Storage device is any type of computing hardware that is used for storing, porting or extracting data files and objects. Storage devices can hold and store information both temporarily and permanently. They may be internal or external to a computer, server or computing device. Storage capacity is no longer dependent on the physical capacity of your computer. Many options exist to hold your files while saving storage space on your computer, phone, or tablet. If your devices are slow and running out of space, you can offload files onto a physical storage device. Or better yet, use the best storage technology and save your files to the cloud.
Storage devices are one of the core components of any computing device. They store virtually all of the data and applications on a computer, except for hardware firmware which is generally managed through separate read-only memory or ROM.
Storage devices are available in different forms, depending on the type of underlying device. For example, a standard computer has multiple storage devices including RAM, a cache, and a hard disk. The same device may also have optical disk drives and externally connected USB drives.
There different types of storage devices:
Primary storage devices: Generally smaller in size, primary storage devices are designed to hold data temporarily and are internal to the computer. They have the fastest data access speed. These types of devices include RAM and cache memory.
Secondary storage devices: Secondary storage devices usually have larger storage capacity, and they store data permanently. They can be either internal or external to the computer. These types of devices include the hard disk, the optical disk drive and USB storage device.
External storage devices:
In addition to storage media contained within a computer, there are also digital storage devices that are external from computers. These are commonly used to expand storage capacity on a computer runs low on space, allow more portability, or provide easy file transfers from one device to another.
External HDDs and SSDs:
You can get both HDD and SSD devices as external drives. These generally offer the largest storage capacity among external options, with external HDDs offering up to 20 TB of storage and (reasonably-priced) external SSDs offering up to 8 TB of storage.
External HDDs and SSDs work in the exact same way that their internal counterparts do. Most external drives can connect to any computer; they’re not tied to one device, so they’re a decent solution for transferring files across devices.
Flash memory devices:
We mentioned flash memory earlier when discussing SSDs. A flash memory device contains trillions of interconnected flash memory cells that store data. These cells hold millions of transistors that when switched on or off represent 1s and 0s in binary code, allowing a computer to read and write information.
One of the most recognizable type of flash memory device is the USB flash drive. Also known as a thumb drive or a memory stick, these small, portable storage devices have long been a popular choice for extra computer storage. Before it was quick and easy to share files online, USB-flash drives were essential for easily moving files from one device to another. However, they can only be used on devices with a USB port. Most older computers have a USB port, but newer ones may require an adapter.
These days, a USB flash drive can hold up to 2 TB of storage. They’re more expensive per gigabyte than an external hard drive, but they have prevailed as a simple, convenient solution for storing and transferring smaller files.
Aside from USB drives, flash memory devices also include SD and memory cards, which you’ll recognize as the storage medium used in digital cameras.