Serial vs. Parallel Port

Difference Between Serial and Parallel Port

The word ‘port’ is derived from the Latin term ‘porta’ which means ‘a door’. A port is a physical interface connecting a computer to other computers or hardware to computer. Ports are classified in two groups on the basis of signal transfer. These are serial port and parallel port. Serial port uses a single pair of wires and transfers data one bit at a time. One the other hand, parallel port uses a group of wires  and transfers multiple signals at a time.

Serial Port

Serial Port is used for serial communication in which one bit data is transferred at a time. Serial data is transferred with Ethernet, Firewire, USB etc. RS 232 is also such a device which is used with interfacing modem. Serial Ports are used widelyfor various applications like scientific measurement, srever computers, routers and automation system in industries. Serial ports are cheaper and easy to use and need no specific software for use.

Parallel Port

A parallel port is a physical interface which connects various devices to the computer. It is also known as a printer port because it was introduced for the first time with the Cenetronics Model 101 Printer. It was first introduced by Prentice Robinson and Robert Howard. It transfers parallel data. Some of the parallel ports include external modems, audio card, webcams, Joy Sticks, CD ROMs, Zip drivers and portable hard disks. The use of parallel port has been reduced due to the development of USB and Ethernet.

Difference between Serial and Parallel Port

The main difference between the parallel port and serial port is that a serial port transfers one bit data at a time and uses a single pair of wires whereas parallel port uses a group of wires and transfers multiple bits of data at a time. Thus parallel ports are faster than serial ports in the data transfer. Parallel ports are very costly. So they are not suitable for long distance communication.


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