What is Hardware and Software? Here is the Definition

Introduction: Every computer or laptop consists of hardware and software. Do you know what is hardware and software, their differences and similarities? 


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A computer or laptop that you use to work on daily tasks has two significant elements; they are hardware and software. Each of them plays different roles to make sure the device works well. However, do you know what is hardware and software, their differences and similarities? 

What is Hardware?

It’s not hard to define hardware. Hardware is a mechanical device that builds up a computer (or laptop). It is usually interconnected, and you can use it to control the input and output of the computer operation. In other words, the hardware can be described as the physical parts or components of a computer. 

You can touch hardware since it is a physical entity. Some hardware examples include CPU (central processing unit), motherboard, graphic card, keyboard, monitor, computer data storage, and sound card. 

What is Software?

Meanwhile, what is software? Software is a program or application, a set of instructions that demand a computer to do particular tasks. People program the software instructions in a specific language that the computer understands so that it can be executed. 

There are two types of software; system software and application software. The system software creates a platform to run all the applications that demands computer to do specific tasks. Example of software in this type is Unix, Windows, and Linux. 

The application software usually performs specific tasks. Some examples of application software are Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, and Firefox.

The Similarities and Differences Between Hardware and Software

After understanding the definition and examples of hardware and software, you need to know their characteristics. Here are their similarities and differences that you can spot.

The Similarities 

There are some essential similarities between hardware and software. First, they are set to have particular behavior to interact with the users and other products. Second, they both have user-facing and non-user-facing requirements. Third, both have complex structures.

The Differences

Below are some differences between software and hardware:





A set of physical components that you can touch

Not a physical entity – you can use it, but you cannot touch it


It has various electronic components, such as insulators, diodes, crystals, boards, and more.

It consists of alphabets, numbers, symbols, keywords, and more.


It is not affected by viruses.

It is affected by viruses


If there is damage, the hardware should be repaired or replaced.

If an error happens, the software can be reinstalled.


You cannot transfer hardware through a network.

You can transfer it through USB, CD, or network.


Hardware is generally constructed for any computer.

Software is explicitly designed for a specific system and function.

Every computer or laptop requires particular hardware to run well. If anything is malfunctioning or missing, the device will not be able to start. If the minimum hardware requirements have been fulfilled, you can add a modem, printer, sound cards, and more to add the functions. 

After all the hardware has been connected, installing the system software will help you run it. Can you define what is hardware and software now? The differences are easy to spot, aren’t they?










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