The six common storage devices are hard disk drives, RAM, flash memory, optical drives, external hard drives and tape drives. This hardware is designed to store and, in some instances, gather and sort data.
Hard disk storage drives are mainly found in computers. These storage devices have the largest data storage capacity when compared to other devices. Hard drives permanently retain any data recorded on them. Typically, they contain software applications, an operating system, files and folders.
RAM or main memory is the most important storage device. It's a temporary form of storage commonly known as volatile storage, which implies that the data stored in this device is lost if power is turned off.
USB flash drives are pocket-sized hard drives used to store and transport files and folders. They also are used to backup or archive important data. These storage devices are connected to computers through USB sockets.
Optical drives include CD drives and DVD drives. Data is written to the disks through an electromagnetic wave process or laser beam. They are normally used in DVD and CD players.
External drives are used to transfer large files or amounts of data. These drives are plugged into computers through USB ports.
Tape drives were mostly used before the invention of CDs and DVDs. They have a magnetic tape that is used to store large amounts of data. This data is stored in a sequential manner, making it difficult to quickly find information because one has to scroll through the tape to locate the desired information.