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32 Internet Terms You Need To Know

Tomilola Shitta
9 min readJul 26, 2020


The Internet was launched as an American military project in the late 1960s and has developed into a vast public spiderweb ever since. No entity owns the Internet or regulates it. No government or company can lay claim that they have ownership over the internet.

From another point of view, thousands of people and organizations own the internet because it consists of little bits and pieces, whereby they control the quality and access you have to the internet. While reading this article, you might consider yourself to be an owner of the internet because your device is part of the enormous inter-networked system. You should be a proud owner, plus, it’s just a very small part.

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As at today, there are about 4.57 billion people that use the internet today, but I bet that less than one-third of that figure does not know most of the simple terms they see on the internet daily.


The Internet is relatively like a massive spiderweb. Just as how wide it is, it is also filled with terms and abbreviations and it's easy to lose track of what they all mean.

Though these terms are very numerous but I'll be sharing the most common ones in no particular order.

Plus, don’t just scroll through, read what they’re about and the things they function for. Here we go:

IP Address

IP address (Internet protocol address), it is an identification number associated with a particular device or computer network (WiFi, Mobile Network, Ethernet). The IP address allows the computers to send and receive the information while connected to the internet. This number is a unique number to identify any device using the internet. is an example of an IP Address.


VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an encrypted connection from a device to a network over the Internet. The encrypted connection helps ensure that sensitive data is transmitted securely. This stops unauthorized individuals from listening to traffic and helps the user to operate remotely.


This is someone who is educated and well informed about new technologies, and who also uses his/her expertise to take advantage of the latest technologies. In other words, someone who knows to manage a Computer, a smart gadget and probably other technologies.

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A developer refers to a computer programmer or software engineer that writes computer programs. He or she writes, debugs and executes the source code of a software application. In other words, a software developer creates new software from initial concept, often to meet a specific need for a business or company.


Cloud in the simplest terms means storing and accessing data and programs over the internet, rather than the storage of your device. Cloud in computing doesn’t mean a mass of water droplets in the sky, it means a big data centre or a supercomputer. So most of your data online are not stored in the cloud, as you may think. It’s simply someone else’s computer or a data centre.


This is an error code/message that is displayed in browsers when a web address cannot be found on the internet.

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URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is another word used for a web address. Just as how your house has an address, every web page on the internet has a unique address that helps people locate them. To find a website’s URL on the internet, find the address in the top bar of your browser.


Digital advertisement, also known as internet marketing, Internet advertising, digital commercials, or web advertising, is a type of marketing and advertising that uses the Internet to send marketing promotional messages to consumers.


HTTPs (Hypertext Transfer Protocol — Secure). It allows communication between the multiple systems. It is most commonly used to pass data to a browser from a webserver to allow users to access Web pages. The main difference between both is that https is very much secure than HTTP. In contrast, the additional security is extremely important, especially for websites that take sensitive data from its users like credit card details and passwords.


Bandwidth describes a Network or Internet connection 's total data transfer rate. It measures how much data can be transmitted in a specified period over a specific network. For example, the amount of mobile data you have consumed this month.


SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is the activity of making sure a website appears in the top results of a search engine. In other words, it means increasing the traffic and visibility of a website through a search engine’s organic results. SEO is used to show the best and most relevant result to users.


UI (User Interface). The visual part of a software, application, or webpage. It is also described as the look and feel of a website such as fonts, colours, typography, imagery, videos, canvas, buttons, spacing, and design.


UX (User Experience). UX implies to anything that can be experienced be it an app, website, coffee machine or even a vacation. The “user experience” term refers to the interaction between the user and a product or service. Both UI & UX work hand-in-hand.


GPS (Global Positioning System). You’re often asked to put on your GPS or location on your device when your Maps app or service wants to know where you are located. Well, it is a satellite navigation system in your device used to determine your ground, sea, or airborne position in any weather condition and anywhere in the world.

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A Blog is a self-published website for writing, photography, and other media. Blogging started as an opportunity for individuals to write diary-style entries, but it has since been incorporated into websites for many businesses and organizations. It is regularly updated and typically handled by an individual or small group and is usually written in an informal or conversational style.


A kind of electronic message that is sent to large recipients in such a way that it is irrelevant to them. Most spams are usually commercial such as e-mails, text messages, or Internet postings.

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Responsive Design

A term used in web development for any website that fits properly on cross-devices, whereby creating dynamic changes to the appearance of a website, depending on the screen size and orientation of the device being used to view it.


This is an added feature to a software or application without halting the function of the main program. Plug-ins are used for enhancing the functions of the main program to make it much faster and effective in doing extra tasks.


A network security system that thoroughly checks every single file that enters in a device. Firewalls are used for preventing viruses, malicious files, and other kinds of spywares from entering a device. Furthermore, a firewall serves as a border between a trusted network and a non-trusted network.


This is an object-oriented computer programming language widely used to create interactive effects within web browsers. It is the main engine of a website and also used to implement complex features on a website.


HTML (HyperText Markup Language). It is the main language/code a website runs on. This code is written in a pure text form and use to create headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, sections, and links on a web page.


CSS (Cascading Style Sheet). CSS describes how HTML pages are to be laid on a web page including colours, fonts, size, and layout. It is also responsible for making websites adapt to different screen sizes.


A server is a computer equipped with different programs and/or hardware that enables it to provide services to other computers (clients) on its network. A server functions as a transportation system. A car could transport 4 passengers at a ride, while an aircraft could transport 200 people on a flight. Servers have different capabilities. Their main purpose is to consistently supply data to other computers.


WordPress is a free content management system used to build and maintain various websites. Its ease of use and amazing blogging features have helped it become the most popular blogging tool on the Internet today. WordPress provides a web-based user interface for developing, designing, publishing, and updating different types of websites.

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A cookie is an amount of information in bytes that is stored by a web browser from a website. Its purpose is to remember some information about you, like remembering your login credentials, address, phone number, or credit card details from a website.


A cache (Pronounced as cash) is a type of stored file in which browsers download website images, data, and documents for faster viewing in the future. By keeping a local copy of some website information, your browser will be able to load at least some information from each page you have visited without downloading that data again from the server. The stored cache of websites increases the speed in which the website loads.


AI (Artificial Intelligence) refers to software technologies that make a computer system act and think like a human. AI systems perform tasks which require normal human intelligence, experiences and actions. AI performs some sophisticated tasks like speech recognition, decision-making, visual perception, and even language translation.

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Machine Learning

Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence ( AI) that offers systems the ability to automatically learn and develop from experience without being specifically programmed. Machine learning focuses on the creation of computer programs that can access data and use it to learn for themselves.


API (Application Programming Interface) is a software that serves as an intermediary tool for allowing various applications to communicate with each other.

Two-factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA), also referred to as two-step verification or dual-factor authentication, is a method of verification in which users have two separate authentication factors for verification of themselves. It could be a security token or a biometric factor through a facial scan or fingerprint.


Virtual Reality (VR) allows users to experience artificial surroundings without having to leave their current location. This technology enables people to travel locations which do not exist. Virtual reality is a simulated experience that can be realistic, or completely different. Virtual reality applications can contain various entertainment and educational purposes.


Augmented reality is the result of the use of technology to superimpose information — sound, images, and text — on the world we see. Picture the interactivity style of "Minority Report," or "Iron Man."

While these are some of the most common terms that we use each day, there are hundreds more out there you can check out.