Difference Between Zip and Gzip

The files in a computer reduce the storage space and can have many effects on the working of the computer. Also, during file transfer, larger files take more time and network bandwidth to be transferred.

Zip vs Gzip

The main difference between zip and gzip is that zip compression application is most commonly used in Windows operating system. Whereas, gzip compression application is most commonly used in Unix and Linux operating systems. There are other differences between the two compression applications like operating systems, speed, tools, and disk space.

Zip vs Gzip

Zip refers to a compression application that serves the purpose of not only compressing and decompressing files but also archiving them.

Gzip refers to a compression application that serves only the purpose of compression and decompression. It requires the assistance of tar files for archiving files.

Comparison Table Between Zip and Gzip

Parameters of ComparisonZipGzip 
Operating SystemsZip compression application has popularity among the Windows operating systems.Gzip compression application has more popularity among the Unix and Linux systems.
SpeedZip is not as quick in compressing and decompressing as Gzip.Gzip is quicker than ZIP in compressing and decompressing.
ToolsZip compression application is a tool for archiving as well as compression.Gzip is a tool for compression which needs Tar commands for archiving files.
Disk SpaceIt saves a lesser amount of space than the Gzip compression application.It saves more amount of space than zip compression applications.
OriginOriginally the format was created in 1989. The first version (0.1) was released on 31 October 1992.

What is Zip?

Zip application refers to the gzip format, an archive file format supporting data compression. A zip file can contain more than one compressed file or directory.

The built-in zip support, i.e. compressed folders, has been a part of Microsoft since 1998. Built-in zip support is also available in Mac.

.zip or. ZIP or /zip are the usual Zip file extensions. Many programs use zip as a base program with a different name. Multiple files can be stored as Zip archives.

This is also beneficial while extracting or adding files within the archive, as compression or decompression can be done individually and not as a group.


What is Gzip?

Gzip refers to a file format and a software application serving the purpose of file compression and decompression. The creators of this program are Jean-loup Gaily and Mark Adler.

Implementation of the gzip decompression format as a streaming algorithm is feasible. For Web protocols, data interchange, and ETL (in standard pipes) applications, the streaming algorithm is the main feature.

Amongst all these implementations, the GNU Project’s implementation using Lempel-Ziv coding (LZ77) is the most common one. Gzip’s actual compress compressing program was OpenBSD’s version.


Main Differences Between Zip and Gzip

  1. Gzip compressing application saves more amount of disk space than the zip compression application.
  2. The original zip format was released in 1989, and the original version of gzip was released in 1992.
Difference Between Zip and Gzip


Both zip and gzip compression applications are undoubtedly among the most popular applications that should use compression and decompression.

While serving files over webs serve over the internet, they help in saving network bandwidth. Both of them are of great help in terms of saving space.

Gzip and zip are also the most commonly used methods for compression and decompression in Linux, Windows, and Mac Operating systems. 


  1. https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/handle/10012/2692
  2. https://www.aaai.org/Papers/FLAIRS/2000/FLAIRS00-044.pdf
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