Gotta Know It: 5 Tech Terms Every Teen Should Know

Most of us can’t imagine living in a world without machines. Whether we admit it or not we are all dependent on technology in some way, shape, or form. However, not all of us know how to talk about the technology we use. Whether you are a tech hater or you plan on being the next Mark Zuckerberg you need to know these five basic tech terms.

1. IP Address

In order for your device to access the Internet, your machine needs to be identifiable to the network. That’s where IP Addresses come into play. They are also known as IP numbers, or IP, and are simply a string of numbers (separated by three decimals) that is associated to one specific device.IP addresses are usually separated into two common types: Dynamic and Static. Dynamic IPs might change every time you turn on your computer. And Static IPs will stay the same for a consistent amount of time. An IP address does not hold a lot of information or exact details about where you live, work or the web pages you have visited, despite what we sometimes hear on crime dramas!  However, they are often used to test devices from afar, and to test internet connections when troubleshooting connectivity issues.

You could be asked for your IP address if you have a device that is having trouble connecting to the Internet. In that case, a customer service technician, Information Technology help desk representative or Internet Service Provider might ask you to find your IP address as part of their troubleshooting process.

2. Cloud Computing

When you store your files, photos and projects online instead of on a hard drive or USB, you are using cloud computing! This means that you are keeping your information safe with a username and password on the Internet instead of on your own personal computer. The “cloud” is generally used to refer to a big clump of data available online, and you have access to your own specific data anytime. This makes your files easy to access from anywhere in the world, even if you don’t have the computer you saved the files on with you.

Be careful, you might not be able to access your files on the cloud if you do not have Internet connection in your location. It is good to always have a backup copy of your most important projects on your personal drive, or in a USB.

3. Hotspot

If you have ever connected to the Internet on your tablet while outside your home, school or office, you might have been connected to a wireless hotspot. Due to the high demand of internet and digital related projects and the need to be constantly connected, many public locations have started to offer free internet connection for customers and visitors. Even some underground subway stations offer hotspots! Hotspots make connecting online affordable, because it is often a free service provided for the public. The drawback? We are constantly expected to respond to e-mails, texts and messages right away since Internet connectivity is constantly available!

4. Access Point

An access point (AP) is a wireless device that transmits the signals that make it possible for your phones, laptops and other devices to connect online without the need of a Ethernet connection. You will usually connect via something known as an SSID, which is the name of the network you have joined. Oftentimes, you will need a password to join a network, making it more secure for usage.

What do they look like? APs are constantly being updated and redesigned, especially by companies such as Meru and Cisco. They typically look like square or round shaped boxes, and sometimes have exterior antennas and lights. Newer models are thin, lightweight and are sometimes not noticeable throughout different locations, since they are usually installed near ceilings or behind walls.

5. Jailbreaking

Jailbreaking is a term used to describe the modifications that iPhone users might make on their own phones to disrupt the current settings allowed. Some people might configure their phones to allow FaceTime to work without the need of a Wi-Fi network. You might have heard of Jailbreaking in regards to phones and recognized the negative connotation that is usually associated with it since many people have reported bugs and error messages. There are many pros and cons to doing this, but many people choose to do it for the fun of experimenting with the phone’s setting and customizing the phones appearance.

What could happen if you do it? Since it is considered a breach of Apple agreements and contracts, it will usually void your phone’s warranty, making it ineligible for replacements and repairs.
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