Definition and explanation

The cache is a very important intermediate memory of many devices and reduces the loading or waiting times for all users. Thanks to the data stored in it, information is available much faster. A definition is very technical and complicated. Therefore, this small memory is better explained with a comparison: Things that you use frequently, you usually have in the apartment and always ready to hand. Items that are rarely used, on the other hand, are in the basement and have to be fetched first. This is exactly how the cache works. It stores frequently used information so that it can be retrieved quickly. Other important data, which is used less frequently, ends up in the main memory and cannot be retrieved as quickly.

Similar to the apartment, this cache does not offer unlimited storage space. However, unlike the apartment, you don’t have to decide for yourself what stays and what goes. The cache does that on its own. You then benefit from the short loading times of the applications or websites. So everything that is often needed and always has to be at hand is cached here.

Cache types

There are different types of caches that have similar uses, but work differently. Here, however, we are not talking about differences between PC caches and cell phone caches. After all, cell phones are also just small PCs and function very similarly. Species here means the hardware that provides the cache and the software that uses it. Hardware refers to everything inside the PC or smartphone. Since the cache is located within the respective device, it is automatically part of the hardware. Here, its importance becomes clear once again, since it is present in every device in many different ways and is used by almost every program.

Hardware cache

This small memory is not only part of the hardware, but the hardware itself also takes advantage of the cache to work faster and more efficiently. For example, each processor has its own cache. This processor cache is very important and helps to increase computing power. This is because the processor cannot always execute all instructions immediately and needs a place where data is cached before further processing.

But not only the processor uses it, the hard disk also has its own. The so-called hard disk cache is also important, especially to start or restore programs and applications quickly. So it turns out that caches are used frequently and without them the speed of our PCs and cell phones would be much slower.

Software cache

In addition to the hardware, various applications also use the cache to accelerate accesses to frequently used data. The working memory is usually used as the software cache, since it is the largest. Thus, it offers space for many applications and can be used as a small memory. Although all programs and apps use a cache, it is usually only associated with a certain type of application: browsers.

Cookies and cache are two very important components for browsers to display content effectively and provide the user with a pleasant experience. Browsers like Firefox or Chrome store data in the cache to reduce the loading time of web pages. This is because every time a web page is visited for the first time, the browser has to download all the content from the server. Then it can display them. This all takes place within a few seconds and is fastest if the information does not have to be requested at all because the data is already available in the cache. Thus, the browser saves the request to the server as well as the download of the files and can directly start displaying the web page. The definition of the browser cache therefore also corresponds to the comparison between the apartment and the basement, in order to have frequently used things ready more quickly.

Clear cache

A very frequently searched problem is the deletion of cache and cookies in the browser. Often referred to as Internet cache, it can sometimes be useful to clear the cache of one’s browser. Especially since this is not particularly large and can sometimes overflow or has stored outdated version of an Internet page. In both cases, it can be cleared in the browser’s settings. However, the easiest way to delete it is to use a keyboard shortcut:

For Windows: [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Del] (or the “delete” key).

For MacOS: [Command] + [Shift] + [Del] (or the “delete” key)

Search engines cache

Search engines also have their own cache to store web pages and retrieve them faster. Among others, the Google cache is very important to mention here. However, the functionality and usefulness of these caches is very extensive, so we cannot cover them comprehensively in this article.

Questions about cache:

What is cache?

The cache is a small memory to store data temporarily and retrieve it quickly. Thanks to various caches, PCs and cell phones work much faster and more effectively.

What does cache mean?

Cache means something like temporary storage and is pronounced “Käsch”. The term originally comes from the French and translated means “hiding place”.

What are cookies and cache?

The cache and cookies are preferably used by browsers to load Internet pages faster and thus What is a buffer?. However, both can be deleted, but then pages may load slower.

What is a buffer?

It is the term for intermediate storage. This is used by smartphones and computers to store data for quick access over a short period of time. The cache is used by the hardware (e.g. processor) as well as applications and apps.

What is the browser cache?

The browser cache is a small buffer containing data from previously visited websites. The browser uses this to load already visited web pages faster when they are called up again and to save resources.

How long does data remain stored in the cache?

The data in the cache is sometimes only stored for a certain period of time. For many applications and programs as well as the hardware (e.g. processors), the data usually remains in the cache until the device is switched off. However, sometimes it makes sense to empty the memory (e.g. with browsers).


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