Three Types of Storage Devices

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A storage device is a physical piece of hardware that is used to store data. In most cases, any type of file can be added to a storage device. Some storage devices are universal and can be used with a variety of hardware. When purchasing a storage device for a certain piece of hardware (such as a computer or cell phone), it is important to know what device is most appropriate and compatible.

Hard Drive

  • Although they are generally associated with computers, hard drives can be found on other household electronics (such as a DVR or camcorder). Inside the hard drive is a physical disc (referred to as a platter) that spins constantly. The speed at which the disc spins is referred to as RPM or revolutions per minute. Hard drives will vary in performance, most of which is based on the speed of the RPM for which the hard drive is rated.

USB Flash Drive

  • USB flash drives are small (roughly the size of a pack of gum), portable storage devices that are most commonly used for transferring files from one computer to another. No installation is required and no additional software is needed to transfer files to or from a USB flash drive. USB flash drives are protected by a shell casing, which makes them more reliable when they are transported.

Memory Card

  • Memory cards are the smallest of the storage devices. They are portable and most commonly used to increase the storage capacity of another device (such as an MP3 player or mobile phone). Memory cards come in different interfaces (such as SD or MMC), which must be compatible with the device you intend to use with it. Unlike USB flash drives, memory cards generally have little protection and are easier to damage.

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