Memory vs Storage
We all know what memory means, and we are also aware of the meaning of the word storage, but when it comes to memory and storage in electronic devices, such as computers and mobile phones, people remain confused and use the two terms interchangeably. This article attempts to clarify the confusion surrounding these two different terms used in conjunction with electronic devices.
To make things simpler for those who do not know anything about electronics, memory is the amount of RAM or random access memory the device has, while storage is the capacity of the hard disk of the device to hold on to information that one wishes to store in it. However, the situation becomes all the more confusing after knowing this difference as both RAM and storage are deeply interrelated concepts. But, their difference can be explained using examples of your office desk and the cabinet that stores all the files you work upon in office.
What do you do upon reaching your office desk? You take out files from the cabinet that are required by you in the day. Now your desk is same as RAM of your computer, whereas the cabinet is the same as storage of your computer. The files you have taken out of the cabinet (storage) and kept on your desk for easy access, becomes RAM or memory. This is the information that proves to be handy while you are working. On the other hand, the cabinet that holds all the information required by you (and even others) works like storage in your computer.
Just imagine how you would cope if you did not have the cushion of RAM or memory and have to retrieve all the files you needed on your own from the cabinet every time you went to your desk for work. What does this mean to a man using a computer or any other similar device? His device would slow down considerably, if there was no memory and only storage, as his device would have to retrieve all the information from the storage every time he so desired. But, with memory (RAM) in place, your work is made so easy that you hardly need to look at storage.
Another important point of difference between memory and storage pertains to their longevity. While memory is lost as soon as the electronic device is switched off, the storage is more or less permanent and remains intact even when the computer or mobile is switched off. So you lose all memory as soon as you turn off your laptop, but retrieve all information stored in your hard disk when you start the computer again. When you are typing a letter on the word processor, it remains in the memory of your computer. However, you lose it if you fail to transfer it to the hard disk of your computer or in other words, when you fail to save the file you were working upon.
Difference Between Memory and Storage
• Everything is lost from the memory when computer is switched off. However, if you save it to your hard disk (storage), you can easily retrieve it.
• Memory is faster than storage
• Memory is smaller than storage
• RAM is akin to memory, while the hard disk is akin to storage