computer jargon

Computer jargon can be confusing for someone who doesn’t have knowledge of computers. As a matter of fact, it will be sound like a foreign language or incomprehensible if you are new to the world of computers.

You may have seen us use most of these words like RAM, ROM, CPU, DNS, or sentences like “You have to clear your cache, defrag your hard drive and start storing your data in the cloud” in our previous posts on the blog which can utterly be confusing to a layman.

In this article, we have translated the most basic and common terms into plain English.

What is the meaning of Computer Jargon?

Computer jargon means words to do with computers and surrounding topics. Using these words enables clear communication around computer-related issues and activity.

A complete list of computer jargon could fill a dictionary, but most of us only need the basics to get by.

Here are some of the most common terms you’re likely to hear or come across online – all explained in clear and simple English.


A hard disk drive (HDD), a hard disk or hard drive, is a data storage device for computers that use magnetic storage to store data. The capacity of a hard drive is usually measured in gigabytes (GB), however hard disk capacity can also be measured in terabytes when the capacity is over 1000 gigabytes.



RAM means Random-access memory is the memory or information storage in a computer that is used to store running programs and data for the programs. Data (information) in the RAM can be read and written quickly in any order.

Usually, the contents of RAM are accessible faster than other types of information storage but are lost every time the computer is turned off.


Read-only memory (or simply ROM) is a type of computer memory. Unlike RAM, it keeps its contents even when the computer or device is turned off.



A central processing unit (CPU) also known as Processor is an important part of every computer. The CPU sends signals to control the other parts of the computer, almost like how a brain controls a body.



A core is a small CPU or processor built into a big CPU or CPU socket. It can independently perform or process all computational tasks. From this perspective, we can consider a core to be a smaller CPU or a smaller processor within a big processor.


Gigahertz (GHz) is used to describe the speed of a processor. Some processors are capable of doing more than one thing at once, as they have multiple “cores” (core i3, core i5, and Core i7), so a bigger number is not necessarily better. The bigger the GHz number, the faster it runs and the more energy it uses.



Wi-Fi is a way of connecting to a computer network using radio waves instead of wires. It was invented to connect computers that are near each other and nowadays is much used for Internet connections.


An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common services for computer programs.  Different operating systems can be used for different purposes. Some are used for everyday things like on a personal computer. Others are mobile operating systems or are used for specialized work.


A byte is a unit of measurement of the size of information on a computer or other electronic device.  A single byte is usually eight bits (Bits are the smallest unit of storage on a computer, a single on/off value).

1024 bytes make up a kilobyte (KB), 1024 kilobytes make up a Megabyte (MB), 1024 Megabytes make up Gigabyte (GB), 1024 Gigabytes make up a Terabyte (TB), and 1024 Terabytes in a Petabyte (PB).

Computer Program

Computer program

A computer program is a list of instructions that tell a computer what to do. Everything a computer does is done by using a computer program.

A computer program is stored as a file on the computer’s hard drive. When the user runs the program, the file is read by the computer, and the processor reads the data in the file as a list of instructions. Then the computer does what the computer program tells it to do.


Computer software, also called software, is a set of instructions and documentation that tells a computer what to do or how to perform a task. System software serves as the interface between the hardware and the end-users.

Computer Virus

Computer viruses or malware is bad software made to mess up a computer or destroy data; nothing good comes from it. Often, computer viruses are run as a part of other programs. Any program that is affected by the virus is “infected”.

Computer viruses are spread in many ways. Some of the common ways of spreading are through downloads, email attachments, removable hardware, and so on. Most viruses are very dangerous kinds of malware.


Bandwidth describes the maximum data transfer rate of a network or Internet connection. It measures how much data can be sent over a specific connection in a given amount of time.


Antivirus is a kind of software developed to prevent, scan, detect and delete viruses from a computer. Once installed, most antivirus software runs automatically in the background to provide real-time protection against virus attacks.

Computer Servers

In computing, a server is a piece of computer hardware or software (computer program) that provides functionality for other programs or devices, called “clients”. … Typical servers are database servers, file servers, mail servers, print servers, web servers, game servers, and application servers.


The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs, such as ), which may be interlinked by hyperlinks, and are accessible over the Internet.

Is there some computer jargon we are missing in this article? Let us know in the comment section.