The computer is different from other electronic products like the television and the DVD player in one respect. In case a better speaker or a picture tube comes in the market, we cannot change it in our TV. However, you can change or upgrade whatever you want with a computer. In short, the computer architecture is modular – they work by combination of different modules. In a modular architecture, one module can be changed with another, so long as the basic and essential parts are present and operating. Thus, when a better speaker comes, we can change it. When a larger LCD monitor comes, we can attach it. This modularity is one of the greatest reasons for the wide acceptance of computer products. Peripherals are computer accessories that are built upon this modular concept.
Peripherals are the devices which add extra functionality to a computer. Need printing capability? Add a printer. Need to video chat with a friend? Add a webcam. Need to play the latest Doom? Add a Graphics add-on card and put on a joystick. The fact is that our needs keep changing and increasing. Peripherals allow us to add features as and when we need them. This is a good money saver as well – when we are short of money, we might buy a basic working configuration, and then keep on adding peripherals as and when we can save some money.
Essentially a computer consists of the Input devices, the Central processing unit, and the Output devices. Anything else might be termed a peripheral. But the joystick is a peripheral, even though it is an input device, as it is not essential to the working of the computer. So is the webcam. The printer is an output device. But it is still a peripheral device. So is the speaker. Thanks to the peripherals, the computer is a truly multi-functional device now, as from a mere computing device it can become a communication device, a gaming device, a music system, a TV and video-capture system, and much more.
In this section of the web directory, we provide links to a lot of computer peripherals and vendors, as well as other relevant resources.