Untangle the Jargon

When we talk about file sharing, there is often a lot of technical terms thrown around. Don’t let them put you off understanding what is involved in the law change. Here are some of the terms and their meanings.

File sharing

A method of sharing digital information such as music and video over the internet.

Wi-fi

A computer networking technology that allows data to be transmitted over radio waves so you don’t need to connect two devices with a cable.

Wi-fi Protected Access (WPA) passwords

A Wi-Fi security standard that was designed as an improvement to WEP (wired equivalent privacy).

Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks or software

A system that allows people to share large music or videos files. Users can simultaneously swap large files using these systems. Examples of P2P systems include Napster and BitTorrent.

IP address

A unique number that identifies a PC when it’s connected to the internet.

Firewall

Software (or hardware) that blocks unwanted communication from, and often to, the internet.

Anti-virus software

Software that sits on your computer and scans, and then removes, viruses from your PC.

ISP

Standing for internet service provider, this is the company that enables and services your internet connection.