The Definitive Guide to Technology Words and Phrases (Part 1)

For those not immersed in the IT world on a daily basis, technology lingo and industry acronyms can be utterly confusing. Here's what you need to know.

Articles published May 22, 2017 by Kai Johnson

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Every industry and business has its share of jargon and buzzwords, but fewer industries seem more impenetrable than the world of technology. For the average business owner (those who didn’t get into business to be IT professionals), it can be hard to distinguish between lengthy acronyms and what each word or phrase means, let alone make business decisions about the options the jargon describes. If you feel like IT professionals are speaking a different language when they discuss your information technology, then this guide is for you. It’s hardly comprehensive, but hopefully it will give you some knowledge and insight to improve the next interaction with your technical advisor.


BYOD is short for Bring Your Own Device. Organizations that adopt a BYOD mentality allow their employees to use their own tablets, smartphones, and laptops at work, instead of a company-provided device. While BYOD can provide cost savings and increase employee satisfaction, it is not without its security concerns. A comprehensive BYOD policy is the first step to keeping your business secure. 


The cloud often refers to data centers that are connected to the internet, housing servers and other technology hardware used for hosting software applications and storing data. Cloud computing, as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is “a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”


DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. A DDoS attack uses already infected systems or a group of authorized users to target one system by flooding it with traffic and rendering it inaccessible. Because attacks come from many different sources, and therefore many different addresses, they are extremely difficult to stop.


DNS is short for Domain Name System. DNS is how the internet converts names into internet protocol (IP) addresses. For example: might translate to an IP address that looks something like this:


EOL is shorthand for End of Life and refers to hardware or software that’s reached the point where the value has diminished. EOL becomes a risk for failure and a possible data security risk.

Fiber Optic Network

Fiber optic networks transmit information via light pulses through a glass or plastic fiber. These fiber wires can transfer a lot of information at a high speed, allowing organizations to conduct business more efficiently. You’ll likely hear this in conversations around your internet service (although connectivity via optical fiber is one of several types of connectivity). Aureon has a fiber optic network that spans the state of Iowa and connects to a network that ties our access nationwide. 

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Fax over IP, or FoIP, is the sending and receiving of faxes over a Voice over IP network (VoIP). A VoIP network lets people use the internet to transmit voice data, such as phone calls, and in this case, faxes. In essence, FoIP is sending faxes over an internet connection, instead of a landline.


Internet Protocol version 4, more commonly known as IPv4, is one of the current internet addressing schemes, and is a binary number that’s used to identify computers and devices. While many companies still use IPv4, this version reached its capacity, and the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) depleted the free pool of IPv4 addresses in 2015.


Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6, is similar to IPv4, but is more advanced and has better features. IPv6 was created as an alternative means to keep pace with the increasing global demand for connectivity. This version has a much larger pool of available IP addresses that continue to provide reliable internet services.


LAN, short for Local Area Network, is a small computer network, usually in one or two buildings, that shares a line or link to a server. LANs also have the capability to connect to other LANs through telephone lines. Organizations set up a LAN to share resources such as files, printers, internet access, applications, and databases with one another.


Multiprotocol Label Switching, MPLS, is a process that can speed up and reconfigure the way network traffic flows for telecommunications networks. MPLS allows you to prioritize the voice, video, and data traffic on a converged communications network.


MRTG stands for Multi Router Traffic Grapher. MRTG software monitors and measures the traffic load on network connections in order to give you an accurate view into your network, how much bandwidth you’re using, and where it’s being used most.


A private branch exchange, PBX, is a hosted, private phone system used in an organization that allows users to call each other on local lines, and also share external phone lines.


Plain old telephone service, or POTS, is the telephone service that’s available in most homes. What differentiates POTS from other phone services is POTS’ slower speed and bandwidth.


Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a protocol commonly used in VoIP technology. SIP allows organizations to initiate, customize, and end live voice, video, and messaging sessions between multiple devices.


T1 is a very common high-speed data transmission service used by businesses and other large organizations. A T1 line has a 1.544 Mbps speed for upload and download, and gives you access to 24 voice channels. These channels can be used for voice or data information and can each hold one phone call at a time.


VoIP, short for Voice over Internet Protocol, is a digital way of making phone calls. VoIP relies on IP networks rather than traditional phone lines to efficiently deliver voice and other communications.


A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates private network on a public network by encrypting a connection on the unsecured network. This allows the user to have secure internet access and safely access or transmit data. VPNs are often used by remote workers needing to connect into the company’s computer network or server to access files or applications that they would normally have access to in the office.


A Wide Area Network, or WAN, connects multiple LANs to each other through a router, and is good for connecting organizations that have more than one location. A WAN typically relies on MPLS for efficient traffic flow.


A Wireless Local Area Network, or WLAN, is a wireless network that provides user access within the covered area. An example of a WLAN device is a wireless router, like those found in many homes.

Even though this is just a glimpse into the world of technology phrases and words, we hope it provides you and your organization with a helpful foundation for technology conversations and improvements. Looking for more information on one of the services mentioned above? Connect with an Aureon Technology expert.

About The Author

Kai Johnson is an experienced technology consultant who is passionate about leveraging technology tools to help organizations solve critical business challenges. With a focus in Unified Communications, managed services, network security, business continuity, and network and cloud solutions, he is ... read more

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