Types of Computer Storage Peripherals


When people think about computer storage devices, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the internal hard disk drive. While this is the most common PC storage device, many forget about storage peripherals. These devices sit outside the computer and provide additional storage functionality. Whether you are looking to back up data, add more free space to your system or transfer large files, there are a number of computer storage peripheral types available.

Flash Media

  • Flash media devices, such as USB thumb drives and memory cards, are the most common computer storage peripherals. Because they are so small, they are handy for moving files between computers or backing up a small set of important files. A typical flash drive or memory card holds 1GB to 64GB of data.

External Drives

  • As the name implies, external drives sit outside the computer and provide the same functions as internal drives. External DVD burners plug into a USB port on your PC and allow you to write data to DVD discs, for example. External USB and FireWire hard drives are also available that provide as much as 2TB of storage.

Floppy and Zip Drives

  • Floppy disk drives and Zip disk drives are rarely used nowadays but are a common feature of older computers. Both devices are available as external peripherals for loading old files onto newer systems. Whereas a floppy disk only holds 1.44MB of data, a typical Zip disk holds 100MB. Add one of these devices to your computer if you have a large number of files archived on either medium.

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  • Photo Credit ballyscanlon/Stockbyte/Getty Images memory card image by Dariusz Urbanczyk from Fotolia.com external hardrive image by Photoeyes from Fotolia.com external drive image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com
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