Your Guide to Technology Terms

technology terms

Each industry has its own terminology, and technology is no different. Here are a few words and phrases that will help give you knowledge and insight to improve your technology conversations.

Broadband: Broadband connects people to the Internet. It is a high speed transmission link from a home, business or school to the World Wide Web and other digital resources. The official Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband definition is a minimum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload.

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): Where organizations allow employees or visitors to use their own tablets, smartphones, and/or laptops instead of a company-owned device.

Cloud: Refers to cloud computing or the process of sharing/storing digital data (software and information) through a system of remote servers.

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service): A DDoS attack occurs when a malicious entity sends more traffic to a network than it can handle in order to overload it. This results in a web server becoming flooded with traffic causing web based services to become unavailable to the online visitors.

DNS (Domain Name Service): An Internet service that provides translations between Domain Names ( and the IP addresses used by Internet routers.

Fiber Optic: The technology using thin strands of glass to propagate transmission signals.

ISP (Internet Service Provider): A company that provides Internet service.

LAN (Local Area Network): A small data communications system capable of sharing hardware and software. LANs are typically restricted to within a building or adjacent buildings within the same campus. 

MSP (Managed Service Provider): A vendor partnership that manages a defined set of services.

SIP (Session Internet Protocol): Is used for creating, modifying, and terminating two party or multiparty meetings or events.

SLA (Service Level Agreement): Are detailed repair/restore and service benefits defined between an end user and a service provider.

VoIP (Voice-over-Internet-Protocol): Is a telephone signal delivered over Ethernet. VoIP phones, also called IP phones, can deliver communications over IP networks.

VPN (Virtual Private Network): Encrypts a connection on an unsecured network. Used for remote workers.

USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company): An independent, not-for-profit corporation designated as the administrator of the federal Universal Service Fund by the FCC. USAC increase access to telecommunications and advanced services in schools, libraries and rural health care facilities

UTM (Unified Threat Management): A suite of firewall and security functions to protect customer networks from vulnerabilities on an internal LAN and external WAN

WAN (Wide Area Network): Network of computer devices separated by a large geographical area. 

WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network): A wireless network connecting two or more devices using a wireless communication.