The amount of time it takes for a computer to retrieve stored data. Actually, it is the interval between the moment a computer calls for data from a storage medium (such as your hard drive, a CD-ROM, or the Internet) and the moment the data is delivered. On the Web, this time frame can be a matter of seconds or of minutes, depending on the speed of your connection. Your ISP may automatically "cut your time off" if you allow your browser to stay idle for too long. You'll have to dial-in again to regain access.