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Cache refers to a temporary storage location where data, frequently accessed files, or processed information is stored for quick retrieval. It serves as a buffer between the original source of the data and the user or application that requests it. The main purpose of caching is to improve the speed and efficiency of data access, reducing the need to fetch the data from the original source repeatedly.

Caching is commonly used in various technology contexts:

1. **Web Browsers:** Web browsers cache elements of websites, such as images, stylesheets, and scripts, to speed up subsequent visits to the same site. This way, when you revisit a webpage, the browser can load cached content locally instead of downloading it again from the web server.

2. **Content Delivery Networks (CDNs):** CDNs use caching to store copies of website content on servers distributed across different locations. When a user requests content, it’s delivered from the closest CDN server, reducing latency and improving load times.

3. **Database Caching:** In database systems, caching is used to store frequently accessed database queries or results in memory, reducing the need to query the database repeatedly and improving application performance.

4. **Server Caching:** Servers can cache responses to requests, such as API calls, to avoid recalculating the same data for multiple users.

5. **Application Caching:** Applications can cache information to reduce the need for expensive computations or data fetching, especially in cases where the data doesn’t change frequently.

6. **Browser Caching:** Websites can instruct browsers to cache certain resources for a specified period, improving load times for returning visitors.

Caching helps minimize the workload on servers, reduce latency, and enhance user experiences by delivering content faster. However, cache management is crucial to ensure that users receive accurate and up-to-date information. Cache expiration times, cache purging, and cache invalidation mechanisms are used to maintain the freshness of cached content.

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