload speeds.
Upload This is information that is coming out from your device to the internet or other device. Example “To upload a picture to Facebook” means to send a copy from your phone through the internet to your Facebook page. Further example: On the internet you may upload photos to a cloud service for storage. At a later date you may want to download them for editing or printing.
Import Like download, this is to 'bring in' information to your device from another location on the device or the internet Often apps will Import data from another app or a file
Export Like upload, this is to send information from your device to another part of the device or the internet. Often apps will have an Export function to send data to a file or other app
Interface A connection to a device that allows and manages ingoing or outgoing data flow A printer may be connected through an interface. This could be USB, wireless, Ethernet, Lightning …etc
USB Universal Serial Bus - A common type of wired connection or interface between devices. Is also able to power devices. The USB plug is also used to charge batteries in devices from plugpack chargers.
USB Drive Sometimes called Flash Drive, Thumb Drive or Memory Stick, a USB drive is a solid state device (no moving parts) that plugs in using the USB plug and interface technology. It provides removable and portable data storage. USB drives are convenient but also easy to misplace. Take care not to lose the data on these devices.
HDMI High Definition Multimedia Interface - A type of wired connection usually used for video/image and sound information. Frequently used for TV, video projectors and newer computer monitors. This interface can control devices as well as send data.
Ethernet The name of the technology used for internet connections. This technology specifies the type of connection and ‘shape’ of the network to ensure best data transmission. Ethernet is commonly used for wired connections between Modems and computers.
LED Light Emitting Diode An electronic technology that allows low power colour screens on phones, TVs and computers. An LED screen may have other commercial names like OLED
WiFi A commercial name for wireless connections to the internet. Often home internet connections can be either wired or wireless by WiFi. The name has no special significance. 'Free' WiFi may be provided by businesses and hotels.

Ethernet Connectors, HDMI Connectors, USB A and USB B Connectors, USB A Connector and Micro USB

Ether.jpg HDMI.jpg USB%20AB.jpgmicro-usb.jpg
USB Drive

More detailed information

What does all this Megabyte (MB) and Gigabyte (GB) stuff mean? Click here to find out!
What about Megapixels and cameras? Click here to find out! (takes you to the Digital Imaging page)

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License