How Do I Know What Kind Of USB Cable To Buy?

Buying a USB cable can be complicated with so many different types and versions. From the connector on the tip to the technology encased inside the cable, there are several unique characteristics that differentiate between the various USB standards in the market. It is important to know what USB cable suits your device. Otherwise, you may lean towards buying a cable that won’t work for what you need it to do.

USB Types

When referring to a USB type, there are three things that can be meant. It can be referring to the connectors at the end of the cable, the ports being plugged into, or even the cable itself. USB Type-C is most common.

USB Connector

USB connectors have a male connector which plugs into a female port. USB 2.0 cables have four types of connectors – Type-A, Type-B, Type-B Mini, and Type-B Micro. Meanwhile, USB 3.0 also includes Type-A and Type-B, along with Type-C and Type-B Micro.

A USB Type-A Mini connector allows smartphones and tablets to connect as hosts for keyboards and mice. USB Type-B Mini connectors were created before Type-A. These connectors can be found on digital cameras, external hard drives, USB hubs, and more.

USB Type-A Micro connectors are also found on devices such as smartphones and tablets. This type of connector doesn’t have a designated port but fits into an ‘AB port’. An AB port accommodates USB Type-A Micro and USB Type-B Micro. Many devices use Type-B Micro as their standard charging plug and port.

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Naming USB Cables

There are two ways to name USB cables. One way is as a single type. If a cable has both a Type-A and Type-C connector, it is called a Type-C cable. Type-A is considered standard, so the type refers to the end of the cable that is not the standard Type-A, hence why these are called USB Type-C cables.

The second way to name a premium USB cable is as one type to another. For example, if there is a Type-A connector on one end and a Type-C connector on the other, it could be referred to as USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable.

What Kind Do I Need?

Look at your device’s port. This will reveal everything you have to know about the exact cable type needed.

USB Type-C is the most common cable. It is found on most modern laptops, tablets, DVD players, smart TVs, flash drives and memory sticks, various gaming consoles, etc. USB Type-B can be found on larger items, such as printers or scanners. If your device is older than five years, it may use USB Type-A or be under another USB standard.

If there is any doubt as to what is the best USB cable for your needs, do a quick Google search on your device. This will easily confirm what type of USB cable you need. Shop all USB cable types with today.

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