The majority of homes in the United States have a computer, and 63 percent of adult Americans have adopted a broadband Internet connection, according to a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project in 2009. Computers and their accessories are constantly evolving and becoming more affordable.
A desktop computer is simply what the name implies, a computer that sits on a desk. A desktop computer is meant to be used from a single location so they are the choice for the majority of office workplaces. Desktop computers range in functionality from basic models to high performance computers that can handle heavy graphic manipulation and computer gaming. Desktop computers are often the computing hub of a typical home and serve as a multipurpose machine for email, homework, managing finances and Internet use. Basic desktop computers tend to be cheaper than mobile alternatives such as laptops.
A laptop computer is a smaller, portable version of its desktop counterpart with the addition of an on board battery for power. Deemed "laptop" due to the fact that it is often used while sitting on the lap, it is also suitable for use with a desk. Laptops include all of the functionality of a basic desktop computer; however, high performance models are available that serve as a suitable replacement. Laptops are significantly more expensive than desktop computers due to their mobile capabilities and the additional cost of the included battery.
External Hard Drives
As technology increases, so do the file sizes of the information stored on your computer. A portable hard drive expands the available storage space of your computer. In addition, it also makes your data portable and simplifies the transfer of files between computers. An external hard drive is a great way to back up all of the information stored on your computer to prevent data loss. Purchasing an external hard drive is a cost effective way to upgrade your computer's storage capabilities no matter what type of computer you own.
If you intend to listen to a lot of music on your computer or even use it to compose music, accessories geared toward sound will interest you. Computers come with on-board sound or a sound card. A sound card is a circuit board that plugs into the motherboard of your computer. The sound card has ports where your speakers and microphone plug into your computer. The sound card boosts the performance of sound processed through your computer and are designed so that you can install them yourself. Sound card quality ranges from basic to very expensive high-end models for professional use. Speakers are necessary to make use of your sound card. Like sound cards, speakers are available in basic and high end models.
"Webcam" is a term used to describe a camera used mainly for communication through the Internet. As technology evolves with faster Internet connections, the webcam has increased in popularity. This device allows you to see the person you are talking to over the Internet. Webcams that include a microphone allow you to make free phone calls through the Internet as an added bonus.
The two main devices used for connecting to the Internet are a modem and a router. A modem is essential for Internet connectivity. It dials into the Internet using a phone line, or runs on a broadband network. A router is primarily used to create a wireless network so that more than one computer can benefit from a home Internet connection.