Techie Terms…

IT Expert Support and Advice

In the computing industry there are many technical terms and acronyms that are not easily understandable. Often used by geeks and tech heads, we thought you might find is useful if we translated some of the more commonly used abbreviations.

sataSATA and IDE
SATA cables or (Serial ATA) is the common way of connecting components to a motherboard, like hard drives, SSD drives or CD Drives. SATA was introduced in 2001 and most of all the computers today use SATA. The older version is IDE. An IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) used to be a standard connection for Hard Drives, CD Drives and Disc Drives, which can be directly connected to the motherboard.


USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a common standard for computer peripherals including keyboards, mice, digital cameras all to communicate with a computer system and to also supply electric power. The USB has replaced some earlier interfaces such as serial and parallel ports. USBs can be used to back up and store data which you can read more on in our previous blogs.


VOIP or (Voice over IP) is a way of communication through the internet. Messaging software such as Skype use this technology for users to communicate and talk online. VOIP is widelyused in organisations to cut cost of communicating with each other or with clients.

HD, SSD and 3.5”

These three terms are used together to identify differences in Hard Drives. A HD is a standard hard drive that you find in a desktop PC (Personal Computer. A HD (Hard Drive) can be a physical size of up to 3.5inches and the smallest being a 2.5inch, which is commonly used in laptops. An SSD drive (Solid State Drive) is a newer type of hard drive, which runs quicker and more efficiently.


POP and IMAP are used in emails as a method of delivery, which allows the users emails and contents to be stored on a remote server e.g. Gmail making your emails accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. POP (Post Office Protocol) stores your emails locally on your machine which then your emails are deleted from the server after a certain amount of days. If your system becomes corrupt, then unfortunately your emails could be in danger as well.

IMAP on the other hand store your emails on a server which does not affect your emails if your computer decides to give up on you, IMAP also allows you to read your emails from other devices or other email software making this easier and more reliable than POP.

When choosing to use POP or IMAP then IMAP is more convenient and easy if you were to view your emails from different locations whereas POP doesn’t allow you to do this, viewing emails from only one location makes POP less efficient.Pop and imap icon