Storage is the process of saving data onto a medium, such as a hard drive, optical disk, or flash drive. The data is typically saved in a file format that can be read by a computer. Data storage devices are used to store data permanently or temporarily. Permanent storage devices, such as hard drives, can store data even when the power is turned off. Temporary storage devices, such as RAM, can store data only while the power is on.
Data storage can be divided into two main categories: active storage and passive storage. Active storage devices, such as hard drives, can be accessed directly by a computer. Passive storage devices, such as CDs and DVDs, can only be accessed indirectly, typically through a drive or player.
The capacity of a storage device is measured in bytes. The size of a byte is typically eight bits. A bit is the smallest unit of data that can be stored on a storage device. The speed of a storage device is measured in bits per second (bps). The higher the bps, the faster the storage device can save or retrieve data.