Parallel Port Definition & Meaning

Parallel port is a parallel interface for connecting an external device such as a printer. Most personal computers have both a parallel port and at least one serial port.

PC Parallel Ports

On PCs, the parallel port uses a 25-pin connector (type DB-25) and is used to connect printers, computers and other devices that need relatively high bandwidth. It is often called a Centronics interface after the company that designed the original standard for parallel communication between a computer and printer. (The modern parallel interface is based on a design by Epson.)

A newer type of parallel port, which supports the same connectors as the Centronics interface, is the EPP (Enhanced Parallel Port) or ECP (Extended Capabilities Port). Both of these parallel ports support bi-directional communication and transfer rates ten times as fast as the Centronics port.

Macintoshes have a SCSI port, which is parallel, but more flexible.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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