Hardware y software

The hardware is the structure that gives physical support to the computer while the software is the operational support . Together, hardware and software are essential elements for the operation of the computer and other electronic devices.

For example, the screen where we read the information and the mouse we use to navigate this page are hardware . The Internet browser or browser to visit this page and the operating system on which the browser runs are software .

DefinitionThe physical devices that make up or are accessories to the computer.Collection of codes and / or programs that serve as instructions on the computer.
  • Central Equipment: motherboard .
  • Peripheral equipment: keyboard, monitor or screen.
  • Ignition software
  • Control software
  • Application software
  • Communication software
  • embedded software
InteractionAt least one piece of software is needed for the user to be able to operate the hardware .All software uses at least one hardware component .
FunctionPhysical structure that allows user interaction with the computer.Perform specific tasks.
ExamplesKeyboard, screen, printer, mouse, bar reader.
  • Aplicaciones: Microsoft Word, Open Office, Photoshop.
  • Operating system: Linux, MacOS, Windows, Android.
  • Navegador o browser de Internet: Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome.

What is hardware ?

The hardware consists of the physical components of the computer or computer, that is, everything that can be touched.

The word ” hardware ” in English means “hard goods” or “hard support”, as a direct reference to the physical structure of the computer.

The hardware makes the computer work. The central processing unit (CPU) processes information that can be stored in memory devices. The sound card provides sound to the speakers, and the video card provides image to the monitor.

Basic hardware parts

The hardware has four main parts: input, memory, processor and output.

  • Input or input : this is the part of the hardware with which the data is entered. For example, the keyboard, the scanner, the barcode reader.
  • Memory : stores information, programs and data. It is also known as RAM ( random access memory ).
  • Processor : it is the electronic brain of the computer. The processor analyzes, examines, alters, and carries out the computer’s software instructions .
  • Output or output : are the devices that show the results. For example, on the monitor we can see images, sound comes out of the speakers and a certain text is put on paper through the printer.

Components of the hardware

The hardware has several components.


The motherboard controls and connects the other hardware components . In it are the slots or slots where the connections are made with the video and sound cards, the memory chips and the CPU.

Central processing unit CPU

The central processing unit also known as the microprocessor is the center where information and data are analyzed, calculated and dispatched. The best known models are Pentium, Celeron, Athlon and Sempron.

Memory unit

There are two types of memory:

  • RAM memory : random access memory. The more RAM a computer has, the more programs can be used simultaneously.
  • ROM memory : read memory that comes on the motherboard and cannot be altered.

Input and output devices

They are the necessary devices to enter and obtain information. The monitor, mouse, speakers, keyboard, and game commands fall into this category.

Storage devices

They are all these components where information can be stored. For example, the hard disk, the CD-ROM, the DVD, the USB memory, among others.

See also:

What is software ?

Software is the code that establishes the set of instructions that the computer follows. Includes programs and operating systems that cannot be touched.

The word ” software ” comes from the English meaning “soft merchandise” and has become globalized as a synonym for computer instructions.

A computer can work without software installed. However, without an operating system an error will likely be generated or no information will appear.

Software types

Various types of software can be distinguished according to their function.


The basic input / output system or BIOS (for its acronym in English basic input output system ) is the startup software of the computer.

Operating systems

The operating system controls the physical part after power-up. Examples of operating systems are Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux for personal computers, iOS and Android for tablets and smartphones.


An application is software designed to perform a specific task. For example, Photoshop is an application to process images, Google Chrome is an application to surf the Internet.

By installing programs or applications on the computer, the available functionalities are increased. For example, a word processor is not necessary for the computer to work, but it allows you to create documents.

Communication software

These softwares control the communication processes between computers. Examples: email, Skype .

embedded software

It is the operating code of an electronic equipment. Examples: software for televisions, microwave devices, video games.

See also:

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