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What are some computer terms for beginners?

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Quick Answer

Some basic computer terms that beginners should know include URL, IP address, driver, malware and firewall. The terms URL, malware, and IP address are used in the context of the Internet in general, while the other terms are usually used when talking about individual computers.

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URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, which is the address of a website used by a web browser. Each page on each website has a unique URL, and a browser uses the URL to communicate with a web server to display the correct site. The URL of a website is connected directly with the IP address of the web server, and the computer uses a process known as Domain Name Resolution to look up the IP address of a web server based on its URL.

An IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is a number assigned to a computer on both a private network and on the Internet. IP addresses are used by computers to communicate with each other, and each computer on a network and on the Internet has a unique IP number.

A piece of software that allows a computer operating system like Windows, Mac OS X or Linux to communicate with hardware devices is called a driver. Drivers are used to communicate with hardware like video cards, USB drives and microphones.

Malware is a general term that refers to malicious software designed to steal or damage information or earn money through illicit means. Malicious software comes in many different forms, such as viruses, advertising software and computer worms.

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