We simply use this term USB (Universal Serial Bus) when we’re referring to cables or dongles with squared- like ports that are commonly used to link one device to another i.e., printer to our PC/Mac, even peripherals like mouse and keyboards to the receptacles of the tower (CPU). Now, different types of these USB cables and connectors have been manufactured to keep up with the modern technology.
The sight of the USB ports became more ubiquitous when smartphones become a necessity for most people. Whether you are using an Android or iOS phone, charging is not possible without the existence of a USB cable and a USB power adaptor. More than connecting devices and charging cellphones, USB cables does more. It’s a powerful yet portable tool that is highly substantial in today’s high-tech gadgets.
Now that USB is everywhere, can you gauge what type of USB are you using for your mobile phone? What type do you need for connecting devices and storing files? Will you be able to identify how one is different from them?
Oftentimes, when we buy a new device, the package already comes with its USB cable or cord. But once, it gets broken or started to malfunctions, that’s when users become more concerned on what type and version do they need a replacement. The confusion escalated when you start reading all the labels on the package. So it’s better to familiarize yourself with the USB variants and the difference among the ones that’s labeled as USB 2 from the more expensive or latest versions i.e., USB 3.0, USB 3.1 or 3.1 Gen 2?
It will start to make more sense when you start noticing the size and shape of the connectors and checking what shows on the label.
Know them by their physical specification — the size, shape and appearance of each connector. The older ones have bigger or wider connectors and receptacles. One of oldest yet still widely used is the USB Type A which is used to host and link (PC/ laptop) to peripherals like mouse, keyboards, smartphones and the USB flash drive.
Mobile phones, digital camera, tablets and GPS devices use a tiny plug which is known as micro USB and users can distinguished what is type A from type B by the shape and the size of the connector.
Choosing a USB cable may not be as hard as we think if we know what to consider. First, it is essential to know what type is compatible with your device and which version will deliver the best output. This involves putting the following into consideration— compatibility and performance. Speaking of performance, the speed rate of transferring data, synching and charging says a lot. This is why it is critical that you keep yourself aware of what you really need.
Recently, a new type of USB has gained lots of hype due to its compact design, advanced features and promising capabilities. It’s called USB Type C, which is small just like the micro USBs but offers up to 100w of power output.
And unlike other types of connectors, USB Type C is notable for its symmetrical and reversible plug which eliminates the hassles of incorrect direction or plug orientation- so you can plug it in easily, either way (upward or downward).
Another advantage is that Type C uses identical connectors on both ends.
USB C 3.1 Gen 2 (latest) supports up to 10Gbps of speed transfer rate. With this kind of speed, you can transfer big files or sync data like a breeze, no more waiting for an hour to copy a full HD movie. This is why numerous manufacturers are eventually opting to adapt this with their latest gadgets and devices. The possibility of making it as the “standard type” or as a “universal connector” for all types of gadgets is deemed viable. From supplying power, transferring HD videos, large amount of data to watching videos with high resolution, all of these are supported by just one type of powerful connector. It could even phase out the need for a 3.55 audio jack soon, since USB C can also transfer digital and analog audio data. Just imagine what more it can do in the future?
USB Type C is sporting favorable and robust features indeed, that’s why more manufacturers, even the flagships are adapting it e.g., Apple’s Macbook, ChromeBook Pixel Google Pixel/Pixel XL Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy Note 7.Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 has adapted the same connectivity as well.
Despite the evolution, older smartphones and tablets are still dependent to using micro USB, Type B or their own proprietary cable like the lightning cables from Apple. USB Type C is backwards compatible with the older types and variants, though you may need an adapter to make it work. Worry not, as there are special adapters that would enable the linking of two different USB connectors. So, if you’re car charger is still Micro USB ports and you only have micro USB connectors available that you have with your old mobile phones, then there are Micro USB to USB Type C adapter that can be used to still supply power to your device that uses only USB Type C. This will let you change your USB C enabled phones using the same old micro USB Type C (male) connector with the use of the adapter in between. Problem fixed!
Older connectors still exist and it wouldn’t be easy for manufacturers and even the users to upgrade, so it’s not surprising that most of us are still seeing or using a USB Type A cable for hosts like computers and laptops. Good news is that specialized adapters are made to serve as a bridge and connect your USB Type C devices to the Type A hosts – PC or laptop, so you can copy movies and other files straight to your Type C enabled smartphones or tablets. USB C to USB type A (Male) connector will make this possible!
Choosing a quality yet cost-efficient USB Type C
With the growing popularity of USB Type C connectors, manufacturers are selling them like hotcakes. So what should we really look for when everyone can just claim theirs is the best?
That’s when we should start looking for the proof of quality. Yes, a quality USB should have undergone a series of compliance test – electrical, mechanical and other safety assessments to secure and optimize the user’s experience. USB Type C that passed the USB-IF compliance and got certified is a significant way of authenticating it as a quality product.
Do you want faster speed and better video or audio output? No one wants to wait for hours when we are transferring or synching files, right? USB Type C cables boast its advanced capacities but this doesn’t guarantee they all perform just the same, specifically when it comes to transmitting large data or enabling power.
The Type C connectors refers to the physical attributes of the plug but what conveys the actual operation e.g., determining the rate of speed depends on the type of cable, the hardware or the USB version installed e.g., USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and so on.
If you’re after the fast speed, make sure to look for the engraved words or markings of the letters “SS” on the USB plug. SS stands for SuperSpeed as this version of USB can deliver a faster throughput compared to the older versions.
There are two types of USB Superspeed , the first one was SuperSpeed 5Gbps which is 10x faster than a Hi-Speed USB. The latest one is tagged as the SuperSpeed+ which has a whopping 10Gbps data rate; we usually see this being labeled as “Superspeed 10” or USB 3.1 Gen 2.
As of now, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Superspeed offers up to 10Gbps of data transfer rate which is excellent for fast charging and transferring of large media formats such as an HD videos and images. USB Type C 3.1 Gen 2 can also support HDMI signals and displays 4K video resolution which obviously produce a crispier and more realistic and sophisticated viewing experience.
Yet not all high-end and expensive brands are just worth your money. You don’t really need to spend double or triple to get yourself a full featured USB that is reliable and durable.
This is why Nekteck offers different types of USB connectors and versions, so users will still get a reliable and functional device that will suit our needs without paying a hefty price.
Nekteck wants to ensure that every customer who loves electronics gadget and equipment will be secured of owning a high quality items. Thus, each product has acquired the certification and went through to rigid quality checks that it needs to guarantee sound and optimum operation.