I apologise that I cannot provide any source other than mentioning a quote from my friend. (This is almost a question for skeptics.stackexchange) He said there is a protocol because of which copying a zipped file into a pen drive is faster than copying the file unzipped, even if is 1MB in size.

He couldn't back it up, and I couldn't find any such protocol online. But since he said he read it somewhere, I just thought I'd ask here. If this question is inappropriate, please let me know in the comments and I'll delete it.

Update: The claim is that if the file size after zipping is 1MB and there is another unzipped file of size 1MB, the zipped file will get copied faster just because its a zipped file.

  • If we could write "zipped" files faster, then what would stop us from writing "unzipped" files as if they were "zipped"? Data is just data... at this point nothing knows what the data represents (e.g: ZIP archive vs. image) – Attie Sep 10 '18 at 17:21

Copying a zipped file on any device is faster than copying the file unzipped, simply because it is smaller.

There is no other reason or protocol.

  • True, but the claim here (sorry for being unclear) was that copying a 1MB unzipped file is slower than copying a 1MB zipped file. – Nav Sep 10 '18 at 9:53
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    I don't see any reason for that. A byte is a byte no matter the file. He might be referring to obscure copy methods that differ between ASCII text files and binary files, copying 7 bits instead of 8, but I don't know of any such. – harrymc Sep 10 '18 at 9:58
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    Or referring to 1MB as the original (pre-zip) size. – grawity Sep 10 '18 at 11:21

1MB of data is just 1MB of data, regardless of what format it is. From the computer's pointer of view it's just a stream of bits, so there's no reason that a 1MB zipped file would be copied faster

However an unzipped 1MB sparse file will be copied faster than a zipped file, since there's actually less data to write


There should be absolutely no difference in copying a 1MB zip file versus any other file which is 1MB in regards to speed.

However, if you were to copy a folder with 1,000 small files which add up to 1MB then you would notice a slowdown.

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