You are currently viewing What are storage devices?

What are storage devices?

Storage devices are computer equipment that are used to keep data/information temporarily or permanently for future use.

They can either be external or internal and are sometimes referred to as storage media or storage medium. There are some of the storage devices which are volatile and others are non-volatile. Volatile storage devices store data/information alright but just temporary, meaning that the data/information is lost when the computer shuts down or goes off as a result of shutting it down or irregular flow of electrical power in the case of a desktop computer and a typical example is the random access memory (RAM). Non-volatile storage devices are the ones that do not lose data/information even if the computer is shut down and a typical example is the hard disk drive (HDD).

Examples of storage devices are ; CD, DVD, Floppy disk, USB flash drive,Magnetic tape,Memory card, SSD.

Types of storage devices

There are two types of storage devices;

  • Primary storage devices; These are storage devices that store data/information temporarily as their main function and are mostly internal to the computer’s system. Since they store data or information temporary, they can also be termed volatile. They are directly accessible by the Central Processing Unit(CPU) and for that reason makes the process very fast. Egs. Cache, RAM.
  • Secondary storage devices; Unlike primary storage devices, these storage devices store data/information permanently as their main function and could be internal or external to the computer. These type of storage  devices can also be termed non-volatile since data or information is not lost when the computer is shut down or goes off suddenly. These devices are not directly accessible by the CPU which makes accessing data from them a little bit slower than accessing data from primary storage devices. Egs. Hard disk(both internal and external), USB devices.

Internal storage devices

They are the storage devices that are inside the system unit and are usually not removed. Some examples of internal storage devices are; internal hard drive, RAM and cache memory.

External storage devices 

They are the storage devices that are used outside the system unit and are usually removable. Some examples of external storage devices are; external hard drive, flash drive, memory card, CD/DVD ROM and floppy disk. An external hard drive is connected to the system unit using a USB cable.

Differences between internal and external storage devices 

  1. Internal storage devices are used inside the system unit while external storage devices are used outside the system unit.
  2. Internal storage devices are usually not to be removed when the computer is working while external storage devices are removable anytime. This is because, the computer may stop working if an internal storage device is removed but may continue to work if an external storage device is removed.

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