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Web Browser Terminology

If you've used web browsers for any length of time you've heard the terms cache and cookies. Just what exactly are these and are they the same thing? Well, I'm here to explain these terms for you.

CookiesCookies
No, I'm not talking about Chinese fortune cookies or chocolate chip cookies. I'm talking about the small files that your browser saves on your computer that contain information that the website you're visiting uses to enhance your experience. Every time you visit a website your browser looks for the cookie associated with that website and sends it to the website's server telling it what you did the last time you were there. Cookies will sometimes track information like how frequently you visit, what times of the day you visit, what you've clicked on, and other information that is used to customize your visit. So essentially, cookies are used to store different information about you, the user. Cookies also have an expiration date so they will expire after some time period.

CashCache
This is pronounced just like the word for legal tender. When you visit a website your browser saves on your computer a copy of the HTML pages and images that you view. This is done for your benefit to reduce bandwidth usage, server load, and to make the website load quicker the next time you visit. So essentially, cache is used to store information about the website. Cache does not expire and is only removed if you manually remove it. To remove your cache you can follow these steps:

  1. Open any browser
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Del
  3. Select cache
  4. Click the appropriate button at the bottom of the window to delete or clear

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