A CDE Definition
Pronounced "browser cash." A temporary storage area in memory or on disk that holds the most recently downloaded Web pages. As you jump from Web page to Web page, caching those pages in memory lets you quickly go back to a page without having to download it from the Web again. In order to ensure that the latest page is displayed, the browser compares the dates of the cached page with the current Web page. If the Web page has not changed, the cached page is displayed immediately. If the Web page has changed, it is downloaded, displayed and cached.
When you quit the browser session, the cached pages are stored on disk. Settings in your Web browser let you set the amount of space to use for the cache, which is essentially a disk folder, and the length of time to hold the pages. See Web cache.
(1) A folder full of Web pages in the user's computer that is maintained by the Web browser for a period of time. If the local, cached page has not been updated on the Web, it is retrieved immediately by the browser, saving download time.
(2) A computer system in a network that keeps copies of the most-recently requested Web pages in memory or on disk in order to speed up retrieval. If the next page requested has already been stored in the cache, it is retrieved locally rather than from the Internet. Web caching servers (or caching servers or cache servers) sit inside the company's firewall and enable all popular pages retrieved by users to be instantly available. Since the content of Web pages can change, the caching software is always checking for newer versions of the page and downloading them. Pages will be deleted from the cache after a set amount of non-activity. See browser cache, proxy cache, transparent cache. See also Akamai.
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