The difference between storage media and secondary storage devices is that storage media is a fixed component for processing, recording and storing information which can be retrieved through a system component or resident device. Secondary storage media is generally a device which is separate, but can be integrated into the system to save information to an external device for backup and archiving of information.
The fundamental identification of storage media can range from a traditional card catalogue file to a computer hard drive. Storage media mostly applies to equipment which enables the processing of information, such as a computer. Storage media on a computer consist of a hard drive which keeps files and programs on a disc after the computer is turned off. Secondary storage media can be classified as a device which can be connected or disconnected from a main device to store and retrieve information.
Storage media and secondary storage devices have a range of sizes. Storage media, such as a hard drive, can hold information ranging from megabytes to terabytes. Secondary storage media, such as tape drives, CD-ROMs, universal serial bus (USB) flash devices can be limited due to size restrictions. Size of media and devices depends on system configuration and processing capabilities.
As technology advances, storage media and secondary storage devices cost less and have increased storage capacity. Businesses are migrating to different types of data storage, such as online data storage which acts as a secondary storage device through the Internet. Storage media, such as the USB flash drive is used by most individuals as a second hard drive which can fit into a pocket and be used on any computer which has a USB port.