Storage Devices

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A storage device is a piece of computer hardware used for saving, carrying and pulling out data.  It can keep and retain information short-term or long-term.  It can be a device inside or outside a computer or server.  Other terms for storage device is storage medium or storage media.
A storage device is one of the basic elements of any computer device.  It almost saves all data and applications in a computer except for hardware firmware.  It comes in different shapes and sizes depending on the needs and functionalities.

Types of Storage Devices

There are two different types of storage devices:

Primary Storage Device Secondary Storage Device
Size Smaller Larger
Data Retention Temporary Permanent
Location Internal Internal / External
Examples RAM, Cache Memory Hard disk, Compact Disk Drive, USB storage device

Examples of Storage Device

  • Magnetic Storage Device – one of the most popular types of storage used.
    • Floppy diskette – A normal 3 ½ inch disk can store 1.44 MB of data.
    • Hard drive – An internal hard drive is the main storage device in a computer. An external hard drive is also known as removable hard drive.  It is used to store portable data and backups.
    • Magnetic strip – Magnetic tape drive stores video and audio using magnetic tape, like tape and video tape recorders.
    • Super disk – A disk drive and diskette that can hold 120 MB and 240 MB of data.
    • Cassette tape – A magnetic storage device used for audio recording and playback.
    • Zip diskette – Like a floppy diskette but more advanced.
  • Optical Storage Device – uses lasers and lights as its mode of saving and retrieving data.
    • Blu-ray disc – A digital optical storage device which was intended to replace the DVD format.
    • CD-ROM disc – An optical storage device that is read-only or cannot be modified nor deleted.
    • CD-R and CD-RW disc – CD-R is a recordable disc that can be written to once, while CD-RW is a rewritable disc that can be written to multiple times.
    • DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW disc – DVD-R and DVD+R are recordable discs that can be written to once, while DVD-RW and DVD+RW are rewritable discs that can be written to multiple times. The difference between the + and – is in the formatting and compatibility.
  • Flash Memory Device – is now replacing magnetic storage device as it is economical, more functional and dependable.
    • Memory card – An electronic flash memory device used to store digital information and commonly used in mobile electronic devices.
    • Memory stick – A memory card that is removable.
    • SSD – Solid State Drive – A flash memory device that uses integrated circuit assemblies to save data steadily.
    • USB flash drive, jump drive or thumb drive – A small, portable storage device connected through the USB port.
  • Online and Cloud – is now becoming widespread as people access data from different devices.
    • Cloud storage – Data is managed remotely and made available over a network. Basic features are free to use but upgraded version is paid monthly as a per consumption rate.
    • Network media – Audio, Video, Images or Text that are used on a computer network. A community of people create and use the content shared over the internet.
  • Paper Storage – method used by early computers for saving information.
    • OMR – stands for Optical Mark Recognition – A process of capturing marked data of human from forms like surveys and tests. It is used to read questionnaires with multiple choices that are shaded.
    • Punch card – A piece of hard paper used to contain digital information coming from the perforated holes.  The presence or absence of holes in predetermined positions define the data.