Storage methods include magnetic media such as hard disks, optical media such as CDs and DVDs, and flash media or memory cards used in digital cameras and other mobile devices. Magnetic storage has the advantage of being able to store large amounts of data and is the most common type of storage used.
The hardware used for storage consists of a range of options, depending on the available space and budget. Most computers will commonly use a hard drive, which is a large spinning disk typically housed in a metal enclosure. Hard drives are low-cost, heavy-duty, and have the advantage of being able to store large amounts of data. They are divided into sectors, combining storage of many files to create a single contiguous file block. This is known as partitioning, and allows for easier retrieval of content. Other storage hardware options include solid-state drives, which are more expensive but offer higher read/write speeds and longer-term reliability.
Storage is an important element of the overall functioning of any computer system, and should be chosen with care according to the needs of the user.