Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Computer storage

Hard drives are one of the more common forms of computer storage.

The terms "storage" or "memory" refer to the parts of a computer that retain data for some period of time, possibly even after the computer is turned off.

Table of contents
1 Different types and different purposes
2 A list of storage devices
3 A list of memory-related software
4 See also

Different types and different purposes

There are many ways in which types of storage can be categorised. These include

Normally, "memory" refers to primary, semiconductor-based storage, but this is a very blurred distinction.

Each type of storage is suited for different purposes, and most computers contain several types: primary, secondary, and volatile.

Primary storage

Primary storage contains data that are actively being used (for example, the programs currently being run and the data they are operating on). It is typically high-speed, relatively small, is often (but not always) volatile. It is sometimes referred to as "Main Memory."

Secondary storage

Secondary storage, also known as peripheral storage, is where the computer stores information that is not necessarily in current use. It is typically slower and higher-capacity than primary storage. It is almost always non-volatile.

Volatile storage

Volatile storage loses its contents when it loses power; non-volatile storage does not.

A list of storage devices

A list of memory-related software

See also