What do all the Three Letter Acronyms mean?

You will see a lot of acronyms, mainly with 3 letters, these are called TLAs, three letter acronyms, and this is your guide to understanding what they mean

WWW – World Wide Web

The Internet is a network, a lot of things use the Internet, Email, Video, smart devices, and the World Wide Web.  When you use a browser to look up a website, you are using the World Wide Web, invented by Sir Tim Burners Lee, in 1989. At the time, he was working in CERN, a Particle Physics Lab in Geneva. 

TLD – Top Level Domain. 

This is the .com or the .ie at the end of a website address.  A lot of new TLDs have been launched, like .club, .limo and .tech.

IP Address – Internet Protocol

This is a string of numbers separated by dots, which is how you get to a website.  You use a DNS to look these up.


This is an expansion of the current IP system.  The original system is called IPv4 and has 4 groups of numbers, which means there are 4,294,967,296 available.  Would you believe this is running out, and that is now why we need IPv6, which has 6 groups of numbers and 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456, so we won’t be running out any time soon. 

DNS – Domain Name Server

This is a system that turns a text website address like bytek.ie into a set of numbers, it’s IP address

IoT - Internet of Things

These are usually small devices, other than computers, that connect to the Internet, for example, a light bulb, speaker, sensor.  The most famous example of this is perhaps the Nest Thermostat.

HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol

This is how your browser makes a request to the web server that hosts a website when you type bytek.ie, your browser sends a HTTP request and when the page comes back, the server sends a HTTP response with the website.

HTTPS - Hypertext Transfer Protocol

Like HTTP, but when you make a connection it is secure.  You should check the website address starts with https:// or has a padlock on it in your address bar when giving out financial or confidential information.  

POP – Post Office Protocol

POP was first introduced in 1982 and is designed for slow connections.  It is insecure and doesn’t support syncing to multiple machines 

IMAP –  Internet Message Access Protocol

While IMAP is more advanced, it requires a lot of remote space.  For work emails, the most professional and secure way to do this is with Exchange or Office 365

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Pamela O TooleComment