Computer Hardware Components – What Are They and What Do They Do?

A computer can be a very intimidating piece of equipment for someone who is unfamiliar with how one works. So many pieces of equipment, so many buttons and very little instruction on which piece of hardware goes where and why.

Luckily, we’ve put together a glossary illustrating the most popular hardware components of a computer – and the purpose of each piece of equipment.

Keyboard – The keyboard is hooked up to the computer and displays all the letters of the alphabet as well as numbers, grammatical characters and a variety of functions. The keyboard is used to convey controls and functions to the computer.

Mouse – A mouse is a hand-operated device that controls the functionality of a cursor on your computer monitor. It generally has two or three buttons which are used to execute functions on your computer screen.

Monitor – Your computer monitor is a device that displays signals on a computer screen. You can use your monitor to watch DVDs, play games, create documents or surf the web.

Printer – A printer is often hooked up to your computer so you can print a hard copy of your document(s).

Modem – A modem is a component of your computer which converts signals produced by one type of device into a form which is compatible with another. Ex: a computer and a telephone.

Webcam – A webcam is a device hooked up to your computer which allows you to visually communicate with others who also have a webcam installed.

Power Supply – A power supply unit (PSU) is a device which supplies the power to your computer to keep it running.

These are just a few of the hardware components associated with computers. You should also research other devices like computer cases, video cards, computer cables and scanners to become familiar with all of the elements of a computer.

Don’t be intimidated when trying to hook up or fix a computer for the first time. There are plenty of resources online that will help you make sure everything gets done properly. Just do your research beforehand and everything will work out in the end.