Confused By Communications Terminology?

If SIP is something you do from a glass of milk and Cookie a snack to go with it, you could need our Jargon Buster!

The world of technology can be a confusing place for the uninitiated. Couple that with a bag full of acronyms and no one can blame you for being confused! Here are a few phrases you may encounter on our website or in conversation with the techies.

You’re Welcome!


Access Control List

A list of authorised users. If your name’s not down, you’re not getting in!

ADSL = Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line

Internet connection over standard copper phone line.



Like a road for your data stream. A single-track lane would be a slow bandwidth while a multi lane motorway wider and faster.


Cable Broadband

 Internet connection over coaxial cable.


A record of where you have visited online and what you did. This can be erased.

Cloud Computing

A central storage point for your data that you can access from any device, anywhere via an internet connection.


Cookies are used to remember you and your website activity, including your preferences.



Your filing system and data records held on your computer.


Reserved for one user.



Technology used in LAN to carry voice or data internally. Can also provide dedicated internet connection.


Connects telephone lines at the PSTN.


Fiber Broadband

Internet connection over fiber optic cable, typically faster than ADSL.


GDPR = General Data Protection Regulation

European regulation on how personal data is collected and stored by companies and organisations.


Hosted (Telecoms)

Data and telephony services held remotely by the service provider.

HTTP = Hypertext Transfer Protocol

Data communication between your device and the world-wide web.

HTTPS = Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure

Encrypted data communication between your device and the world-wide web. Better and more secure to use when inputting personal or sensitive information.


IoT = Internet of Things

An object capable of integrating into communication networks.

Eg. A fridge that will text you when you run out of milk, heating and lighting systems you can control from your mobile, wearable fitness trackers and so on.

IP Address = Internet Protocol Address

Just like regular physical addresses the IP address will tell you where, geographically, a device is accessing the internet from.

ISP = Internet Service Provider

The company that provides your internet connection and services.

IVR = Interactive Voice Response

Allows the user to interact with the host system via speech recognition or tones inputted by keypad. Eg. ‘For service desk please dial 3’.




LAN = Local Area Network

 Connects computers in a limited area.  Eg. Your internal office network


Mbit/s = Megabits Per Second 

A unit of measurement referring to the speed data moves across the network. The faster the speed the higher the number.

MFA = Multi Factor Authentication

An additional layer of security. You need both password and pin number to access the account. Without one or the other you cannot gain access.

MPLS = Multiprotocol Label Switching

Transferring data more efficiently across high performance telecommunications networks.

MSP = Managed Service Provider

Manages information technology services for other companies – like our IT services division, Air-IT.


NGN = Next Generation Network

Using IP technology to provide multiple services over a single platform.          


One-Time Password

Expires after single use.


PAC = Port Authorization Code

Allows you to switch mobile service providers but keep your existing number.

PBX = Private Branch Exchange

Saves the cost of requiring a line for each user. Allows calls between company users and all users to share limited external lines.

Phishing = A Type of Cyber Attack

Like fishing, the phisher will bait a line or cast a net to trap/catch unsuspecting prey. Usually with an email compelling the recipient to ‘open a document or attachment’ which will land them in the ‘net’.

PSTN = Public Switched Telephone Network

Provides the infrastructure for the world’s public telephone network.



Ransomware = A Type of Cyber Attack

Where your data is held hostage and the ‘kidnapper’ demands a ransom to release it.


The ability for a transportable wireless device (typically a mobile phone) to remain connected to the home network while overseas.


A piece of hardware that receives, analyses and moves incoming data from network to network.



 A central computer that shares data & resources, providing functionality to other programs or devices.

SLA = Service Level Agreement

A contract between supplier and end user defining levels of service.

SIP = Session Initiated Protocol

Allows VoIP and video streaming over broadband connections.

SIP Trunking

Allows businesses to use VoIP instead of traditional telephony. Connects to the phone system over the internet.    

Spyware = A Form of Cyber Attack

A program installed maliciously to record every move you make and conversation you have online without your knowledge or consent.



UC = Unified Communications

Integration of real time communications (all under one number) such as Instant messaging, presence information (in/out of office), audio, voice, web and video.


Direct connection to the exchange is not shared with others.


VoIP = Voice Over Internet Protocol

Allows users to make voice calls over the internet.


WAN = Wide Area Network

Connects computers in a wider geographical area by leased line or satellites. Typically contains two or more LANs.




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