A computer storage device is any type of hardware that stores data. The most common type of storage device, which nearly all computers have, is a hard drive. The computer's primary hard drive stores the operating system, applications, and files and folders for users of the computer.
While the hard drive is the most ubiquitous of all storage devices, several other types are common as well. Flash memory devices, such as USB keychain drives and iPod nanos are popular ways to store data in a small, mobile format. Other types of flash memory, such as compact flash and SD cards are popular ways to store images taken by digital cameras.
External hard drives that connect via Firewire and USB are also common. These types of drives are often used for backing up internal hard drives, storing video or photo libraries, or for simply adding extra storage. Finally, tape drives, which use reels of tape to store data, are another type of storage device and are typically used for backing up data.
Updated: November 16, 2006