A-Z of Computer Acronyms

If you’re not a computer geek, you will certainly find this list of abbreviations handy!

Computer jargon can be frustrating for those who are uninitiated in the world of high-tech, but it doesn’t need to be. With some reading and practice, anyone can become fluent in it.

If you were looking for a resource that contains commonly used computer acronyms and abbreviations, you have come to the right page! In this article, we share a list of a few such useful computer acronyms and abbreviations, sorted from A to Z. 

 

A-Z of Computer Acronyms

 

AD

“Active directory” refers to a Microsoft directory service that includes a domain controller. The domain controller is used to authorise and authenticate a set of services and processes accessed by computers and users that are using a Windows Server operating system on a domain network.

 

AI

AI or artificial intelligence is the kind of Intelligence demonstrated by any software or computing device.

 

AIFF

“Audio interchange file format” is an audio file format developed by Apple which is used as a standard format for transmitting and storing audio samples.

 

AMOLED

“Active Matrix Organic light-emitting diode” is a special type of display technology that has unique power-saving capabilities and is commonly used in electronic gadgets such as mobile devices.

 

API

The “application program interface” is a commonly used technology that is implemented for creating and operating software applications, with the help of set commands, protocols and system routines.

 

ASCII

“American standard code for information interchange” is a text file format that’s used in both DOS and Unix operating systems.

 

AVI

“Audio visual interleave” is a Microsoft container format used for storing both video and audio files and for allowing the playback of audio along with the video.

 

BIOS

“Basic input-output system” refers to the basic firmware that’s installed in all PCs and is a crucial software to support the boot-up process. It’s the first thing that runs when you are starting up the computer.

 

BMP

“Bitmap” is a simple graphical file format that’s used in the Windows operating system. The files stored in this file format are typically large in size due to lack of compression, which makes them unsuitable to be shared over the internet.

 

BPS

“Bits per second” is the unit for determining the rate of computing and connectivity.

 

BYOD

“Bring your own device” policy is commonly used in business environments that permit their employees to bring their own mobile devices and computers to the workplace. They can be helpful for keeping sensitive information secure while also improving productivity.

 

CPU

“Central Processing Unit” is the main electronic circuit board that is responsible for carrying out the instructions delivered by software and computer applications to the computer. This board is placed inside the computer and carries out calculations based on the input and output received from the application.

 

DDR

“Double data rate” is a technology that uses memory integrated circuits that are built into the computer system. This technology is known to facilitate much higher data transfer rates compared to the older single data rate (SDR) technology.

 

DLL

“Dynamic link library” is a file system that’s used in the Windows operating system. Multiple processes rely on specific DLL files in order to operate efficiently.

 

DMA

“Direct Memory Access” is a supportive program that comes with the computer operating system. Its job is to assist the CPU or Central Processing Unit when it’s unable to handle the high data transfer rates.

 

DNS

“Domain name system” is the technology used to identify all the devices that are connected to the internet, using a unique address based on internet protocol (IP).

 

DOS (operating system)

“Disk operating system” was one of the earliest operating systems to be used before the Windows operating system was created. It makes use of command lines in order to access system applications and perform tasks. These days, it’s used by technicians to repair computers and change the internal settings of the operating system, using the command line.

 

DVD-R 

“Digital versatile disc recordable” is a digital storage format used for storing data on an optical disc.

 

DVD-RW 

“Digital versatile disc rewritable” is a storage format used for recording data onto an optical disk and allows you to rewrite it multiple times.

 

DVI

“Digital visual interface” is a form of technology that allows the transfer of digital video onto a display device such as a computer monitor.

 

EDI

“Electronic data interchange” is the standard put in place for the transfer of information between two electronic devices or computers, in order to ensure effortless exchange of documents between devices that run on different operating systems.

 

EGA

“Enhanced graphics adaptor” is a standard first established by IBM which helps the system define the type of computer display attached to it, the type of resolution supported, and the display colours.

 

EULA

“End-user licence agreement” is a contract that is issued by software licences for defining how the software can be used by the end-user, and for protecting the software vendor’s copyrights.

 

FAT

“File allocation table” is a computer file system architecture that’s used for storing files on external storage devices.

 

FTP

“File transfer protocol” is used for transferring files over the internet, from one host to another, with the help of an Internet connection.

 

FXP

“File exchange protocol” is the protocol used for transferring data or files from one server to another while bypassing the need to have a direct connection between the devices.

 

GIF

“Graphics interchange format” is an image format that’s widely used for its convenience, smaller file size and versatility over the internet. 

 

GPS

“Global positioning system” is a commonly used satellite-based navigation system that’s used to determine the location of an object or a place. 

 

GPU

“Graphics Processing Unit” refers to the electronic circuit that speeds up the production and delivery of images to be viewed on a monitor or another display device.

 

GUI

“Graphical user interface” refers to the technology that facilitates proper interaction between the user and the electronic devices using graphics and images instead of text commands.

 

HTML

“Hypertext markup language” is a markup language, as the name suggests, that’s designed to be read by all the web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, and others. It’s used to design web pages and define how the text blocks and objects should appear when the user loads a specific web page.

 

HTTP

“Hypertext transfer protocol” is a standard internet protocol that’s used for data communications. 

 

HTTPS
“Hypertext transport protocol secure” as the name suggests is quite similar to HTTP, the only difference being that HTTPS provides the user with a secure connection, in order to protect sensitive information.

 

IEEE

“Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers” is an organisation that defines global standards for widely used electronic and wireless communication systems.

 

IGP

“Interior gateway protocol” refers to a standard protocol that’s used for routing data between two or more local area networks (LANs).

 

IM
“Instant message”, also known as online chat, is the sending of text messages over an Internet connection in real-time.


ISP

An “internet service provider” is an organisation that provides internet connection as a service to businesses and households.

 

JPEG
“Joint Photographic Experts Group” refers to a digital imaging format widely used on the internet for sharing images. 


JRE

“Java Runtime Environment” supports the execution of valid class files that are created and hosted in the Java Virtual Machine.

 

KB

“KiloByte” is a standard unit to measure the amount of Digital information. 1 KB is equivalent to 1000 bytes.

 

KBPS

“Kilobits per second” is a commonly used unit to measure the rate of data transfer over any network connection.

 

LAN

A “local area network” is a computer network that enables multiple computers and devices located nearby to communicate with each other.

 

LCD

“Liquid crystal display” is a display technology that makes use of liquid crystal’s properties. It’s used in computer monitors, digital signage, televisions etc.

 

MAC

“Media access control” is a kind of communication protocol that helps assign addresses and channel access to control devices.

 

MBPS

“Megabit per second”, similar to kilobit per second, is the unit to measure the speed of data transfer over a network.

 

MIDI

“Musical instrument digital interface” refers to a standard protocol that’s used to connect musical instruments with computers. 

 

NFS

“Network file system” refers to a file system protocol that is used to allow the end-user to access and share files stored on a network, using a client computer. 

 

NIC

“Network interface card” refers to a hardware component that’s built into a computer and helps connect it to a network.

 

OEM

“Original equipment manufacturer” is a type of company that’s involved in manufacturing a  specific piece of hardware.

 

OLE

“Object linking and embedding” refers to a technology that was developed by Microsoft. It lets the users embed documents inside an application for further editing.

 

OLED

“Organic light-emitting diode” is a technology that’s used in a variety of digital displays, and is much thinner than displays that rely on LCD.

 

P2P

“Peer-to-peer” is a type of network architecture on which applications can rely for distributing workload among the peers that are connected to the network.

 

PC

“Personal computer” is the term used to describe any computer that’s directly operated by individuals for any purpose.

 

PDF

Portable document format is a commonly used universal document format that is used to create and share documents with a high level of readability.

 

PNG

“Portable network graphic” refers to a graphic format used for storing images. PNG files contain raster graphics and make use of lossless data compression.

 

PPI

“Pixels per inch” is a measure of the pixel density or resolution of any digital image component such as a specific image, a computer monitor, or television screen.

 

RAID

“Redundant array of independent disks” is a method of creating backup storage that comprises of multiple hard drives, connected together to form a single unit. 

 

RAM

“Random Access Memory” is a hardware component that stores applications and data that are most frequently accessed by the user on a computer, with the purpose of providing faster data access as compared to hard drives.

 

ROM

“Read-only memory” is a type of external data storage typically used by a computer.

 

RTF

“Rich text format” refers to a document file format defined by Microsoft that’s used for storing simple text and images into a document.

 

SAN
“Storage Area Network” is a dedicated network that comprises multiple storage devices and  is primarily used for accessing data in files located on the network.

 

SATA

“Serial advanced technology attachment” is a type of technology that’s used to physically connect hard drives using the computer’s bus interface.

 

SDRAM

“Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory” is a type of DRAM that can be synchronised with the system bus that’s responsible for connecting together important computer system components, in order to support faster and efficient data access.

 

SMS
“Short Message Service” is used to translate short messages using telecommunication systems.

 

SQL

“Structured Query Language” is a type of programming language that’s used for database management.

 

SRAM

“Static Random Access Memory” is a type of random access memory that’s designed for retaining data bits as long as the power supply is available. It’s more efficient and faster than DRAM.

 

SSID

“Service set identifier” helps with the identification of wireless networks.

 

SSL

“Secure sockets layer” is the technology that’s used to facilitate communications over the internet with a high level of security.

 

TCP/IP

“Transmission control protocol / internet protocol” is a type of protocol that’s used for data transmission and communication with the help of an internet connection.

 

TIFF

“Tagged image file format” is an image file format that’s commonly used in desktop publishing, 3D applications, and medical imaging.

 

UPNP

“Universal plug and play” is a technology that’s typically used to exchange files or digital media between two connected devices.

 

URL

A “uniform resource locator”, also known as the web address, is a link that directs you to a website.

 

USB

“Universal Serial Bus” is a technology that’s used to connect peripheral devices such as flash drives, external hard drives and other portable devices to a computer. 

 

VGA

“Video graphics array” is a graphics standard developed by IBM that’s used by display screens to deliver high-definition video, usually 1080p or higher in resolution.

 

VoIP

“Voice over internet protocol” is the method of communicating over the internet using an IP address. It’s commonly used in internet telephony.

 

VPN

A “virtual private network” refers to a network that has a level of encryption for enhanced security and privacy. It’s commonly used for remote access or when using a secure connection is necessary.

 

WAN

A “wide area network” is the type of network that is spread over a wider geographic area compared to a local area network. 

 

WEP

“Wired equivalent privacy” refers to a wireless protocol that’s widely used for improving the security of data transmission over a wireless network.

 

WPA

“Wi-Fi protected access” is a wireless protocol that was developed to be used in place of WEP, due to its ability to provide enhanced security and fewer vulnerabilities.

 

WWW

The “world wide web” or the internet is a global network that connects users and devices located across the world.

 

XHTML

“Extensible hypertext markup language” refers to a markup language that’s similar to HTML and can be read by web browsers. It further improves the ability of HTML to properly integrate with other formats of data and also allows for easier access to many more advanced website components and applications. 

 

XML

“Extensible markup language” is a markup language that makes use of various parameters and a specific format for encoding documents, in order to make them readable by both machines and humans. 

 

ZIP

ZIP is a commonly used archive file format that’s used for compressing large files in order to efficiently transmit them over the internet.

 

Final Thoughts

It certainly pays to know some computer jargon. And, you can always use it to impress your friends, colleagues, and even complete strangers!

If you found this list useful, don’t forget to check out our future blog posts!

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