Secondary Storage Device
Alternatively referred to as external memory, secondary memory, and auxiliary storage, a secondary storage device is a non-volatile device 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 types of storage, but off-line storage is 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 off-line storage is used as a way to physically transport information, 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.