What is a Peripheral Device?

A peripheral is a device that connects to a computer but does not form part of the core computer architecture. They allow you to interact with the machine and can even improve performance of key tasks such as gaming.

Jason Gaming Bundle

Types of Peripheral Devices

There are three main types of peripheral device:

  • Input
  • Output
  • Input/output

What are the differences between Input and Output?

Keyboard and Speaker

Before further considering the types of peripheral devices, it’s useful to draw a clear distinction between input and output peripherals to illustrate how they operate together. An input device sends information to a computer system, however it cannot receive information. By contrast an output device reproduces or displays information, but it cannot be used to send information. The third category; input/output devices do both of the above and can simultaneously act as input and output – A touchscreen monitor would be a prime example of this.

What is an Input Device?


An input device is defined as any hardware that interacts with or sends data to a computer. Almost every computer includes a keyboard and a mouse or touchpad; these are essential hardware items and are considered core input devices. That said, there are many types of input devices depending on what the computer is used for. For example, games controllers are widely used in favour of a computer mouse, as are graphics pens or styluses. Beyond this, webcams, and scanners all perform the essential function of transferring data or commands to your computer.

Below is a list of common input devices that can be utilized with a computer or a computing device:

  • Mouse
  • Touchpad
  • Pen/stylus
  • Keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Game controller
  • Webcam
  • Remote
  • Scanner

What are Output Devices?

An output device is any peripheral that receives data from a computer and reproduces it in visual, auditory, or even physical form. For example, a monitor is able to display information contained on your computer, while a printer is able to create a hard copy of this.

Output devices

Other output devices include:

  • Monitor
  • Projector
  • Speakers
  • Headphones
  • Video card
  • Printer

What are Input/Output Devices?

Input/output or IO devices are peripheral devices that are able to both send and receive data from a computer. A good example of this is a portable storage device which is able to transfer data both to and from a system. Optical drives can also be used to read data (input), and write data (output).


For more examples of IO devices, see the list below:

  • External hard drives
  • External optical drives
  • Media card readers
  • Digital camcorders
  • Digital mixers
  • MIDI equipment
  • Modems
  • Touch screens
  • Memory cards
  • USB flash drives


Peripheral Devices at Overclockers UK

At Overclockers UK we offer a full range of peripheral devices. Choose from a wide selection of keyboards, mice, and game controllers to help you compete; or communicate with people anywhere in the world thanks to our top-of-the-line range of headphones, microphones, and headsets. We also make it possible to improve your WiFi with the latest in router  technology, create a network in your home easily using powerline networking, while our NAS  systems connect to all PCs  on the network and provide a multi-purpose shared storage solution for data of all kinds. So, build the system of your dreams and discover the complete Overclockers UK range today!

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