Secondary Storage Device
Alternatively referred to as external memory, secondary memory, and auxiliary storage, a secondary storage device is any non-volatile medium that holds data until it is deleted or overwritten. Secondary storage is about two orders of magnitude cheaper than primary storage. Consequently, hard drives (a prime example of secondary storage) are the go-to solution for nearly all data kept on today's computers.
The image shows three different types of storage for computer data, but offline storage should be considered a subset of secondary storage, as they both serve the same purpose and do not interact directly with the CPU. The key differences being that offline storage is used as a way to physically transport data, generally has less capacity, and isn't accessible without human interaction.
- See our storage device definition for a full list of storage devices.
- Computer hard drive help and support.
- Computer floppy drive help and support.