Computer hardware is the physical parts or components of a computer, such as the monitor, keyboard, computer data storage, graphic card, sound card and motherboard. Hardware is directed by the software to execute any command or instruction. A combination of hardware and software forms a usable computing system.
Computer software, or simply software, is a part of a computer system that consists of data or computer instructions, in contrast to the physical hardware from which the system is built. Computer software includes computer programs, libraries and related non-executable data, such as online documentation or digital media.
A computer virus is a type of malicious software program ("malware") that, when executed, replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting its own code. Infected computer programs can include, as well, data files, or the "boot" sector of the hard drive. When this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be "infected" with a computer virus.
Spyware is software that aims to gather information about a person or organization without their knowledge, that may send such information to another entity without the consumer's consent, or that asserts control over a device without the consumer's knowledge.
"Spyware" is mostly classified into four types: adware, system monitors, tracking cookies, and trojans; examples of other notorious types include digital rights management capabilities that "phone home", keyloggers, rootkits, and web beacons.
Malware, short for malicious software, is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of harmful or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and other malicious programs. It can take the form of executable code, scripts, active content, and other software. Malware is defined by its malicious intent, acting against the requirements of the computer user - and so does not include software that causes unintentional harm due to some deficiency.
Antivirus or anti-virus software (often abbreviated as AV), sometimes known as anti-malware software, is computer software used to prevent, detect and remove malicious software. Antivirus software was originally developed to detect and remove computer viruses, hence the name. However, with the proliferation of other kinds of malware, antivirus software started to provide protection from other computer threats. In particular, modern antivirus software can protect from: malicious browser helper objects (BHOs), browser hijackers, ransomware, keyloggers, backdoors, rootkits, trojan horses, worms, malicious LSPs, dialers, fraudtools, adware and spyware.
A router is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks. Routers perform the traffic directing functions on the Internet. A data packet is typically forwarded from one router to another router through the networks that constitute an internetwork until it reaches its destination node. A router is connected to two or more data lines from different networks. When a data packet comes in on one of the lines, the router reads the network address information in the packet to determine the ultimate destination. Then, using information in its routing table or routing policy, it directs the packet to the next network on its journey.
Internet service provider
Internet. Internet service providers may be organized in various forms, such as commercial, community-owned, non-profit, or otherwise privately owned. Internet services typically provided by ISPs include Internet access, Internet transit, domain name registration, web hosting, Usenet service and colocation.
Random-access memory (RAM) is a form of computer data storage that stores data and machine code currently being used. A random-access memory device allows data items to be read or written in almost the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of data inside the memory. In contrast, with other direct-access data storage media such as hard disks, CD-RWs, DVD-RWs and the older magnetic tapes and drum memory, the time required to read and write data items varies significantly depending on their physical locations on the recording medium, due to mechanical limitations such as media rotation speeds and arm movement.
Read-only memory (ROM) is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM can only be modified slowly, with difficulty, or not at all, so it is mainly used to store firmware (software that is closely tied to specific hardware, and unlikely to need frequent updates) or application software in plug-in cartridges.
A central processing unit (CPU) is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logical, control and input/output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions. The computer industry has used the term "central processing unit" at least since the early 1960s. Traditionally, the term "CPU" refers to a processor, more specifically to its processing unit and control unit (CU), distinguishing these core elements of a computer from external components such as main memory and I/O circuitry.
A solid-state drive (SSD), also incorrectly known as solid-state disk is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data persistently. SSD technology primarily uses electronic interfaces compatible with traditional block input/output (I/O) hard disk drives (HDDs), which permit simple replacements in common applications. New I/O interfaces like SATA Express and M.2 have been designed to address specific requirements of the SSD technology.
SSDs have no moving mechanical components. This distinguishes them from traditional electromechanical magnetic disks such as hard disk drives (HDDs) or floppy disks, which contain spinning disks and movable read/write heads. Compared with electromechanical disks, SSDs are typically more resistant to physical shock, run silently, have quicker access time and lower latency.
A hard disk drive (HDD), hard disk, hard drive or fixed disk is a data storage device that uses magnetic storage to store and retrieve digital information using one or more rigid rapidly rotating disks (platters) coated with magnetic material. The platters are paired with magnetic heads, usually arranged on a moving actuator arm, which read and write data to the platter surfaces. Data is accessed in a random-access manner, meaning that individual blocks of data can be stored or retrieved in any order and not only sequentially. HDDs are a type of non-volatile storage, retaining stored data even when powered off.
A motherboard (sometimes alternatively known as the mainboard, system board, baseboard, planar board or logic board, or colloquially, a mobo) is the main printed circuit board (PCB) found in general purpose microcomputers and other expandable systems. It holds and allows communication between many of the crucial electronic components of a system, such as the central processing unit (CPU) and memory, and provides connectors for other peripherals. Unlike a backplane, a motherboard usually contains significant sub-systems such as the central processor, the chipset's input/output and memory controllers, interface connectors, and other components integrated for general purpose use.
A video card (also called a display card, graphics card, display adapter or graphics adapter) is an expansion card which generates a feed of output images to a display (such as a computer monitor). Frequently, these are advertised as discrete or dedicated graphics cards, emphasizing the distinction between these and integrated graphics. At the core of both is the processor unit graphics processing unit (GPU), which is the main part that does the actual computations, but should not be confused as the video card as a whole.
A sound card (also known as an audio card) is an internal expansion card that provides input and output of audio signals to and from a computer under control of computer programs. The term sound card is also applied to external audio interfaces used for professional audio applications. Typical uses of sound cards include providing the audio component for multimedia applications such as music composition, editing video or audio, presentation, education and entertainment (games) and video projection.
Power supply unit
A power supply unit (or PSU) converts mains AC to low-voltage regulated DC power for the internal components of a computer. Modern personal computers universally use switched-mode power supplies. Some power supplies have a manual switch for selecting input voltage, while others automatically adapt to the mains voltage.
Computer case fan
Alternatively referred to as a system fan, a case fan is located inside a computer, attached to the front or back of its case. Case Fans help bring cool air into and blow hot air out of the case. They are available in a wide variety of sizes, but 80mm, 92mm, and 120mm (12cm) with a width of 25mm are the most common. Typically temperature controlled, the fan speed can be adjusted as needed. More than one fan is often used, and the combination of case fans, power supply fan, heat sinks and CPU coolers comprise the cooling system.
With the increase in magnitude of the usage of computers to more than 18 hours a day, there are additional demands placed on the processor. The processor then starts generating a lot of heat which is caused by the internal electrical energy of the components, and gets warmer the harder the components have to work. Improper maintenance of heat and overheating of the processor can reduce the lifespan or cause irreparable damage to the components in the processor, including components like circuits, microchips, RAM, or hard drives, and makes the computer inoperable. In order to avoid damaging the components and prevent loss of data, it becomes essential to have good cooling equipment like a CPU fan.
Alternatively referred to as a graphics port, a video port can be used for connecting a computer monitor to the computer, or it can be used for connecting a television to the computer. Desktop computers typically position the video port on the back, while laptop computers can position the video port on the back or side.
In the above picture is an example of video ports on a typical desktop computer. This video card has three types of connections: DVI, S-Video, and VGA. More advanced computer video cards may include an HDMI video port as well or allow for a conversion cable that supports HDMI connectivity to monitors and televisions.
VGA and DVI are typical connections for monitors while composite video and S-Video are typical for televisions. Newer televisions feature HDMI connections as well, for the best video quality.
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a proprietary audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from an HDMI-compliant source device, such as a display controller, to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, digital television, or digital audio device. HDMI is a digital replacement for analog video standards.
HDMI implements the EIA/CEA-861 standards, which define video formats and waveforms, transport of compressed, uncompressed, and LPCM audio, auxiliary data, and implementations of the VESA EDID. CEA-861 signals carried by HDMI are electrically compatible with the CEA-861 signals used by the digital visual interface (DVI). No signal conversion is necessary, nor is there a loss of video quality when a DVI-to-HDMI adapter is used.
Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video display interface developed by the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG). The digital interface is used to connect a video source, such as a video display controller, to a display device, such as a computer monitor. It was developed with the intention of creating an industry standard for the transfer of digital video content.
The interface is designed to transmit uncompressed digital video and can be configured to support multiple modes such as DVI-A (analog only), DVI-D (digital only) or DVI-I (digital and analog). Featuring support for analog connections, the DVI specification is compatible with the VGA interface. This compatibility, along with other advantages, led to its widespread acceptance over competing digital display standards Plug and Display (P&D) and Digital Flat Panel (DFP). Although DVI is predominantly associated with computers, it is sometimes used in other consumer electronics such as television sets and DVD players.
Abbreviated VGA, Video Graphics Array is a standard type of connection for video devices such as monitors and projectors. Generally, VGA refers to the types of cables, ports and connectors used to connect monitors to video cards.
Though VGA is still in use today, it's rapidly being replaced by newer interfaces like DVI and HDMI.
A DVD drive is used to read DVDs and in some cases, depending on the drive, it can write to a recordable DVD (DVD-R, DVD+R) to allow you to store data or create a DVD video. The drive is capable of playing DVD movies as well. The DVD drives do not come with a DVD. Think of a DVD drive for your computer as a DVD player for your TV with the difference being that a DVD for your computer can also store programs and data.
A CD drive is a device a computer uses to read data encoded digitally on a compact disc. A CD drive may be installed inside a computer's chassis with an opening for disc tray access or a peripheral connected to one of the computer's ports. The acronym "CD-ROM" is short for "Compact Disc Read-Only Memory." Sony and Philips jointly developed the technology in 1984. When the CD-ROM was first created, it could store up to 650MB of data. Newer disc-authoring technologies have since increased the capacity of CD-ROMs.
A flash drive is a small, ultra-portable storage device which, unlike an optical drive or a traditional hard drive, has no moving parts. Flash drives connect to computers and other devices via a built-in USB Type-A plug, making a flash drive a kind of combination USB device and cable. Flash drives are often referred to as pen drives, thumb drives, or jump drives. The terms USB drive and solid state drive (SSD) are also sometimes used but most of the time those refer to larger and not-so-mobile USB-based storage devices.
Secure digital or SD cards are small 24 mm by 32 mm cards that hold rows of memory chips within pins. They plug into compatible SD slots on consumer electronics devices and hold flash memory that is retained even when the device is turned off. SD cards can hold additional memory ranging from 64 to 128 gigabytes, but your device may be limited to working with 32GB or 64GB cards.
SD cards for GPS devices often come loaded with supplemental maps or charts to enhance map detail and supply supplemental travel information.
SD cards can also be used for media storage and are often used with smartphones.