A peripheral or peripheral device is an auxiliary device used to put information into and get information out of a
A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations (computation) automatically. Modern digital electronic computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, pr ...
The term ''peripheral device'' refers to all hardware components that are attached to a computer and are controlled by the computer system, but they are not the core components of the computer, such as the CPU
or power supply unit
. In other words, peripherals can also be defined as devices that can be easily removed and plugged into a computer system.
Several categories of peripheral devices may be identified, based on their relationship with the computer:
In computing, an input device is a piece of equipment used to provide data and control signals to an information processing system, such as a computer or information appliance. Examples of input devices include keyboards, mouse, scanners, cameras ...
'' sends data or instructions to the computer, such as a
A mouse (plural, : mice) is a small rodent. Characteristically, mice are known to have a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a body-length scaly tail, and a high breeding rate. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse (''Mus mus ...
A graphics tablet (also known as a digitizer, digital graphic tablet, pen tablet, drawing tablet, external drawing pad or digital art board) is a computer input device that enables a user to hand-draw images, animations and graphics, with a spec ...
An image scanner—often abbreviated to just scanner—is a device that optically scans images, printed text, handwriting or an object and converts it to a digital image. Commonly used in offices are variations of the desktop ''flatbed scanner'' w ...
A barcode reader is an optical scanner that can read printed barcodes, decode the data contained in the barcode to a computer. Like a flatbed scanner, it consists of a light source, a lens and a light sensor for translating optical impulses into e ...
A game controller, gaming controller, or simply controller, is an input device used with video games or entertainment systems to provide input to a video game, typically to control an object or character in the game. Before the seventh generation ...
A light pen is a computer input device in the form of a light-sensitive wand used in conjunction with a computer's cathode-ray tube (CRT) display.
It allows the user to point to displayed objects or draw on the screen in a similar way to a tou ...
A light gun is a pointing device for computers and a Game controller, control device for arcade game, arcade and video game console, video games, typically shaped to resemble a pistol.
The first light guns were produced in the ...
A microphone, colloquially called a mic or mike (), is a transducer that converts sound into an electrical signal. Microphones are used in many applications such as telephones, hearing aids, public address systems for concert halls and public ...
A webcam is a video camera which is designed to record or stream to a computer or computer network. They are primarily used in videotelephony, livestreaming and social media, and Closed-circuit television, security. Webcams can be built-in compute ...
An output device is any piece of computer hardware equipment which converts information into a human-perceptible form or, historically, into a physical machine-readable form for use with other non-computerized equipment. It can be text display, te ...
'' provides output data from the computer, such as a
A computer monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial or textual form. A discrete monitor comprises a electronic visual display, visual display, support electronics, power supply, Housing (engineering), housing, electric ...
A projector or image projector is an optical device that projects an image (or moving images) onto a surface, commonly a projection screen. Most projectors create an image by shining a light through a small transparent lens, but some newer types ...
Headphones are a pair of small Electrodynamic speaker driver, loudspeaker drivers worn on or around the head over a user's ears. They are electroacoustics (acoustical engineering), electroacoustic transducers, which convert an electrical signa ...
and computer speaker
*An ''input/output device'' performs both input and output functions, such as a
computer data storage
Computer data storage is a technology consisting of computer components and Data storage, recording media that are used to retain digital data (computing), data. It is a core function and fundamental component of computers.
The central pro ...
device (including a
Disk storage (also sometimes called drive storage) is a general category of storage mechanisms where data is recorded by various electronic, magnetic, optical, or mechanical changes to a surface layer of one or more rotating disks. A disk drive is ...
A solid-state drive (SSD) is a solid-state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data Persistence (computer science), persistently, typically using flash memory, and functioning as secondary storage in the Computer ...
USB flash drive
Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an technical standard, industry standard that establishes specifications for cables, connectors and communication protocol, protocols for connection, communication and power supply (Interface (computing), interfa ...
A memory card is an electronic data storage device used for storing digital information, typically using flash memory. These are commonly used in digital portable electronics, portable electronic devices. They allow adding memory to such devices ...
A tape drive is a Computer data storage, data storage device that digital recording, reads and writes data on a magnetic tape. Magnetic tape data storage is typically used for offline, archival data storage. Tape media generally has a favorable un ...
A modulator-demodulator or modem is a computer hardware device that converts data from a digital format into a format suitable for an analog transmission medium such as telephone or radio. A modem transmits data by Modulation#Digital modulati ...
A network interface controller (NIC, also known as a network interface card, network adapter, LAN adapter or physical network interface, and by similar terms) is a computer hardware component that connects a computer to a computer network.
An MFP (multi-function product/printer/peripheral), multi-functional, all-in-one (AIO), or multi-function device (MFD), is an office machine which incorporates the functionality of multiple devices in one, so as to have a smaller footprint in a ...
Many modern electronic devices, such as Internet-enabled
A watch is a portable Clock, timepiece intended to be carried or worn by a person. It is designed to keep a consistent movement despite the motions caused by the person's activities. A wristwatch is designed to be worn around the wrist, atta ...
A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile device, typically with a mobile operating system and touchscreen display processing circuitry, and a rechargeable battery in a single, thin and flat package. Tablets, being comput ...
s, have interfaces for use as computer peripheral
A display device is an output device for presentation of information in visual or Touch, tactile form (the latter used for example in Refreshable Braille display, tactile electronic displays for blind people). When the input information that is su ...
In computing, an expansion card (also called an expansion board, adapter card, peripheral card or accessory card) is a printed circuit board that can be inserted into an electrical connector, or expansion slot (also referred to as a bus slo ...
Punched card input/output
A computer punched card reader or just computer card reader is a computer input device used to read Computer program, computer programs in either source or executable form and Data (computing), data from punched cards. A computer card punch is a ...
file:PaperTapes-5and8Hole.jpg, Five- and eight-hole punched paper tape
file:Harwell-dekatron-witch-10.jpg, Paper tape reader on the Harwell computer with a small piece of five-hole tape connected in a circle – creating a physical program loop
* Video game accessory