What Are Peripheral Devices

Over the past few years, the typical desktop computer has branched out to include all sorts of devices like printers, cameras, scanners, music players, and a host of other components that make the computer system a much more powerful tool. These devices that are outside of the computer system unit are referred to as peripheral devices because they exist in the peripheral area of the computer, not inside of it.

With the advent of USB technology, these peripheral devices are easily plugged into and unplugged from a computer without the need to reboot the system, allowing a user to swap devices on-the-fly. Add the fact that computers now come with at least four USB ports in their standard configuration, and it is easy to see how most home computer systems are loaded with external devices.

Are the Mouse and Keyboard Peripheral Devices?

Most people think of printers, scanners, and cameras as the most common peripheral devices. In the early days of computing, that is, before the development of the personal computer, the base system consisted of the motherboard, the central processing unit, and the memory. Taking this into consideration, the keyboard and mouse were originally considered peripheral devices. To this day, some still consider these two devices to be peripherals because so many of them require device drivers to be installed with them.

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