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Home > Computer Buyer's Guide > Zip Drive

What Is A Zip Drive?

Iomega External Zip DriveA zip drive is a small, portable data storage device similar to a floppy drive. While a floppy drive uses slower recording 3.5" diskettes that hold 1.44 MB of data, a zip drive copies data quickly and the zip diskettes that is uses store from 100 MB up to 250 MB of data. Zip drives are a good backup storage solution for older Refurbished Computers that might not have adequate storage space on their hard drives.

Recommendations: An Iomega 100 MB Zip Drive, external for use on multiple computers and for portability.

Who Needs A Zip Drive?

Computers have been known to fail. You will want to keep a backup copy of your most important documents, music files, and software programs. For most of us, backing up that kind of information on 3.5" disks would require quite a few floppies; probably too many. With a zip drive, you can quickly and easily keep important files backed-up, usually on just one or two zip disks.

Another reason to use a zip drive is efficiency. Since a zip disk stores the equivalent of about 70 floppies worth of data, that's a lot of floppies you can eliminate & won't have hanging around and getting lost anymore.

A zip drive is also much faster than a floppy. In fact, it's about as fast at transferring data as a hard drive, so you won't have to wait five minutes to copy your files before you run out the door.

Finally, for those who need to move a lot of information from computer to computer on a constant basis, having a zip drive is like having a mega floppy or mini hard drive that you can take with you wherever you go. You can use it on different machines, and you can use it to transfer those big files that won't fit on a floppy (files larger than 1.44 MB in size), or to transfer files from work to home computer.

Nearly all zip drives come with software that allows you to use a guest computer without installing all the software on the guest computer. You just disconnect it from the office computer and take it home and hook it up there. It's rare to see Refurbished Computers, or new computer for that matter, with a zip drive already installed. This is an optional storage device which you have to add-on to your computer system, and with the vast improvements in portable hard drives and USB flash drives, zip drives have become somewhat obsolete.

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