A zip drive uses a magnetic circular disk to hold information. This is similar to how a floppy disk holds information, but a zip drive is capable of holding much more. The drives were most popular in the 1990s, but were soon replaced as favorites by CD-Rs and CD-RWs due to the new drives' abilities to store more amounts of information.
Zip drives hold up to 100 MB to 250 MB of data, depending on the capacity of the drive. Zip drives are recommended drives to use as backups for older computers that lack the capacity to store larger amounts of information. Their portability enables the easy transfer of data from one computer in one location to another. Zip drives took over popularity from the floppy for several reasons. One reason for their rise in use was space efficiency. One zip drive stores the equivalent of information that is stored on 70 floppy drives. Zip drives transfer data faster and are about as efficient as transferring data from a computer hard drive. The zip drive is bigger than the standard floppy disk and made from more durable plastic material. With the advent of several other high-capacity storage drives in recent years, zip drives are being used less frequently among users with serious storage needs.