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Term Definition

Spectrum offers a number of accessibility options, including closed captioning, readable voicemail, Braille and large-print statements and more. Learn more.

Account MAC

Your Account MAC (serial number) is the last four characters of the MAC ID/MAC address or serial number associated with your Spectrum equipment. Learn more.

Address Bar

The text field in a web browser that identifies the address or URL of the web page that is currently being viewed.


A type of software that displays advertising content while a program is running. Learn more.


A software program, such as Security Suite, that helps protect a computer from viruses and other malicious programs.


A small program that can be embedded in an HTML page. Applets differ from full-fledged applications in that they're not allowed to access files and serial devices on the local computer, and are prohibited from communicating with most other computers across a network.

Application Server

Server software that makes other software available over a network, making memory and database access more efficient.


A second copy of a file that is saved to an external disk.


The maximum rate of data transfer across a computer network.

Battery Backup

A device that connect to your Spectrum Voice modem so that it can operate during a power outage. Learn more.


A digital disc format that is capable of storing and playing high-definition and ultra-high definition video.


A wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances. When Bluetooth is enabled on a device, other devices in the area can connect to and communicate with it.


A way to store links to specific websites, especially those that you often visit. To create a bookmark, select Bookmarks or Favorites, and then choose Add. To visit a bookmarked site, select Bookmarks and choose the site from the list.

bps (Bits Per Second)

A measurement of how quickly data is transmitted.


Any high-speed internet connection that is always on and allows the transmission of voice, data and video signals.


A software program such as Chrome, Edge, etc. that enables you to view webpages.

Browser History

Displays your browser's recent activity. Using your computer keyboard, press CTRL + H to view your search history. Learn more about how to clear your browser history.


A folder that stores webpage content on your computer, so that the cached website can load more efficiently the next time you visit it. In Internet Explorer, this folder is called Temporary Internet Files. Learn more.

Case Sensitive

When usernames, passwords or filenames differentiate between upper and lowercase letters.


A software program, such as a web browser, that is used to contact and obtain data from a server on another computer.

Coaxial Cable

A type of cable used to connect the wall cable outlet to your Spectrum Receiver.


A file stored on your computer by websites to save your preferences and login information. Learn more.

Desktop Email Client

An application, such as Outlook, Windows Mail, or Thunderbird, that enables you to send, receive and organize your email.

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)

A protocol by which a machine can obtain an IP number (and other network configuration information) from a server on the local network.

DNS (Domain Name System)

The system that translates internet domain names into IP numbers.


Transferring data (usually a file) from a another computer to the computer you're using.


The direction in which data moves when it's sent from a server to a user.

DVD (Digital Video Disc)

A disc format that can store any type of digital data, commonly used for digital video.

DVI (Digital Visual Interface)

An all-digital link between a video/audio source such as a receiver and a display device like a TV.

DVR (Digital Video Recorder)

An electronic device that records video, such as live TV programming, in a digital format to a disk drive or other storage device for later viewing. Learn more about Spectrum DVR service.

Email Address

A name that identifies an online mailbox to which email messages are delivered. For example, your Spectrum email address is [username] Learn more about creating a Spectrum email account.

Email Attachment

A computer file, such as a photo, document or PDF, that is sent along with an email message.

Ethernet Cable

A networking cable used to establish a direct connection between a modem and another device, such as a computer or router.

File Sharing

A way of distributing files from one computer to another over a network or the internet.


A software application or hardware device used to protect a computer and home network from unauthorized access.


An email function used to send a received message to another recipient or group.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

A method used to share files between a client and server on a computer network. Learn more.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)

A format for image files, especially those containing large areas of the same color. GIF files are often smaller and have a lower resolution than the same files stored in JPEG format.


The physical components of a computer system, such as monitors, modems, routers and hard drives.

HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection)

An Intel specification used to protect digital content transmitted and received by DVI and HDMI compliant equipment.

HDMI (High-definition Multimedia Interface)

A digital connection that combines video and audio into a single interface for use with DVD players, digital television players, receivers, and other audio-visual devices.

HDTV (High-definition TV)

A television system that provides a substantially higher image quality than that of standard-definition television.


The main or introductory page of a website. For example, the Spectrum homepage.


A network-connected computer or other device that offers resources, services, and applications to users or other computers on the same network.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

A coding language used to achieve font, color, graphic and hyperlink effects on webpages.

Hub (or Ethernet Hub)

A device used to connect multiple Ethernet devices together, making them act as a single network segment.

IEEE 1394 (Firewire)

A high speed serial interface used to connect a receiver to a TV and/or a Digital VCR (DVCR). This connection is also commonly called Firewire.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)

A network protocol that allows you to receive email messages. IMAP also allows for mobile devices to sync changes on email servers, which means that changes made on the device are also made on the email servers.

Internet Protocol (IP) Address

A numerical identification label that is assigned to devices on a computer network. Every computer connected to the internet has a unique IP address. An example of an IP address could be 23.692.122.24.

IPv6 (Internet Protocol, version 6)

The most recent version of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the internet.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)

An institution, such as Spectrum, that provides access to the internet.


A network-friendly programming language used to build large, complex systems that involve several different computers interacting across networks. Java is also used to create software with graphical user interfaces such as editors, audio players, web browsers, etc.


A programming language mostly used in web pages, usually to add features that make the web page more interactive.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

JPEG is a common format for image files. JPEG format is preferred to GIF for photographic images.

LAN (Local Area Network)

A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building.


The delay before a transfer of data begins following an instruction for its transfer. Also known as lag.


The account name and password used to sign in to a computer or online account. For example, your Spectrum username (including and password are used to sign in to

MAC Address or MAC ID

A unique serial number assigned to Spectrum equipment for communications on our network. A MAC address/ID is displayed in a group of 12 characters, including numbers and letters, and is generally listed on a sticker located on the bottom or back side of your Spectrum device. Learn more.


Malicious software that may cause harm to your computer. Examples of malware include viruses, spyware, adware, Trojan horses, rootkits and worms. Learn more.


A measure used to express the speed per second of telecommunications services and equipment. One megabit per second equals one million bits per second.

Mobile Device

A portable electronic device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or eReader, that is used to connect to the internet wirelessly.


A network hardware device that encodes and decodes digital information for transmission. A modem converts the signal from a cable or phone line for use inside your home. Learn more.


A system involving two or more computers that are connected for the purpose of sharing resources.

NIC (Network Interface Card)

An adapter that allows your computer to connect to a network wirelessly or through an Ethernet jack.

On Demand

A system or service that allows users to browse and watch video content anytime, rather than on a specific broadcast schedule. Learn more about Spectrum On Demand.

Operating System (OS)

The software that supports the basic functions of devices like smartphones, computers, tablets, etc. It is important to update your OS to ensure that your device functions properly. Learn more.


A string of characters that allows access to a computer, interface or system. Spectrum requires users to create a strong username and password to ensure that important account information is protected from identity theft and other computer crimes. Learn more.

PDF (Portable Document Format)

A file format that retains the original formatting of a document when printing and viewing.


A small piece of software that adds features to a larger piece of software.

POP (Post Office Protocol)

A way that email client software downloads mail from a mail server. When you obtain an account from an Internet Service Provider (ISP), you almost always get a POP account with it, which is what your email software uses to get your mail. Learn more.


The most recent version of a standard protocol for receiving email.


An interface on a computer to which you can connect a device.

Proxy Server

A computer that acts as an intermediary between a local network and a larger-scale network such as the internet. Learn more.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

A computer's working memory, where programs store information when they're running. The more RAM your device has, the faster it can get data from the hard drive.


A method of restarting your receiver, internet modem or other device. Rebooting is a way of troubleshooting many common errors.

Residential Gateway

A device that serves as both a modem and a router, and allows multiple devices to connect to the internet on a home network. Learn more about your Spectrum equipment.


A network device that connects to a modem and broadcasts a wireless internet signal to be used by other devices such as tablets, smartphones and computers. Learn more.


Noun or a verb. Noun: The account name used to gain access to a computer system. Not a secret (contrast with Password). Verb: the act of connecting to a computer system by giving your credentials (usually your "username" and "password")

Security Certificate

A data file that is used by the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol to establish a secure connection.

Security Suite

A comprehensive computer security package available to Spectrum Internet customers. The software is automatically updated with the latest security patches and virus definitions to help protect your computer from infection. Learn more about Security Suite.


A computer program or a device that provides functionality for other programs or devices, called clients.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

A protocol that allows your email messages to be sent over a network. SMTP is used when email is delivered from an email client, such as Outlook Express, to an email server, or from one email server to another.


Programs and other operating information used by a computer.


Unwanted, unsolicited commercial email that typically contains a link, advertisement or file attachment that can compromise security or infect computers with malicious software when opened. Learn more about email security.

Spectrum Receiver

The device (also known as a cable box or set-top box) that connects to your TV and provides access to Spectrum TV programming.

Spectrum TV App

The Spectrum TV app gives you more choices for watching your favorite programming. Watch Live TV and On Demand content, browse Guide listings, schedule DVR recordings, and much more. Learn more.

Spectrum Username

The username that you use to sign in to You can use your Spectrum username to access all of the sites and apps we offer. Learn more.


Software installed on your computer without your knowledge. It gathers personal information, such as keystrokes, online browsing history, passwords, and other confidential and private data, for later retrieval by advertisers and/or other interested parties. Learn more.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

A protocol for transmitting private documents via the Internet. Having SSL enabled is required to set up your Spectrum email on your mobile device.


A way to ensure multiple devices are up-to-date and share the same information.

Trojan Horse

A malicious piece of code that may cause damage your computer, collect and send your personal information to a hacker or corrupt your hard drive. Learn more.

TV Channel Apps

TV channel apps allow you to watch TV on the go using your smartphone, tablet or other mobile device. Learn more about the TV channels apps avaialble to Spectrum TV customers.


The transfer of data (usually a file) from one computer to another computer or web server. Upload is the opposite of download.


The direction in which data moves when it's sent from a user to a server.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

An address for a website or other resource on the internet. For example,

USB (Universal Serial Bus)

A connection port on a computer that is compatible with many types of devices, including printers, speakers and external hard drives.


Malicious software that can damage your files and slow the overall speed at which your system operates. Learn more about removing viruses from your computer.

Voice Online Manager

A feature of Spectrum Voice services that allows customers to check their voicemail, view call logs and manage their calling features online. Learn more.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

A method of transmitting voice calls over the internet. Learn more.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A private network used to send encrypted data across the internet.

WAN (Wide Area Network)

Any network that covers an area larger than a single building or campus.

WAP (Wireless Access Point)

A device, such as a wireless router, that allows computers, laptops, smartphones and other devices to connect to a network. Learn more about wireless security.

Web Page

A document, typically written in HTML, designed for viewing in a web browser.


A way of accessing your email online, as opposed to downloading it to a program such as Microsoft Outlook that is installed on your computer. For example, you can access your Spectrum email through, which serves as a webmail client.


A collection of related web pages that are identified with a common domain name, such as


A type of network that allows computers, smartphones and other devices to connect to the internet wirelessly within a particular area. Learn more about Spectrum In-home WiFi.

WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network)

A wireless distribution method that allows multiple users to connect to the internet through an access point. A WLAN doesn't rely on wired Ethernet connections. Learn more about wireless security.


A computer virus that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. A worm can consume system resources and slow or halt other applications and traffic. Learn more about protecting your computer from malicious software.