Choosing USB Cables and Adapters
USB cables and adapters connect personal computers to peripheral devices such as printers, computer mice, keyboards, mobile phones, camcorders, cameras, external hard drives, and more. You'll find these USBs work with many electronic devices besides computers, such as home audiovisual equipment and video game consoles. While USBs are mostly universal, they come in various types for different compatibility functions.
Types of USB Cables
Classifications for USB cables and adapters depend on their connector shape and size.
USB Type A
With a flat, rectangular interface, USB Type A connectors are the most common USB type. The shape makes it easy to connect and disconnect from USB ports. You only plug it in one way, and it's common to use this type for data transfer and charging devices.
USB Type B
The USB Type B connector has a more squared shape, and people commonly use it with powered devices like scanners and printers. You'll also find it in older models of various devices like gaming controllers, MP3 players, and cameras, among others.
USB Type C
USB Type C cables are slightly larger than the old USB Micro B port. USB Type C quickly became part of the world of technology because it's compatible with many smartphones and laptops. These cables offer faster data transfer speeds than their predecessors, and the plugs work upside down. This reversibility makes these cables quick and easy to connect and disconnect.
Mini USB connectors are smaller than the regular USB port, and are used on older device models. This connector type is around two-thirds the width of USB Type A connectors, and compatible with USB On-The-Go, or USB OTG.
The most recent version of mini USB cables, Micro USB cables are the standard in most small, portable devices like smartphones, tablets, gaming controllers, and USB battery packs.
What's the Ideal USB Cable Speed?
Depending on your application, different USB cable types have various data transfer speeds.
- USB 1.1 can reach a maximum data transfer speed of 12Mbps, perfect for transferring small files like documents and photos
- USB 2.0 has a maximum data transfer rate of 480Mbps, which works well for transferring audio files and short videos
- USB 3.0 cables have a top data transfer speed of 5Gbps, ideal for transferring things like large, high-quality videos
- USB 3.1 Gen 2 has the fastest data transfer speed of up to 10Gbps, and these speeds are suitable for heavy commercial uses such as transferring very large files
From data transfer to charging devices, USB cables have a range of purposes for different users. Find the ideal USB cables for your needs at B&H Photo and Video.