The Definitive Guide: Technology Words And Phrases (Part 1)

It can be hard to distinguish what a word or phrase means, let alone make business decisions about the options the jargon describes.

Articles published May 22, 2017 by Scott Hardee

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 what a 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: 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.


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: Distributed Denial of Service

DDoS attacks use already infected systems or a group of authorized users to target one system by flooding it with traffic, and rendering it inaccessible. These attacks come from many different sources, which makes it extremely difficult to stop, since it’s attacking from many different addresses.

DNS: Domain Name System

DNS is how the internet converts names into internet protocol (IP) addresses. For example: would translate to an IP address that might look something like this:

EOL: End of Life

EOL refers to hardware or software that’s reached the point where the value has diminished. It becomes at 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. 

FoIP: Fax over IP

Fax over IP 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.

IPv4: Internet Protocol version 4

IPv4 is one of the current internet addressing schemes, and is a binary number that’s used to identify computers and devices. However, IPv4 is at its capacity, which can cause problems for many organizations. This means you will eventually need new IP addresses for your internet-connected devices and you’re most likely going to have to transition to IPv6 sooner rather than later, which is detailed below.

IPv6: Internet Protocol version 6

IPv6 is similar to IPv4, but is more advanced and has overall better features. IPv6 was created as an alternative means to keep pace with demand and continue to provide reliable internet connectivity.

LAN: Local-Area Network

LAN is a small computer network, usually in one or two buildings, that share 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 with each other, such as files, printers, internet access, applications, and databases.

MPLS: Multiprotocol Label Switching

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

MRTG: Multi Router Traffic Grapher

MRTG monitors and measures the traffic load on network connections. This gives you an accurate view into your network, how much bandwidth you’re using, and where it’s being used most.

PBX: 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.

POTS: Plain Old Telephone Service

POTS is the telephone service that’s available in most homes. What differentiates POTS from other phone services is POTS’ slow bandwidth and speed.

SIP: Session Initiation Protocol

SIP allows organizations to initiate, customize, and end live voice, video, and messaging sessions between multiple devices.


T-1 is a very common high-speed data transmission service. It 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: Voice over Internet Protocol

VoIP delivers voice and other communications over IP networks.

VPN: Virtual Private Network

VPN encrypts a connection on an unsecured network, allowing the user to have safe and secure access. This is 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).

WAN: Wide Area Network

WAN connects multiple LANs to each other through a router, and is good for connecting organizations that have more than one location.

WLAN: Wireless Local Area Network

WLAN lets users access the network throughout the covered area.

Even though this is a glimpse into the world of technology buzzwords, we hope it provides you with a basic knowledge base for your organization.

About The Author

Scott Hardee

Scott’s focused on figuring out what his clients issues are and working together to overcome those hurdles to provide the right solutions. With a focus on healthcare, CPA’s, nonprofits/charity, and general small to medium-sized business, he’s always working to build long-term re ... read more

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