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peripheral device

A peripheral device is defined as a computer device, such as a keyboard or printer, that is not part of the essential computer (i.e., the memory and microprocessor). These auxiliary devices are intended to be connected to the computer and used.

Types of Peripheral Devices 

Peripheral devices can be external or internal.

  • Examples of external peripherals include mouse, keyboard, printer, monitor, external Zip drive or scanner.
  • Examples of internal peripherals include CD-ROM drive, CD-R drive or internal modem.

Today's new devices, such as tablets, smartphones and wearable computing devices are considered peripherals as they can be connected and used on a computer system. The difference, however, is that these devices can run independently of the computer system, unlike a computer mouse, for example.

Internal peripheral devices are often referred to as integrated peripherals. Also see I/O.

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