Monday, June 6, 2011

Understanding USB Cables

In the world of cables, there are many types. One that has permeated the market is USB. USB is short for Universal Serial Bus and offers support for computer hardware, such as keyboards, mice, and storage devices. You can also find it used on items such as PDAs and cell phones. It has a maximum length of 5 meters, or about 16.4 feet. However, you can easily obtain longer connections by using hubs. Two common kinds are 1.1 and 2.0, with 3.0 gaining popularity as well.

USB 1, the original design, supports slower running items with a maximum speed of 1.5MB per second. USB 2.0 came along next and offers faster speeds of up to 40MB per second. It can be found on external hard drives, card readers, printers, scanners, and more. Both types can often mix and match, with each being found on the same computer or hub. While 1.1 hubs will work on 2.0 ports, they will still run at slower 1.1 speeds. And vice versa is also true; USB 2 hubs will work with older 1.1 computers as well.

These cables have several different types available. Type A is used on most devices, such as computer ports. Type B is seen on hubs. Peripheral devices are connected to computers through USB A-B cables. Mini-USB, 4-pin, is used for portable devices, often cell phones or cameras. Mini-USB, 5-pin, is also used for portable devices. However, the extra pin makes if perfect for cell phones and cameras as well as external hard drive devices, i.e., hard disk drives and optical disc storage. And finally there is Micro-USB. Micro-USB, as the name suggests, is considerably smaller than Mini-USB and will eventually replace it. You can find Micro-USB on smart phones and PDAs.

USB 3.0 came along more than ten years after the original (1996 to 2007). USB 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed, works ten times as fast as 2.0. It offers higher performance and better power management while still being fully functional for use on USB 2.0 devices. USB 3.0 only comes in Type A, Type B, and Micro-USB formats.

With its superior speeds and functionality, USB 3.0 is likely to one day replace all other USB devices. That day, however, is farther out than one might think. Currently, over 10 billion devices utilize USB 2.0 technology. In addition to widespread use, USB 2.0 is less costly and will coexist with USB 3.0 for many years to come. In time, the difference in cost will narrow over the course of many years and USB 3.0 will slowly become the industry standard for high speed external interfacing.

Overall, USB remains a household staple with all the technology we enjoy. Just about everyone these days has some sort of digital device, be it a computer, camera, or cell phone. Whether you use 1.1, 2.0, or 3.0, you now have a little bit more of an understanding of what USB is and the different types in use. And for those using high speed devices, investing in 3.0 now could be a smart choice.

If you're interested in purchasing some USB cables, you really should visit They have a wide selection of USB cables available at a great price as well as any adapters, connectors, or hubs you may need. Plus, you'll get free shipping on all orders over $75. If you'd like to learn more about these products, visit

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