Peripheral

What Does Peripheral Mean?

A peripheral is any computing device or equipment that is part of the computer but doesn’t perform any core computing process. It is an externally or internally connected device that adds up or complements the host computer’s capabilities or functionality in some form.

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A peripheral may also be called a peripheral device.

Techopedia Explains Peripheral

Peripherals allow a computer to perform additional services, usually those related to input/output functions. Although they can be externally or internally connected, peripheral are mainly external devices. There are three different types:

  • Input Peripherals: This includes the computer mouse and keyboard as well as scanners and Web cameras.
  • Output Peripherals: Output devices such as printers, plotters and monitors.
  • Storage Peripherals: External hard drives, flash drives and media cards. These peripherals usually provide both input and output functions.
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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.