Common IT Terms


An operating system for mobile devices, produced by Google


A type of shared file space that works best for UNIX systems, also known as H: and I: drives, Courseware, NDAccess. Originally developed by Carnegie Mellon University, AFS stands for Andrew File System.


The process of identifying an individual, usually based on a username and password.


The process of granting or denying access to a network resource. Most computer security systems are based on a two-step process. The first stage is authentication, which ensures that a user is who he or she claims to be. The second stage is authorization, which allows the user access to various resources based on the user's identity.


A blog is a personal journal published on the Web, consisting of posts by one or more authors, typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even reply to each other. This interactivity distinguishes a blog from other static websites.


A Web browser is a software program used for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. Some commonly used web browsers are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome.


The Central Authentication Service (CAS) is a single sign-on protocol for the web. Its purpose is to permit a user to access multiple applications while providing their credentials (such as NetID and password) only once. It also allows web applications to authenticate users without gaining access to a user's security credentials, such as a password.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing delivers computing as a service, where shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a metered service over the Internet. Cloud computing provides computation, software applications, data access, and storage resources, without requiring users to know the location of data or other detals of the computing infrastructure.  


The Center for Research Computing (CRC) at the University of Notre Dame is an innovative and multidisciplinary research environment that supports collaboration to facilitate discoveries in science and engineering, the arts, humanities and social sciences, through advanced computation, data analysis and other digital research tools. The center enhances the University’s cyberinfrastructure, provides support for interdisciplinary research and education, and conducts computational research.


Campus Workstation Program


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network protocol that automates the configuration of devices to add or register them on the network.


Any time a user makes a local copy of information found online, the process of gathering this information is called downloading. This process is most frequently associated with downloading music, documents, or software files.


Domain Name System (DNS) is used by the Internet to translate device names into IP addresses.  Analogous to a phone book for the Internet.


Electronic Mail. Email addresses hold mail for you until you log in to the account. All email addresses use the @ symbol -- for instance,


A security barrier that is intended to protect your computer from hackers and viruses.


Internet Message Access Protocol is an email protocol in which email is received and held for you by your email server. You can view only the heading and the sender of the message and then decide whether to download the mail. IMAP requires continuous access to the server during the time you are working with your email.


Notre Dame's Online Community or portal -

IP address

Every machine on a network has a unique identifier. Just as you would address a letter to send in the U. S. mail, computers use the unique identifier to send data to specific computers on a network. This is known as the Internet Protocol address, or IP address.


A vast computer network linking smaller computer networks worldwide. The Internet includes commercial, educational, government, and other networks, all of which use the same set of communications protocols.


The operating system that runs on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch


A Web address or email address that is embedded on a Web page or within an email. It is a shortcut to another destination, and links you to another site.


A system that makes it possible to create, manage and control electronic "mailing lists" on the Internet.


The Messaging Application Program Interface that enables you to send email using an Exchange Server.  


A type of shared file space which works best for Windows and Mac machines.


A unique number assigned to you when you join the university.  Your ndID provides access to a variety of resources.


Name of the wireless network for sponsored visitors to the Notre Dame campus.  


Name of the wireless network  for use by faculty, staff and students which segregates the campus network depending on the individual's role, and adds encryption as information is transmitted.


Your Notre Dame computer user name or login. For individuals, it generally consists of the first initial and part or all of the last name and a number when needed to make it unique. Example: John Smith may have a NetID of jsmith23.


Name of the original unsecured wireless network at Notre Dame.

Operating System

The most important software that is installed on your computer. This program is like the "manager" of all the other computer programs. Examples:  Windows 7 or Macintosh OS X


The name of the vendor that developed the PrintND software that is used in the computer labs, residence halls and other areas of campus to reduce printing costs, lessen the impact on the environment and enhance printing security.


Acronym for Post Office Protocol, a protocol used to retrieve email from a mail server. Your mail is saved for you in a single mailbox on the server.  When you read your mail, all of it is immediately delivered to your computer, and generally no longer maintained on the server.


PrintND is a print management system that helps the University control printing costs while providing all students with a print quota to help them with their academic printing needs.


A standard procedure for regulating data transmission between computers.


Notre Dame's open-source collaboration and learning environment. Find out more about the Sakai project here.

Search Engine

Computer software that searches the Internet for specific information. Commonly used search engines include Google, Bing, or Yahoo.  

Smart Phone or Smartphone

An advanced cell phone that can run a variety of applications, functioning much like a computer. Android phones and iPhones are the most popular smartphones on campus.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is a protocol for sending email messages between servers. SMTP authentication ensures that only Notre Dame users are allowed to send email through the central Notre Dame email service.


Unsolicited bulk or commercial email, electronic junk mail or junk newsgroup postings.


Secure Sockets Layer encrypts communications between the email servers and your computer so that your password is not sent in human-readable text.

USB Drive

A USB drive is a data storage device that uses flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. USB drives are typically removable and rewritable, and physically much smaller than a floppy disk. They also are called flash drives, jump drives, or thumb drives.


Voice over Internet Protocol, or voice telephone over an Internet connection


Virtual Private Network is a network access service that permits remote systems to access the ND network as if they were physically located on the ND campus network. In technical terms, a VPN allows remote systems to obtain a campus IP address for purposes of access to certain restricted on-campus systems. These systems use encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that the data cannot be intercepted. 


WebFile is a way for you to access your Institutional File Space (IFS) using a Web browser. Institutional File Space at Notre Dame is also known as NetFile, AFS, H: and I: drives, Courseware, NDAccess, etc.


A wireless Internet connection.


World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. Originally all Web page addresses started with www, but most sites no longer require www, and some may not work if you use it in the Web address, (e.g.,