Storage device

DroboAlternatively referred to as digital storage, storage, storage media, or storage medium, a storage device is any hardware capable of holding information on a computer. The storage device may hold, or save, the information temporarily or permanently.

There are two types of storage devices used in computers: a primary storage device, such as RAM, and a secondary storage device, like a hard drive. Secondary storage can be removable, internal, or external storage. The picture shows an example of a Drobo, an external secondary storage device.

Without a storage device, your computer would not be able to save any settings or information and would be considered a dumb terminal.

Types of computer storage

The following are some examples of types of storage devices used with computers.

Hard driveMagnetic storage devices

Today, magnetic storage is one of the most common types of storage used with computers and is the technology that many computer hard drives use.

CD-ROMOptical storage devices

Another common storage is optical storage, which uses lasers and lights as its method of reading and writing data.

Flash memory devices

16GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro USB Flash DriveFlash memory has started to replace magnetic media as it becomes cheaper and more efficient solution.

Online and cloud

Storing data online and in cloud storage is becoming popular as people need to access their data from more than one device.

Paper storage

Punch cardEarly computers had no method of using any of the above technologies for storing information and had to rely on paper. Today, these forms of storage are rarely used or found.

When saving anything on a computer, it may ask you for a storage location, which is the area in which you would like to save the information. By default, most information is saved to your computer hard drive. If you want to move the information to another computer, save it to a removable storage device such as a flash drive.

Tip: Keep in mind that although these devices do send and receive information, they are not considered an input device or output device.

Related pages

Also see: CD terms, Cloud, Floppy drive terms, Hard drive terms, I/O Device, Memory terms, Permanent storage, SAN, Non-volatile, Tape terms