Difference between Vector and ArrayList? What is the Vector class

Vector & ArrayList both classes are implemented using dynamically resizable arrays, providing fast random access and fast traversal. ArrayList and Vector class both implement the List interface. Both the classes are member of Java collection framework, therefore from an API perspective, these two classes are very similar. However, there are still some major differences between the two. Below are some key differences

  • Vector is a legacy class which has been retrofitted to implement the List interface since Java 2 platform v1.2

Vector is synchronized whereas ArrayList is not. Even though Vector class is synchronized, still when you want programs to run in multithreading There are multiple aspects to this decision:

  • The basic difference between a Hashtable and an HashMap is that, Hashtable is synchronized while HashMap is not. Thus whenever there is a possibility of multiple threads accessing the same instance, one should use Hashtable. While if not multiple threads are going to access the same instance then use HashMap. Non synchronized data structure will give better performance than the synchronized one.
  • If there is a possibility in future that – there can be a scenario when you may require to retain the order of objects in the Collection with key-value pair then HashMap can be a good choice. As one of HashMap’s subclasses is LinkedHashMap, so in the event that you’d want predictable iteration order (which is insertion order by default), you can easily swap out the HashMap for a LinkedHashMap. This wouldn’t be as easy if you were using Hashtable. Also if you have multiple thread accessing you HashMap then Collections.synchronizedMap() method can be leveraged. Overall HashMap gives you more flexibility in termsenvironment using ArrayList with Collections.synchronizedList() is recommended over Vector.
  • ArrayList has no default size while vector has a default size of 10.
  • The Enumerations returned by Vector’s elements method are not fail-fast. Whereas ArraayList does not have any method returning Enumerations.