Internet Glossary

Common Internet Related Terms



A software program that detects and gets rid of computer viruses.


A crawler-based search engine that was previously a question-answer matching web service. It includes a refined feature, allowing for the focus on web communities.


A way for web browsers to store on someone’s computer the direct links to web sites they want to return to. Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla make use of this term. Its equivalent in Internet Explorer is the “Favorite.”

Browser Hijackers

Common spyware programs that automatically alter a user’s web browser homepage even if they keep on changing it back.


These are used by browsers to identify space where web site pages a user has visited are stored on his or her computer. Copies of a user’s documents are kept in this location. When using Back, Go or any other means to return to a document, the browser first checks the cache if it is in cache and if there retrieves it from there. Cache retrieval is much faster than obtaining the same document from the server.

Crawler-based Search Engine

A search engine that automatically creates its own listings. Google is an example of this search engine type. It “spiders” or “crawls” the web and people then go through what it finds.


An index of web sites that are arranged by subject.


A message that is sent via an electronic network to a particular individual or group. Although this usually consists of text, emails can also contain file attachments that include sound, video and/or graphics.


Software or hardware programs that secure computer files by blocking all unauthorized access or entries. Most computers already have this, but they need to be activated by users before they can protect the system.


One of the most popular search engines around. It features many databases and services. In terms of size and scope, this search engine is one of the biggest and accommodates a wide variety of file types.

Google Desktop

A component of the free software collection known as Google Pack. It makes searching computers as easy as exploring the web using Google. This desktop search application provides full-text searches over photos, email, site pages viewed, files, Gmail and more. By making computers easily searchable, this application eliminates the need for sorting through files, emails and bookmarks manually to get to a particular info.

Google Earth

A program software included in the Google Pack that lets users take virtual tours around the globe, plan trips, find local info. It enables users to explore multimedia content as well as share information about their travels.

Google Pack

A free software program set that provides home computer users with a collection of different software applications that are useful, especially for new systems. Two important security programs are included in this package – free anti-spyware and free virus removal.

Google Photos Screensaver

A part of the Google Pack, this application displays photos from a computer and various photo-sharing web sites. It can be used for watching cinematic slideshows.

Google Picasa

A software program included in Google Pack that is useful for arranging photographs. It helps users search photos from practically any location in their computer. This program lets users find, edit and sort photos in a matter of seconds.

Google Toolbar

A free and user-friendly tool that lets users take the power of Google anywhere on the World Wide Web. It can be used for running Google searches from any web site on the Internet, or for searching specific words on any given web page.

Google Updater

A program that downloads and installs all the program software included in the Google Pack. It can be used for monitoring installation statuses, running software that has been installed or uninstalling programs.


The first page on a site. It serves to introduce the web site and generally provides a means of navigating the site.

Human-Powered Directories

An example of this is Open Directory. It relies on humans for creating its listings. Users submit a brief description to the directory for their site or editors come up with one for the web sites they review. Searches look for matches just in the descriptions that were turned in.

Hybrid Search Engine

A search engine that displays a combination of crawler-based and human-powered search results. This type of search engine will often favor one listings type over another, but it does present crawler-based ones too, especially for ambiguous queries.


Any text that includes links to other files or documents. Phrases or words found in the document that can be selected by a reader, causing other documents to be retrieved and shown are what usually comprise hypertexts.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)

The coded language that is used for creating hypertext documents on the Web. It closely resembles the appearance of old-fashioned typesetting code where a block of text is surrounded with codes indicating how it should display.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

The standard method for transferring information between servers and web browsers. It is the most important protocol that is used in the World Wide Web.


A global or worldwide connection of various computer networks. Sometimes referred to as the “Net” or the World Wide Web, computer networks included here share a common web addressing scheme.

Internet Browsers

Software programs that make Internet access and navigation possible by viewing web pages on computers. They provide users with graphical interfaces, allowing them to connect to the Net and surf the World Wide Web.

Internet Explorer

A free default web site browser for the Microsoft Windows operating systems family. It contains various network file-sharing, security and Internet connection settings. This browser comes pre-installed on all new Windows computers releases.


Words entered into search forms or windows of web search engines. The web is searched for pages or web sites that are about or include the keyword specified and related information.

Mozilla Firefox

A free, graphical, open-source, cross-platform web browser that provides support for various versions of popular operating systems. Developed by the Mozilla Corporation together with hundreds of volunteers, it started out as a component of the Mozilla applications suite but is now the main concentration of the firm’s software development.

MSN (Live)

The successor of the MSN Search. This particular search engine has its own sizeable database. Cached copies of web pages for this search engine include the date they were cached. Automatic local database options are available in it.

Netscape Navigator

A former proprietary Internet browser that gained immense popularity in the 1990s. It is a software program that allows users to search and view information published on the web. This browser is available as part of the Netscape Navigator web access tools package and as a stand-alone application.


A bunch of computers that are connected to each other, allowing for communication and sharing of information. Nearly all networks are connected to the so-called “network of all networks” – the Internet.


An Internet suite that consists of a chat and email clients, a contact manager and a web browser. Often hailed as a secure and innovative browser, it is downloaded and installed for free on supported operating systems.

Operating System (OS)

A piece of software that is designed to control the hardware of data-processing systems so that users and applications can use it easily.


This refers to a single file on a web server. It is also known as a web page. For instance, a page could be an image, a CGI script, a java applet, a Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) document, etc. Any file that is neither a jpeg or a gif is considered a web page.

Page Rank (PR)

A numeric value representing how important a site page is on the World Wide Web. Google supposes that when a page links to another web page, it is essentially casting a vote in favor of that page. More votes cast for a web page corresponds to an increase in its importance level. How important the votes are plays a role in the Page Rank calculated for the page.


A combination of software and hardware that corresponds to a specific computer user’s experience and method of Internet access.


A tiny piece of program software that serves to enrich a larger software application. It does this by adding certain functions or features to the original program. Plug-ins enable web browsers to play video and audio.

Popup Advertisements

A terminology used to describe unsolicited advertising. These usually appear on their own web browser windows.


An established mode of exchanging information over the Internet.


An web site browser developed by the Apple Inc. firm. It comes as part of the Macintosh operating system. This browser uses the brushed metal user interface of Apple and features a bookmark management scheme, multimedia technology and tabbed-browsing interface.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

A set of marketing tools and methods that seek to increase web site visibility in search engine results pages. Search engine optimization is an example of a strategy employed in SEM.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A term used for describing techniques used on sites to get them ranked favorably on various search engines. An example of this type of optimization is the proper, strategic use of keywords in different locations on a web site page.

Search Engines

Special web sites that serve as searchable directories and/or indices for the World Wide Web. They generally use computer programs that constantly collect info about web site pages and sort the info in various searchable databases. A search engine helps people find stuff on the Internet.


A special type of computer that is hooked up to a network. Its main function is to provide data. Also called a node or host, it sends out web pages over the Net upon receiving a page request from a web browser.


Any computer program that provides instructions enabling computer hardware to function. System software operate the computer machine itself while applications software offer specific functionality.


A program responsible for automatically fetching web pages. It is used to feed pages to various search engines. Since most site pages contain links to other web pages, a spider can start “crawling” almost anywhere. The moment it sees a link to another web page, it heads out and retrieves it.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

Conventions or protocols used by computers for communicating over the Net. These are included with all major kinds of computer operating systems.

Web-based email

Technology that lets users send and receive email messages using only a web browser instead of a particular email program.

Web Site

A collection of files or pages that are linked together and accessible via the World Wide Web. Organizations, individuals and companies develop and make web sites available.


A well-known Internet portal, it started out as a subject directory of sites, but is now an Net portal, directory and search engine. Yahoo features cached copies of site pages and boasts of a large search engine database.