What are the differences between hardware and software?

Although an easy question many may be able to answer in this day and age, it’s important to know the main differences between software and hardware so that you can make informed decisions. Software is a collection of codes installed on your computer’s hard drive, while hardware refers to the gadget or device you use to perform certain tasks. 

Hardware is a type of device that’s physically connected to a computer, such as a hard drive or a display monitor. Examples of computer hardware include a CD-ROM, a printer, a video card, and a computer display monitor. Without these types of devices, a computer would not function. Software and hardware work in tandem, interacting to determine which tasks to perform. For instance, if you’re using a computer monitor to view this text, then the monitor and even the mouse are considered hardware. At the same time, the word processor or internet browser are considered software.

A computer is physically made of hardware. The CPU is responsible for processing data, and it can be stored on either a hard drive or RAM. A sound card can provide audio to speakers, and a video card can act as an image viewer; while not critical to the performance of a computer, the additional hardware adds to the user experience.

Software is commonly used to describe a collection of programs, procedures, and documents used by a computer to perform certain tasks. A practical computer system divides the various software systems into three major categories: system software, application software, and programming software.

The operating system that you’re running on your computer is software. For instance, a video game is considered software even if it uses a combination of hardware devices, such as the CPU, hard drive, and memory. Software is typically ordered and consists of a sequence of instructions that are designed to change the state of a computer’s hardware in a certain sequence. It’s commonly programmed with an interface that makes it easier for humans to interact with the computer.