What Is a Parallel Connection?

A parallel connection may describe either a configuration of components in an electronic circuit or an interface that allows the connection of peripherals, such as hardware keys, scanners, and joysticks, to computers. The parallel connector is also known as a printer port.

A parallel electronic circuit is a closed circuit in which current is divided among components while the applied voltage remains constant. A parallel connector on a computer is a 25-pin connector that allows eight bits of data to be sent simultaneously, making it faster compared to a serial port. With the advent of the USB and Firewire connections, parallel electronic circuits are classified as legacy hardware.