What is Cache?

A cache is any type of intermediate storage (or “buffer storage”), for example on the PC, a browser or server. This type of buffer memory enables faster access to data that is called up frequently or at short notice (e.g. login data) without this data having to be reloaded for each call. This process of saving often runs in the background and is not noticed by the user.

The data is available faster and can be read more quickly. All of this happens automatically in the background without you noticing. Cache and other temporary data can always be deleted, for example to free up storage space for a short time . However, caches can also contain outdated or incorrect data, which can then lead to display errors or other errors. In this case, it is also worth clearing the cache.

In the browser, cache is a type of fast buffer storage. The term comes from the French word “la cachette” or “la cache” and means “the hiding place”. A cache is also hidden in the IT system because you, the user, cannot see it. When you surf the Internet, your browser stores various such caches. This allows content to be restored more quickly, for example if you access a page again.

A search engine like Google also has a cache for its SERPs. This fulfills various functions. The search engine temporarily stores the content of all web pages that come into consideration for inquiries from search engine users. Using an index in the cache memory, the search engine’s server searches for the most suitable and up-to-date web content that is suitable for answering the search query. Only in this way can the search engine guarantee that it will display relevant results for user input in a fraction of a second.

However, a cache is not only used as an intermediate storage device on the Internet or in software. The hardware of your PC or notebook also works with a cache. The processor built into your computer, for example, has a cache, and the hard drive also uses a cache to transfer frequently accessed data. Here, too, data is temporarily stored in the cache to enable faster data retrieval.