The Zip - Which Zip should I choose?

Which model of Zip is best for me?

Purchase Information

This page is for those who are considering buying a Zip but who may not know all the details about the various models.

The Zip is currently available in several different versions and each has advantages and disadvantages. We will list the models and discuss each model. We do not mention capacity in the discussion below, but please note that some models are available in both the 250 MB disk version and the original 100 MB disk capacity.

The Parallel Port Model (External). This is the most popular Zip. It is an external model that can be connected to the printer ports of desktop PCs or portable computers. It is not compatible with MACs. (For MACS, buy the SCSI Zip and for iMACS, buy the USB Zip) The printer cable has a 25 pin connection with the pins in two rows, one with 13 pins and one with 12 pins. The advantage of this model is its portability with the Zip weighing only about a pound. However it is slower than the SCSI model. You do not need any additional devices with this Zip. It is very easy to install and can be installed with an inline connection to your printer so you don't lose the use of the printer while the Zip is being used. Most people can install this Zip and software in about 10 minutes. The biggest advantage of this Zip is that it can be connected to almost any IBM compatible computer. The biggest disadvantage is that the speed is slower than the SCSI Zip.

Recommendation: Consider the other models of Zip first and buy the parallel port model only if you have a requirement for using it with multiple computers lacking a SCSI port. The extra speed of the SCSI model will be worth any additional cost for a SCSI card.

The SCSI External Zip - This Zip is also an external but it requires a SCSI interface in the host computer. Normally this is an interface that is bought separately for a PC but already exists in most Macs (for iMac, check carefully and buy the USB Zip if needed). The big advantage of the SCSI is that it is about 3 times faster than the parallel port model. A disadvantage is that for PC computers, you may have to buy the SCSI interface. The Zip Zoom accelerator card is a recommended SCSI interface and other SCSI adapters will also work with the Zip, provided that the connection is a DB-25 pin (external) connection.

The Zip 100 MB USB Portable Drive. This drive has the Universal Serial Bus connection. It is a translucent blue drive similar in style to the iMac and it will connect to the iMac and other computers having a USB connection.

The Zip Internal 100 MB ATAPI/IDE drive. This drive is an internal drive for use with IDE connections.


The decision on which model to buy will be influenced also by how you plan to use the Zip. Remember that each disk holds 100 megabytes and if you have friends with the Zip, this makes it easy to exchange data. If you plan on using it mostly for backup on one computer and don't mind installing the internal Zip, then the internal Zip may be the best choice. If you feel uncomfortable opening up your computer and /or want to use it to obtain data or back up files for several computers, then the Parallel version may work best for you. If speed is very important, and you also want a portable Zip, then the external SCSI may be the best choice. If you expect to work with files containing several hundred megabytes, then you should also consider the Jaz drive as an option. Each Jaz disk holds 1,000 megabytes or enough to back up the average hard drive on one disk.

For more information contact Nevada Technical Associates at 702-564-2798. You may also send email to

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Nevada Technical Associates, Inc.
P.O. Box 90748
Henderson, Nevada 89009.