What is a computer? Characteristics & Application Areas of Computer

A computer is an electronic machine that takes input, processes it according to the instructions and produce the desired output, and meanwhile, store the results for future reference.


A computer is a machine that can be programmed to accept data (input), process it in useful information (output), and store it for future use.

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Characteristics of computer system

1. Speed

A computer is a very fast device. It can process the instructions in a fraction of seconds. The speed of the computer is measured in a microsecond, nanosecond, or even picoseconds. [Read about Measurement Unit by clicking here]

2. Accuracy

A computer never commits an error in processing. i.e. computer is a 100% accurate machine. A computer can only give wrong output if we (users) provide wrong input or instruction to the computer. So, a computer is also called GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) machine.

3. Versatility

Versatility refers to a computer’s ability to perform a variety of tasks with the same accuracy and performance. A computer is a multitasking machine, which can perform several types of work at the same time.

4. Diligence

The computer is free from the tiredness, lack of concentration. It can work for hours without creating any errors. Diligence is the property of a computer, so that computer will never feel tired of doing repetitive tasks again and again. Also, it will perform every task with the same accuracy.

5. Reliability

The output/results obtained by the computer are very reliable. Computer reliability is defined as the ability of a computer system to perform its required function for a given period of time with the same accuracy.

6. Huge Storage

The computer has an in-built memory where it can store a large amount of data. We can also store data in a secondary storage device like Hard-disk.

The memory of a computer can be classified into two categories: Primary Memory & Secondary Memory.

Application Areas of computer

Computers are these days, used almost everywhere. When the first computer was developed it was used only for mathematical calculation. But nowadays computer applications are increased a lot.

It is an undeniable fact that computers are extremely productive and reliable and that they are the ones, making both our personal and professional lives better in every aspect.

These magical devices can perform almost any task imaginable, and they excel in certain places Following is a list of some of the most popular computer applications:

1. Business

The computer has a high speed of calculation and accuracy which made it an integrated part of all business organizations. Furthermore, computers assist businesses in forecasting future revenue, earnings, expenses, and other factors, allowing them to be more precise in their accounting.

Computers have much more influence than numbers alone in conveying knowledge. Different types of Graphs, Pie-charts, Tables, etc. are used to represent business ideas in an easy and engaging way.

E.g. Payroll calculation, Budgeting, Sales analysis, Financial forecasting, Managing employee’s database, etc.

2. Banking & Financial Sector

The banking sector has dramatically improved its services. Now it is possible to transfer money within a matter of few seconds, using just a smartphone. the computer help bankers in keeping track of bank record, customer forms, inventory management, analysis, loan management & several other tasks as well.Account management

Uses of computers in the Banking & financial sectors are not limited to Web-based banking, Electronic transaction, mobile banking, Network technology, ATM (Automatic Teller Machine), etc.

3. Education

Learning with computers has been shown to be more efficient, which is why a variety of new teaching methods have been implemented.

Computers are used in the education sector for online courses, online exams, e-book referencing, and online tutoring, etc. They contribute to the increased use of audio-visual aids in education.

Computer education in schools, colleges, or other education sectors plays a very important role in student career development. Following are the samples of how computers are revolutionalizing the education pattern around the world:

  • Student can learn new skills at their own place. [ E-learning / distance learning ]
  • They can easily acquire knowledge or showcase their creativity to the rest of the world.
  • Planning and timing problems are reduced or eliminated.
  • Students get chance to collaborate with Global professors, and global students. Hence, they can easily learn the Global Culture of Education.

4. Home

Computers can be used at Home entertainment or they can be used to handle the home expenses and budget. And most importantly – connect with others in the rest of the planet.

Computers are used in homes for a variety of purposes, including online bill paying, watching movies or shows at home, home tutoring, access to social media, playing sports, and access to the internet.

Computers assist corporate workers in getting work-from-home opportunities. Similarly, buying things on the internet is becoming increasingly popular that supports Global recognition & provide Home Delivery service.

5. Health and medicine

Computer technology is radically changing the way the Medication department works. All medical information can now be digitalized. Software is now able to compute the risk of disease.

In hospitals, computers are used to keep track of patients’ medical histories, diagnoses, X-rays, live patient monitoring, etc. Robotic surgical instruments are now used by surgeons to perform delicate procedures and to execute surgeries remotely.

Virtual reality technology can also be used for instruction. Doctors use computers to aid them in the diagnosis of such diseases.

6. Entertainment

People can find entertainment on the internet like Watching movie, Listening songs, download different stuffs, playing games with online partners, Live matches on the internet etc.

The computer act as a virtual entertainer where you play games, listen to music, and so on. People in the entertainment industry use MIDI instruments to record music, using artificial instruments.

Special Si-Fi effects, 3D motion, 3D graphics are now possible in the Film industry with realistic Animation quality.

7. Computer in Government Sector

Nowadays, Computers are used in government sectors to process data, maintain a citizen database, and promote a paperless society.

Computers have significantly aided the country’s defense organizations in the development of missiles, rockets, and rocket launches. Furthermore, they are used to predict the weather, maintain parks and historical places, produce social security checks, collect taxes, Electricity bill pay, Digital card, Digital Driving license, MRP passports, etc.

The Army, Air Force, and Navy are probably the most significant users of computer systems in this area.

8. Global Communication

The computes are most well-known for their ability to communicate with others through the Internet. As a result, exchange of information between two or more parties is feasible, and it is relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional methods.

Email, teleconferencing, and voice messages are all fast, reliable, and surprisingly inexpensive.

When people are linked to the Internet, they can gain access to a wealth of information and stay up to date on current affairs around the world.

Advantages and disadvantages of computer


  • The computer can store a large amount of data.
  • The computer can work long hours without getting tired.
  • The computer is a multitasking device it can perform number task at the same time.
  • Online learning becomes possible.
  • Reduce workload and enhance productivity.
  • The PowerPoint presentation can add an additional engagement in meetings & seminars.


  • Computers are expensive. Hence, everyone cannot afford it.
  • Using the computer for a long time may affect our eyes.
  • The computer is an electronic device it cannot run without electricity.
  • Cyber Crimes are increasing because of Computer Networks.
  • Reduction of Employment Opportunity.
  • Increases in digital waste and impacts the environment.

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