Help Center - What are the Different Types of USB Ports and Connectors?
What are the Different Types of USB Ports and Connectors?
Different types of USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports and connectors vary by shape and size depending on the type of device.
Here are some types of USB cables based on USB speed standards and devices.
Different Types of USB Ports
Image Credit: Milos634 at Wikimedia Commons
USB 1.0 to 3.0 are under USB speed standards.
USB 1.0 is already considered obsolete. It was replaced by USB 2.0 in the year 2001, which has a faster data transfer rate than USB 1.0. USB 1.0 can only transfer 1.4 megabytes per second (Mbps). USB 2.0 can transfer 40 Mbps.
Around 2008, USB 3.0 was launched. However, there are still cheaper USB cables that are under USB 2.0. USB 2.0 and 3.0 are the USB standard's second and third major versions. USB 2.0 cables have a max speed of 480 Mbps, whereas USB 3.0 cables have a max speed of 5 Gbps.
USB 3.0 connectors can work in USB 2.0 ports. Most external hard drives and high-end flash drives have USB 3.0 connectors for faster data transfer speeds. It can transfer up to 5.0 Gigabytes per second. USB 3.0 connectors are often marked with a blue coloring or a lightning sign.
Different Types of USB Connectors
USB Type A
The original USB connectors were rectangular in shape, flat, and referred to as standard-A connectors. USB-A is by far the most popular type of connector. They support almost every version of the Universal Serial Bus, ranging from USB 1.1 all the way up to USB 3.0.
2 Types of USB Type-A
1. USB A Male to A Male
USB Type-A plug-ins are used for small cordless devices. These plug-ins are physically built into the USB device, similar to a flash drive. They can also be found on the ends of cables that are hardwired to USB-compatible devices, such as USB keyboards, mouse, joysticks, etc.
• They are used in any device that functions similarly to a computer, such as audio systems, video game consoles, digital video recorders (DVRs), DVD players, Blu-ray players, and so on.
|USB 2.0 A Male to - A Male Cables|
|USB 3.0 A Male to - A Male Cables|
2. USB A Male to A Female Extender Cables
These USB cable types can be found on devices serving as USB hosts. These can be found at one end of a variety of Universal Serial Bus cables, which are used to connect the host to the receiver device.
- Used to connect two USB cables, and when in use, extends them past the recommended 5 meters (16 feet) in length.
|USB 2.0 A Male to - A Female Extender Cables|
|USB 3.0 A Male to - A Female Extender Cables|
USB Type B (USB A Male to B Male)
Standard B connectors are square-shaped and typically have a top that is either slightly rounded or has a large square protrusion. These are compatible with every version of Universal Serial Bus, just like USB-A. A different USB-B variant called Powered-B, on the other hand, is only compatible with USB 3.0. It is commonly found in large computer peripherals such as printers and scanners.
- Used on optical drives, floppy drives, hard drives, and other external storage devices.
- Used on the one end of USB A/B cables, where Type A plugs into the host's Type A receptacle and Type B plugs into a Type B device, such as a printer or scanner.
|USB 2.0 A Male to - B Male Cables|
|USB 3.0 A Male to - B Male Cables|
USB Type C
Due to its faster data transfer speed than earlier USB types, this port type is now common in new devices, particularly mobile ones. The demand for Type A and B is gradually being replaced by Type C USB cables. With USB C, you can plug it in either way, unlike with other USB types.
The USB Type C connector has an oval appearance, is small and thin, and has an asymmetrical shape. It differs from Type A and B in more ways than just appearance. Its reversibility is one of the main distinctions. This indicates that there is no "right-side up" for this connector.
Although the typical Type C cable has USB C ports on both ends, Type C to Type A converters can be used to charge Type C devices and transfer data over Type-A ports.
- Type C USB cable is also used for connecting and charging most devices like Smartphones and smartwatches. Some Chromebook versions and Apple's MacBook both have USB-C ports. Additionally, it replaces jacks in headphones.
|USB Type C|
The significantly scaled-down versions of both Type A and B connectors are known as mini USB A and B. Only USB 1.1 and 2.0 speeds are supported, and they are available in four- and five-pin varieties.
- Used to save space in smaller devices like portable cameras, mobile phones, and game controllers.
|USB 2.0 A to Mini-B|
Another method for saving device space is to use micro USBs A and B. They have two different setups, one for USB 2.0 and the other for USB 3.0. Micro-USB connectors and ports are designed for smaller gadgets like power banks, affordable smartphones, Bluetooth speakers, cables, and charging stands.
- These ports are commonly available on devices like tablets, game controllers, and smartphones.
|USB 2.0 A-Male to Micro USB-Male|
|USB 3.0 A-Male to Micro USB Male|
It is important to know the various types of USB ports and connectors, especially in this day and age when different devices come equipped with different types of USB port. Investing in the appropriate connector will save you not only money but also prevent you from causing any damage to your device.