Zip Drives Offer Convenient And Effective Data Storage

The Iomega Zip drive. Any computer fan who has ever used one will repeat the name with a smile. When the Zip drive first burst onto the computer scene in 90s it caused a real stir because it offered 100MB of storage space on a single disc. At the time this was revolutionary and the the Iomega Zip 100 seemed destined to become the data storage media of choice for the computer world.

How Does A Zip Drive Work?

The Iomega Zip drive is quite simply an advanced version of a floppy drive. The basic technology is the same in that the outer case of a Zip disk stores a thin layer of iron oxide coated mylar (plastic) on which the data is stored.

The big advantages that the Zip drive had over the floppy disk were:

1. Speed - the Zip drive was capable of reading and writing data at a much higher rate than a standard floppy disk.

2. Storage capacity- a standard floppy disk could store 1.44MB of data. A Zip drive could store at least 100MB.

zip driveThe Zip drive made the floppy disk obsolete overnight. All the files from a single computer or small network could be stored on one single Iomega Zip disk instead of several dozen floppies. From a systems management and data backup perspective this removed a huge single headache for IT people all over the world. Iomega Zips disks were also relatively cheap and were sturdy as compared to other storage media like tapes or floppies.

Shortly after the Iomega Zip 100 was introduced Iomega then released the 250MB Zip, SCSI Zip and internal IDE Zip drives and of couse the USB Zip drive, Firewire Zip and more recently the Iomega Zip 750.

The only niggle with Zip disks is that only another Zip drive can read a Zip disk. This is a minor niggle because Zip drives were designed to be portable with both USB and Firewire models available so that you shouldn't need to rely on finding a Zip drive on another PC.

So why did the Zip drive not become standard on every single computer? The march of time and speed of technogolical development quickly overtook the Zip drive. USB flash drives, external hard disks and DVD all offered higher storage capacities, portability and the same versatility as the Zip itself.

Is the Zip drive redundant? Far from it. It's still a firm favourite in the hearts of many computer enthusiasts and it does provide a solid, reliable and rugged form of data storage.