Difference Between Hardware vs Software

Difference Between Hardware vs Software

If you are just getting started with information technology, you will be taught the difference between hardware and software. To help you make sense of what is taught in school, this guide will simplify the subject. One thing you have to bear in mind is that the terms are used to describe the key aspects of digital devices or computers.

If either of them is absent, the system cannot work at all. Put simply, the combined functioning of the two elements ensures that you can calculate, play games with complex graphics, and do many other things with your computer. Before we proceed with the difference between software and hardware, we will define each of the concepts.

Definition of Hardware

Hardware is the physical component of a digital device that we can feel and touch. It is tangible and houses everything else. Examples include a processor, motherboard, hard drive, CD-ROM drive, monitor, mouse, keyboard, etc. Without these components, there is no computer. However, particular hardware components have to interact with other components for the system to execute tasks.

In other words, hardware is specially designed to perform tasks at the machine level. It enables us to interact with the computer because we make contact with it. If hardware is not properly maintained, it can suffer wear and tear over time.

Definition of Software

Software is the intangible component of the computer. Humans can neither feel nor touch this component of the computer. Some examples include the operating system, BIOS or UEFI, and programs like web browsers. Other examples include applications like Word, Excel, Photoshop, etc.

Software is a set of instructions given to the system to carry out. When you key information into a program, you are interacting with the software component of the system. You have to install programs on the device to start using them.

Main Difference Between Hardware vs Software

So far, we have made concerted efforts to explain the concept of software vs hardware.Furthermore, we have taken steps to simplify the differences in the table below.

Basis of ComparisonHardwareSoftware  
MeaningThe physical components or parts of the digital device that can be touched or feltThe set of instructions given to the system to carry out
DevelopmentTypically manufactured by technology companies but cannot perform any tasks until instructions have been issuedWritten by engineers or developers who may or may not be working in companies
Virus EffectIs not directly affected by malicious viruses or bugs The prime target whenever a virus strikes
Examples  Processor, hard drive, motherboard, CD-ROM, monitor, mouse, keyboard, etc. Word, Excel, Photoshop, web browsers, etc.
TypesAll the devices, such as input, output, processing, and storage devicesIs classified as system, application, and programming
NatureThis part of the system can be touched and felt or is tangible.This part of the system cannot be touched and felt or is intangible.

Difference Between Hardware and Software: Conclusion

To wrap up this guide on hardware vs software, we must point out that the two components depend on each other for proper operation. For instance, you will have to give the latter instructions through the former. Because of this seamless cooperation between the two, you can accomplish many amazing tasks.

If you want to type a paper on your computer, you will use your keyboard hardware as well as the digital word processor program. When you type on your keyboard, it shows up on your screen. This means that you enter instructions into the software program through the keyboard hardware.

We have also pointed out that while the hardware is exposed to wear and tear, the software is not. On the other hand, viruses or bugs can attack the software. When malware attacks your operating system or software, your computer can turn against you.

The good thing is that it can usually be recovered, but the difficulty of this process will depend on the extent of damage. Well, have you been wondering, “What is the difference between hardware and software?” We believe that this guide has the answers you need to begin to understand the computers and technology that are an essential part of our lives.