Difference Between Hardware and Software

Any computer system, especially if we refer to computers ; It can be divided into two main parts: the hardware and the software. All components of computer systems necessarily fall into one of these categories. Difference Between Hardware and Software

What do you see when the computer is off and what would you call what you see on the monitor when it is on? If you have doubts about it, keep reading; because below we clarify what is the difference between software and hardware.

HARDWARE Difference Between Hardware and Software

Hardware is generally defined as the physical appearance of a computer. It is what we can touch.

It includes all the palpable components of a computer. For example, the monitor, the CPU, keyboard, mouse. Without the hardware the computer would not exist and the software would not have a way to run.

Computer hardware is changed less frequently than software; since although it wears out over time, its usefulness tends to extend more than that of the latter; which, in a short time, can be out of date.

There are several types of hardware, including input devices; that are used to enter data into the computer. The output devices, which receive the data from the computer. Those that store data, those that allow connectivity with other devices.

Hardware types

  1. Input devices: keyboard, scanner, microphone, joystick, stylus, mouse, webcam.
  2. Output devices: monitor, printer, speakers.
  3. Removable data storage: optical disc drive ((CD-RW, DVD + RW), floppy disk (ohm, nostalgia), memory card, USB flash drive.
  4. Computer case: CPU, random access memory (RAM), video card, sound card.
  5. Data ports: firewire ethernet, parallel port, serial port.


Software, on the other hand, is any program that is loaded onto a computer; such as, for example, the operating system, the server, the web browser, the multimedia player. It is the code and the instructions that tell the hardware how it should operate. This code can be viewed and run using the hardware.

The software allows the computer to perform specific tasks. Apart from the operating system, there are many types of software that give additional functions to the computer.

Contrary to hardware; It does not wear out over time, but it does become obsolete; because it is constantly updated. For this reason, we previously explained that hardware is changed less frequently compared to software. The latter is usually modified, updated or deleted from the computer in a short period of time.

The software is categorized into three types: system software, programming software, and application software. The system is software designed to operate and provide basic functionality to the hardware, so as to provide a platform to run applications.

The software programming includes programs or applications. Developers use it to create, debug, maintain, or assist other programs and applications.

The application software is developed to perform any task that benefits computing. It is a set of programs that allow the computer to perform specific data processing work for the user. 

Software types

  1. System software : device drivers, servers, utilities.
  2. Programming software: compilers, debuggers, interpreters, linkers, text editors.
  3. Application software: office automation, databases, multimedia players, web browsers.

Key differences between hardware and software

  1. Hardware is the physical part of the computer or computer system, while software is the logical aspect.
  2. Software is changed or modified more frequently than hardware.

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