Input/Output Device

What Does Input/Output Device Mean?

An input/output (I/O) device is a hardware device that has the ability to accept inputted, outputted or other processed data. It also can acquire respective media data as input sent to a computer or send computer data to storage media as storage output.

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An I/O device is also known as an IO device.

Techopedia Explains Input/Output Device

Input devices provide input to a computer, while output devices provide a way for a computer to output data for communication with users or other computers. An I/O device is a device with both functionalities.

Because I/O device data is bi-directional, such devices are usually categorized under storage or communications. Examples of I/O storage devices are CD/DVD-ROM drives, USB flash drives and hard disk drives. Examples of communication I/O devices are network adapters, Bluetooth adapters/dongles and modems.

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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.