PC Hardware

Technical Terms Beginning With N

nanosecond (ns)

One-billionth of one second. The time increment used to measure access speed of the memory chip.

NetBIOS/NetBEUI (networked basic input/output system/NetBios Enhanced User Interface)

A local area protocol developed by IBM and refined by Microsoft; originally, the native protocol for LAN Manager and Windows NT. IBM developed NetBIOS as a way to permit small groups of computers to share files and printers efficiently. NetBIOS is the original edition; NetBEUI is an enhanced version for more powerful networks in the 32-bit operating system.


A group of computers connected together in order to share data and resources.

network card

An expansion card that connects a computer to a group of computers so they can access information and programs. Also known as a network interface card, NIC, and network adapter card.

NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol)

A transmission standard for Usenet news.



Networked computers that are not actively connected so that transmission of data is not possible.

offline reader

A program to display e-mail messages that have been downloaded to a computer.


A unit of electrical resistance.


The state in which two or more computers are connected to each other, making possible data transmission.

operating system

The program that controls a PC and makes it possible for users to run their own applications. The operating system provides the built-in routines that allow the computer to recognize commands, manage files, connect devices, and perform input/output operations.