USB-C Cables vs. USB 3.0 Cables; Which Is Better

USB was initially invented to standardize connections. The “U” stands for “universal.” However, in the years since, there have been many innovations. USB-C and USB 3.0 are two of the latest developments, but what are they, and who needs which?

What’s the Difference?

Comparing USB-C and USB 3.0 isn’t as simple as comparing apples to apples. USB-C is the specific type of connector used, with certain devices designed for that connector. USB 3.0, on the other hand, refers to a speed standard for USB cables.

USB-C and USB 3.0 are both important factors in determining the right cable, with each aspect affecting device compatibility and performance.

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What Exactly is USB-C?

For many years micro-USB was the standard for most devices. Its connector was asymmetrically shaped, being smaller on top. USB-C, or USB Type-C, is symmetrical and can be plugged in either way. USB-C has been rapidly adopted by almost all devices.

USB-C has numerous advantages over micro-USB, including video output capabilities and increased power throughput to power devices like laptops.

The Benefits of USB 3.0

USB 3.0 isn’t the shape of the connector but the standard for data transfer rates. Many USB-C cords are capable of handling USB 3.0. The new standard replaces USB 2.0, reaching data transfer rates over ten times those of its predecessor.

USB 3.0 can be identified by an additional connection pin inside the connector. It’s most commonly used for external hard drives that need high transfer speeds.

Beyond USB 3.0

While many devices still aren’t even using USB 3.0 cables, there are already some going further. USB 3.1 and 3.2 are already out there, offering speeds up to 2.5GB/s, over four times USB 3.0. Looking towards the future, USB 4.0 is also being developed.

The rapid advance in data transfer standards for USB is hard to keep up with, and many USB-C cables only support USB 2.0 up to this point.

Issues With USB-C

While USB 3.0 is establishing a standard to be used across all cables, USB-C is introducing some issues. There are proprietary protections on some cables that only allow devices to use all features with brand-name cables.

There is also a lot of variability in what different ports can offer. Many fail to exploit new features like fast charging and video streaming.

No Need to Choose Between the Two

USB-C and USB 3.0 aren’t mutually exclusive. There are cables that are both and cables that are only either one. USB-C is only necessary when a device has that specific connector, while USB 3.0 can benefit any device.

Those with USB-C devices can use USB 3.0 to achieve faster data transfer rates while enjoying all the perks that come with USB-C. Shop both USB-C and USB 3.0 at today.

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