Different Storage Devices for Computers

By Contributing Writer

Computers have the capability to store your information in a variety of different ways. All of these different ways require a specific storage device. More than likely, you have used a variety of different storage devices on your computer. You just may not have realized it at the time. Storage by way of zip drives and floppy discs is now a thing of the past. There are many new solutions for computer users to store large amounts of data.

Hard Drive (Internal)

You computer's hard drive is the first most important type of storage. Anything that you download, applications that you install, your pictures, videos and music are all stored directly to your hard drive. Basically, anything that is on your computer is stored to your internal hard drive. Internal hard drive capacity is measured in gigabytes. For example, you may have a 500GB SATA hard drive on your computer. Also, internal computer hard drives have different speeds such as 5400RPM and 7200RPM. This reading is the speed that the hard drive disk spins. A faster hard drive will have higher RPM. The faster the hard drive spins, the faster your hard drive can read data, as well as write data.

External Hard Drives

External hard drives are exactly the same as internal drives, with one exception. Rather then being enclosed inside your computer, external hard drives have their own separate casing and sit externally to your computer. External hard drives can connect to your computer in a variety of ways. Some common connection types are: USB 2.0, ESATA, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800. External hard drives measure capacity in gigabytes and have different speeds as well. For the most part, external hard drives are used for backup and storing files that a computer user may want to transport.

Network Attached Storage

Another common form of computer storage is network attached storage or NAS. Network attached storage is a method commonly used by businesses to share files between computers. A NAS is simply a storage device connected to a computer network. This is beneficial because many computers can read and write to a NAS. Network attached storage capacity is measured in gigabytes. Also, NASs are available with different hard drive speeds. Many at home computer users often create their own NAS devices by connecting an external hard drive to their router. This allows them to access it wirelessly, as well as share it with other computers.

Optical Media Storage

Optical media storage is basically writing data to a CD or DVD. When your burn a CD, you are storing songs and music on the CD so that you can listen to it later. If you are burning a DVD, you are storing a video on it so that you can watch it later. CD-RW and DVD-RW media has the capability to be recorded on and erased later if necessary. This makes optical media storage ideal for transporting relatively small amounts of data.

Flash Drives

Flash drives, or thumb drives, are one of the newest forms of computer storage. These drives connect to any computer by way of USB. Often times, students as well as business professionals, use flash drives as a simple way to transport text documents to and from work, and to and from school. When flash drives were first released, storage capacity was rather limited. However, companies are now manufacturing flash drives with huge storage capacities, up to 64GB.