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Get Rural is an authorized retailer of Viasat Internet services and related customer equipment. Viasat and Exede are trademarks and service marks of Viasat, Inc. Some content on this website may be copyrighted by Viasat, Inc.

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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP):

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is a Google-run website publishing technology  and includes numerous search, social and web publishing platforms around the world.  It is an open-source library that designed as a straightforward way to create web pages that are compelling, smooth, and load near instantaneously for users. AMP web pages build on existing web design frameworks to create web accelerated webpages optimized for mobile devices. AMP is supported by many different platforms, and it’s compatible across web browsers. AMP’s ecosystem includes over 25 million domains, 100s of technology providers and leading platforms, that span the areas of publishing, advertising, e-commerce, local and small businesses, and more!

Active Server Page:

This is a web page that has one or more ASP scripts (see “ASP” below) embedded in it. ASP scripts are like small computer programs that run when an ASP-based web page is accessed. You can tell if you’re accessing an active server page if the suffix of the URL is “.asp” (as opposed to “.html”). ASP pages are processed on a web server before they are transferred to a user’s web browser. ASP pages are typically used for pages that have dynamic or frequently changing information. For example, an .ASP script might be used to get a visitor’s zip code through an online form, then customize the content on the resulting page based on that information.

Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA):

A type of disk drive that integrates the drive controller directly on the drive itself. Computers can use ATA hard drives without a specific controller to support the drive. The motherboard must still support an ATA connection, but a separate card (such as a SCSI card for a SCSI hard drive) is not needed.

Adware:

Free software supported by advertisements. Common adware programs are toolbars that sit on your desktop or work in conjunction with your web browser. They include features like advanced internet searches and better organization of bookmarks & shortcuts. Adware can also include more advanced programs, such as games or utilities. Many mobile apps and Facebook games use adware. Adware is free to use, but they require that you watch advertisements as long as the programs are open. Since the ads often allow you to click to a web site, adware typically requires an active internet connection to run.

WARNING: Most adware is safe to use, but some can serve as spyware, maliciously designed to gather data from your computer’s hard drive or mobile device, from the websites you visit or based on your keystrokes. Make sure any adware that you install on your computer or mobile device is from a reputable company and always read the privacy agreement that comes with it.

AIFF:

Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) is an audio format originally developed by Apple for storing high-quality sampled audio data. AIFF files are similar to Windows WAVE files in both size and quality. Both AIFF and WAVE files can hold CD quality audio and therefore can be burned onto an audio CD. Though the AIFF format was created by Apple, audio programs on both the Mac and PC can typically read an AIFF file.

AirDrop:

An ad-hoc service in Apple’s mac OS and iOS operating systems that enables the transfer of files among supported Macintosh computers and iOS devices like an iPhone or iPad over WiFi and Bluetooth, without using email or a mass storage device. With AirDrop, you can instantly share photos, videos, documents and other files with other Apple devices nearby.

Alexa:

Amazon Alexa is a virtual assistant developed by Amazon, first used in the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Echo Dot line of computing devices. Alexa’s capabilities mimic those of other intelligent assistants such as Apple Siri or Google Home. Alexa responds to voice control by returning information on products on Amazon, music, news, weather, sports and more. The back-end engine for Alexa runs on Amazon Web Services (see “Amazon Web Services” below) in the cloud, enabling Alexa to learn an individual or family’s personal preferences and expand its functionality over time. In addition to the Echo products, Alexa is also supported by Amazon’s Fire HD tablet and Fire TV set-top box products.

Amazon:

Amazon.com is the largest online retailer world wide and a prominent cloud services provider. Originally founded as an online bookstore, Amazon has expanded to sell a wide variety of consumer goods and digital media, as well as its own cloud computing service and unique electronic devices, such as the Kindle e-book reader, Kindle Fire tablet, the Fire TV stick and most recently the Amazon Alexa virtual assistant. By opening up its e-commerce platform to non-Amazon vendors, nearly every legal product that can be shipped is available on Amazon’s website and mobile app. Anyone can register to use Amazon’s shopping services, and registered users have the option to enroll in Amazon Prime, a paid subscription that offers several membership benefits including free two-day shipping and on-demand music and video streaming services.

Amazon Drive:

Formerly known as Amazon Cloud Drive, Amazon Drive is a cloud storage application managed by Amazon. This service offers secure cloud storage, file backup, file sharing, and photo printing. Amazon Drive is free with an Amazon Prime membership or you can choose to enroll in an Amazon Digital Storage Plan for a small annual fee. You can access Amazon Drive via a desktop app or use the Amazon Drive On The Go mobile app to access your photos. You’ll be able to view, share and auto-save your photos online and on your phone.

Amazon Prime:

A paid Amazon subscription service that provides users access to free two-day delivery, streaming music and video, and other benefits, such as Amazon Drive photo storage and e-book lending, for a monthly or yearly fee. Amazon Prime members are also eligible to receive Amazon Prime Video, which is an internet video on demand service that offers television shows and films for rent or purchase and a selection of Amazon Studios original content. Amazon Prime Video subscribers can view and stream videos on demand on any PC, mobile device or TV with internet access. Recently, Amazon has added Twitch.tv services to the Amazon Prime membership (see “Twitch”).

Amazon Web Services (AWS):

A comprehensive, evolving variety of web-based services from Amazon used by developers to deploy web applications for individuals, companies and governments on a paid subscription basis. The first Amazon Web Services (AWS) offerings were launched to provide online services for websites and client-side applications.

Today, the most notable AWS are the on-demand cloud computing platforms and storage offerings, such as Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3), and its crowdsourcing systems, like Mechanical Turk. The AWS technology allows subscribers a supercomputing service with access to a virtual cluster of computers in the cloud. This service can perform intensive calculations and is available online any time the AWS subscriber needs it.

AMP:

The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project is a Google-run website publishing technology and includes numerous search, social and web publishing platforms around the world.  It is an open-source library that designed as a straightforward way to create web pages that are compelling, smooth, and load near instantaneously for users. AMP web pages build on existing web design frameworks to create web accelerated webpages optimized for mobile devices. AMP is supported by many different platforms, and it’s compatible across web browsers. AMP’s ecosystem includes over 25 million domains, 100s of technology providers and leading platforms, that span the areas of publishing, advertising, e-commerce, local and small businesses, and more!

Android:

Google’s mobile operating system (OS) that is used by several smartphones, like LG’s, Samsung Galaxy and the Moto. Android is open sourced, meaning it is not linked to a specific cell phone manufacturer or service provider. The Android OS also supports third-party applications, which can be downloaded as a mobile app from Android Market, Google’s online software store.

Antenna:

A device used to send and receive transmissions. Often referred to as the “dish” Viasat’s antenna and is professionally installed at your home or business by one of our certified Viasat technicians. Your technician will bring your  new Viasat antenna equipment, which includes your Viasat satellite dish, mounting bracket and TRIA assembly. The Viasat dish is about 30 inches in diameter and connects to the modem inside your home via a coaxial cable. The antenna is what allows the connection between the wireless modem and the ViaSat satellite in space. To learn more about Viasat’s cutting-edge technology & equipment click here.

Antivirus:

Software designed to prevent, detect and remove viruses from a computer. Once installed, most antivirus programs run in the background, scanning new files for viruses and performing regular system checks. You can also use an antivirus utility to scan individual files or folders directly. The software operates by checking files against a database of virus definitions, which contain signatures of known viruses. If a file contains a virus, the antivirus program will typically quarantine the file, making it inaccessible (and therefore removing the threat). It may also mark the file for deletion.

While antivirus software primarily scans for viruses, most modern antivirus programs also scan for other types of malware. This includes trojan horses, worms, spyware & malicious adware. Many antivirus programs are now included as part of “internet security” suites, which offer additional types of system protection, such as customizable firewalls, website blocking and port monitoring. Also written as “anti-virus” or simply “AV”.

API:

Application Program Interface (API) is a set of commands, functions and protocols that programmers can use when building software for a specific operating system (OS). The API allows programmers to use predefined functions to interact with the operating system, instead of writing them from scratch. All computer operating systems, such as Windows, Unix and Mac OS, provide an application program interface for programmers. APIs are also used by video game consoles and other hardware devices that can run software programs. While the API makes the programmer’s job easier, it also benefits the end user, since it ensures all programs using the same API will have a similar user interface.

Applet:

Contrary to popular opinion, an Applet is not a mini Apple device, rather it is a Java program that can be embedded in a web page. The difference between a standard Java application and a Java applet is that an applet cannot access system resources on the local computer. System files and serial devices (modems, printers, scanners, etc.) cannot be called or used by the applet. This is for security reasons. Applets have helped make the internet more dynamic and entertaining, while providing a safer online experience.

Application:

A software application program that runs on your computer. Web browsers, email programs, word processors, games and utilities are all types of applications. The word “application” is used because each program has a specific application for the user. For example, a word processor can help a student create a research paper, while a video game can provide entertainment and a great distraction from getting said paper completed.

Macintosh programs are typically called “applications”, while Windows programs are often referred to as “executable files”. This is why Mac programs use the .APP file extension, while Windows programs use the .EXE extension. Though they have different file extensions, Macintosh & Windows programs serve the same purpose and are both are software applications.

Archive:

An archive contains multiple files and/or folders within a single file. Archives can be saved in several different formats, most of which incorporate file compression to reduce the file size. They are used for consolidating a group of files into a single package. This can be helpful when transferring multiple files to another user or device and when backing up data. To open the files contained in an archive, they must first be extracted using a file extraction utility. If the archive is compressed, it must be decompressed before the files can be extracted. Most file decompression programs perform both of these operations automatically.

ARP:

Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is a protocol used for mapping an IP address to a computer connected to a local network LAN. Since each computer has a unique physical address called a MAC address, the ARP converts the IP address to the MAC address. This ensures each computer has a unique network identification. ARP is used when information sent to a network arrives at the gateway, which serves as the entrance point to the network. The gateway uses the ARP to locate the MAC address of the computer based on the IP address the data is being sent to. The ARP typically looks up this information in a table called the “ARP cache”.

If the address is found, the information is relayed to the gateway, which will send the incoming data to the appropriate machine. It may also convert the data to the correct network format if necessary. If the address is not found, the ARP broadcasts a “request packet” to other machines on the network to see if the IP address belongs to a machine not listed in the ARP cache. If a valid system is located, the information will be relayed to the gateway and the ARP cache will be updated with the new information. By updating the ARP cache, future requests for that IP address will be much quicker.

ASCII:

American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is the universal standard for the numerical codes computers use to represent all upper and lower-case letters, numbers and punctuation. ASCII makes it possible for text to be represented the same way on a Dell laptop in Lexington, Kentucky as it is on an Apple Power Mac in Paris, France. There are 128 standard ASCII codes, each of which can be represented by a 7-digit binary number. (Why? FUN MATH FACT! Because 2^7 = 128 of course.)

ASP:

Application Service Provider or Active Server Page (ASP) is an HTML page that includes one or more scripts (small embedded programs) that are processed on a before they are transferred to a user’s web browser. ASP pages are typically used for pages that have dynamic or frequently changing information. For example, an .ASP script might be used to get a visitor’s zip code through an online form, then customize the content on the resulting page based on that information.

ATA:

Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) is a type of disk drive that integrates the drive controller directly on the drive itself. Computers can use ATA hard drives without a specific controller to support the drive. The motherboard must still support an ATA connection, but a separate card (such as a SCSI card for a SCSI hard drive) is not needed.

Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF):

Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) is an audio format originally developed by Apple for storing high-quality sampled audio data. AIFF files are similar to Windows WAVE files in both size and quality. Both AIFF and WAVE files can hold CD quality audio and therefore can be burned onto an audio CD. Though the AIFF format was created by Apple, audio programs on both the Mac and PC can typically read the files.

Audio Streaming:

An online technology that allows you to stream music to your computer or smart device or phone through the internet as a continuous stream, instead of saving it to the hard drive. Sites like Apple MusiciHeartRadio, Pandora & Spotify use video streaming technology. With streaming media, a user does not have to wait to download an audio file to play it. Because the media is sent in a continuous stream of data it can play as it arrives. Users can pause, rewind or fast-forward, just as they could with a downloaded file, unless the content is being streamed live.

Media is usually streamed from prerecorded files but can also be distributed as part of a live broadcast feed. In a live broadcast, the audio signal is converted into a compressed digital signal and transmitted from a web server as multicast, sending a single file to multiple users at once. Streaming audio is transmitted by a server application and received and displayed in real-time by a client application called a media player. A media player can be either an integral part of a browser, a plug-in, a separate program or a dedicated device, such as smart phone or an Amazon Alexa or Echo. Frequently, audio files come with embedded players. While audio streaming media technologies have improved significantly, the quality of streamed content is still dependent upon the user’s connection speed.

Autocomplete:

A technology that provides text predictions as you type. For example, when you type a query in a search box, autocomplete will display a list of suggestions that begin with the string you have typed. The suggestions provided by autocomplete are typically based on a history of user searches recorded by the search engine. However, the autocomplete algorithm may include personalized information such as your location or your browsing history as well. So browse wisely!

Autoresponder:

A program or script on a mail server that automatically replies to emails. Though it is run from the mail server, an autoresponder can usually be set up by the user through a web-based interface.

For example, a company might set up an autoresponder for their support email address to let users know they have received their support requests. The automated reply might read something like, “Thank you, we have received your message. One of our Viasat technicians will be in touch shortly.”

Individuals may also use autoresponders to let people know when they are away from their computer and won’t be able to respond to any e-mails for awhile. For example, you might set up an autoresponder for your personal email address to say, “Sorry, I am on vacation in the Bahamas. Indefinitely. I’ll respond to your message if I ever decide to return.”

Avatar:

While Avatar, the movie, is a visually stunning motion picture masterpiece, an “avatar” is an online character that represents a person. This may refer to the icon and username a user chooses when registering for a website, in an online discussion forum or for online gaming. Games like World of Warcraft and the Sims allow players to create custom characters, known as avatars. Players can control their avatars and interact with other players in an online world. Do not judge, but my World of Warcraft avatar is a Mage with black armor and a wolf head dagger. True story.

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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