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PC Tip of the Month

Know the Difference Between Login and Log In

April 2014 – by Per Christensson

The terms "login" and "log in" are two of the most incorrectly used computer terms. In fact, the misuse of these two terms is so rampant, even seasoned technology experts have been known to use them interchangeably.

One is a noun and one is a verb. Can you guess which is which?

  • Login (one word): noun.
  • Log in (two words): verb.

The difference is not hard to remember, since "log in" cannot be a noun (it is a verb is followed by a preposition). Therefore, when you access a secure website, you log in to the website using your login information. To put it another way, your login is your username and password combination, while logging in is the act of entering this information for authentication purposes.

Additionally, you "log in to" a server, rather than "log into" a server, since "log in" should remain the verb. Otherwise, you would "log" into a server, which is not technically accurate.

Of course, this information is only applicable when you write the words, not say them (which is why most people don't know the difference). If you can keep these two terms straight in your emails, papers, and other writing, your technical accuracy will be well ahead of the average computer user. Who knows, your friends and colleagues may even learn from you.

Important: "Logon" can be used synonymously with "login," and "log on" can be used synonymously with "log in." However, "login" and "log in" are the more commonly used terms.

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