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Glossary of Internet & Computer Terms

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Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary or type the term on which you want to search.

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the ability to access the World Wide Web using a television and telephone or cable lines. Web pages viewed in this way are occasionally slightly distorted. WebTV is an easy way to access the Internet. However, computer functions such as the ability to download programs, and post to message boards is not available with WebTV.

(Wired Equivalent Privacy) an IEEE standard security protocol for wireless 802.11 networks. Introduced in 1997, WEP was found to be very inadequate and was superseded by WPA, WPA2 and 802.11i. Its authentication method was extremely weak and even helped an attacker decipher the secret encryption key. As a result, WEP authentication was dropped from the Wi-Fi specification.

What’s this?
a help feature included in Windows 95 and newer versions that allows a user to place the mouse cursor on an item and have a small box appear with a brief description of what the item does.

a component of a chat or teleconferencing program that is a white surface appearing on a display monitor, allowing multiple participants in the forum to write messages.

wide-area network
a computer network that encompasses a large geographical area and is made up of two or more LANs. The network may be connected by telephone wire, cable or satellite. The Internet is the largest WAN known.

in word processing and publishing, the first line of a paragraph appearing on the last line of a page. Some applications adjust for this. Widow is synonymous with orphan.

(or Wi-fi, WiFi, Wifi, wifi), short for "Wireless Fidelity", is a set of product compatibility standards for wireless local area networks (WLAN) based on the IEEE 802.11 specifications. New standards beyond the 802.11 specifications, such as 802.16(WiMAX), are currently in the works and offer many enhancements, anywhere from longer range to greater transfer speeds.

a symbol that represents a character or series of characters. In DOS and Windows the asterisk ( * ) can represent a letter or combination of letters. This is useful in performing file and text searches.

(Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is a certification mark for products that pass conformity and interoperability tests for the IEEE 802.16 standards. IEEE 802.16 is working group number 16 of IEEE 802, specialising in point-to-multipoint broadband wireless access.

a rectangular box shown on a display monitor by the application presently running. The window is a staple of graphical user interface technology. Windows may be minimized so they become buttons resting at the bottom of the toolbar, or sized so several can be displayed at a single time. see maximize, minimize, scroll, scroll bar.

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