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Technology has its own language. Although we’ve tried to minimise the amount of technical jargon used on the site, you may find these definitions useful:



Networks that connect mobile phones to the internet, 5G is the fastest


An operating system for mobiles that’s based on Linux open source software


The developer and manufacturer of popular Mac and iPhone devices which use Apple’s own operating system, iOS

Applications (apps)

A form of software designed to help an end user achieve a particular purpose, e.g. FaceTime (seeing relatives), Zoom (virtual meetings) or Google Classroom (online schooling)


A limit imposed by a telco which prevents users from racking up unexpected bills (e.g. for out-of-allowance use)


A fast internet connection at a fixed location, e.g. at an end user’s home

Chrome OS

Google’s operating system, often used by schools to run Google Classroom (for remote learners)


Software produced by Neverware, used to give pre-loved laptops Chromebook functionality

Commercial partner

A partner who delivers services in order to make profits

Community organisation

An organisation already working with a community to improve its residents’ lives, e.g. library, school or charity


The ability to connect to the internet through a SIM data package, broadband, mobile/WiFi network or free public network

Data package

A set amount of data that can be accessed via a device, normally over a month

Data privacy

The protection of data through the control of data collection, storage and sharing

Data wiping

The process of removing personal data from a device so the next user can’t access the previous user’s information

Device accessories

Hardware without which the device isn’t usable, e.g. charger

Device donation, restoration and delivery process

The person or organisation who is willing to transfer ownership of a device to someone else

Device restoration

The first stage of making a device ready for an end user by wiping data, assessing its condition and ensuring its software operates correctly


The person or organisation who is willing to transfer ownership of a device to someone else


Unwanted or unusable electronics which should be disposed of responsibly due to data privacy and environmental concerns

Factory reset

A software restore which returns a device to its original factory settings, removing all information on the device in the process

Free Public Networks

Less secure internet connections which are open to the public, usually over WiFi, e.g. those in cafes or libraries


A regulation designed to safeguard personal data


A device’s physical parts, e.g. battery or screen

Hardware diagnostics

The process of testing the hardware on a device to establish if it’s in good working order


A location where people can connect to the internet, often for free


An organisation looking to make an impact in its local community


Apple’s operating system, used on iPhones, iPads (tablets) and Macbook (laptops)


Small, portable computers which include a screen and keyboard


The legal right to use software (e.g. an operating system) within set guidelines

Mobile phone network

A means of connecting to the internet for mobile phones or dongles as provided by telcos, described as either 3G, 4G or 5G

Mobile/Wi-Fi dongle

A small device which plugs into a USB port and allows connectivity via 3G, 4G or 5G

Open source software

Software which can be downloaded, installed and used free of charge

Operating system

Software which controls a device’s hardware and enables other software to run, most commonly Windows, iOS or Chrome OS


Third parties whose support will help you Reboot more devices, e.g. telcos


A means of accessing the internet using pre-paid credit, this can be easily topped up

Readying the device

The second stage of making a device ready for an end user by installing suitable apps


The person who receives a restored device


A card that slots into a mobile phone or a dongle to allow connection to a mobile phone network

Smart Phones

Mobile phones which can access the internet, take photographs and run apps


Programmes which run on a device, e.g. apps


Handheld mobile computers characterised by large touch screens, e.g. the Apple iPad


A telecommunications company which provides connectivity for devices

USB port

A type of connection found on laptops and some tablets, these are not used on mobile phones

User ready

A device that is ready for immediate deployment and use


A means of using an internet connection without wires, e.g. a connection provided within a library or other public place


The most popular operating system, developed by Microsoft

If you’d like to suggest a word or term for inclusion in the glossary, please contact us.

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