Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
Hardware (H/W), in the context of technology, refers to the physical elements that make up a computer or electronic system and everything else involved that is physically tangible. This includes the monitor, hard drive, memory and the CPU. Hardware works hand-in-hand with firmware and software to make a computer function.
Hardware is an encompassing term that refers to all the physical parts that make up a computer. The internal hardware devices that make up the computer and ensure that it is functional are called components, while external hardware devices that are not essential to a computer’s functions are called peripherals.
Hardware is only one part of a computer system; there is also firmware, which is embedded into the hardware and directly controls it. There is also software, which runs on top of the hardware and makes use of the firmware to interface with the hardware.