List of Secondary Storage Devices

By David Shoo

Updated September 28, 2017

External hard drive.
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Secondary storage devices enable you to store large data sets and save on the cost of filing and retrieving data. These devices not only give you the convenience of accessing the data and protecting it from unscrupulous people, but also ensure that your information is not lost when a computer is switched off.


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You can use the diskette to store small amounts of information. According to, a widely used diskette has a capacity of 1.44 Mb. It records data as magnetized spots on tracks on its surface. Diskettes are portable, allowing you to move data from one computer to another. You have to ensure that you do not store data on the diskette for long periods, because as the magnetic field weakens, you risk losing your stored data

External Hard Disk Drive

External hard drive attached to laptop.
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You can store large data sets on an external hard disk. An external hard drive is a metal platter coated with magnetic oxide that is magnetized to represent data. You can access information on the hard disk drive by connecting it to the computer through the USB port. It is not only very fast in accessing files, but it is also more convenient as it has a large capacity to store data for future use.

Optical Disk Storage

CD rom.
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A compact disc is an example of an optical disk storage, which offers a good capacity to store information. It has a high laser beam for reading or writing information. It can be classified according to its write or read capability, and it enables you to choose what suits your needs. The CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read Only Memory) has information recorded by the manufacturer, such as applications software. These CDs can be read but not re-written. The CD- RW (Compact Disk Rewritable) allows you to create your own CD through its write-once-read-many feature. CD-ROM/CD-RW offers you a convenient, safe and inexpensive way to store large data sets given the memory of about 800 megabytes.

USB Flash Drives

USB flash drive.
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The convenience of storing and transferring data in a device that is portable and has a large capacity comes with the USB flash drive. You only have to connect it to the computer through the USB port and transfer data from the computer to the flash drive and vice versa. It comes in various sizes (usually in gigabytes) to suit your usage needs and you can carry it in your pocket or wallet or on your key chain. Apart from being fast in uploading data, it also gives you the option of modifying the stored data by either erasing or rewriting according to your requirements.