What do all these tech abbreviations mean?

When you’re speaking with a service provider, few things are more off-putting than the constant use of acronyms and three-letter sets that you aren’t familiar with.  Information is only as good as it is understandable, after all.
So, what do some of these abbreviations actually mean?  We’ve picked some of the most widely used abbreviations in attempt to close the gap between “tech talk,” and, well, “talk.”
What does VoIP mean?
Voice over Internet Protocol.
This is a type of phone system that uses the Internet to make calls; data is sent digitally rather than over analog lines.  Vonage is an example of this on the consumer side of the market.
What does VPN mean?
Virtual Private Network.
Want to connect to your organization’s network securely without being in the same physical location?  Chances are you’ll use this connection protocol to tunnel through the Internet from wherever you are to your target network.
What does SaaS mean?
Software as a Service.
You can download software onto your computer and access it locally, or you can access the same software over the Internet.  With Software as a Service, you pay for the right to rent the software rather than purchasing licenses yourself.
What does LAN mean?
Local Area Network.
This represents a singular, contained computer ecosystem, with emphasis on how all of the bits and pieces are connected to one another.
What does WAN mean?
Wide Area Network.
If you zoom out to the macro level, a WAN looks at the connection between multiple LANs, including phone lines and cables.  The world’s biggest Wide Area Network is the Internet.
And that’s just the beginning.  Stay tuned for more decoding in posts to come!