All About USB Ports

Most of the electronics and all the computers that are purchased come with either one or multiple universal serial bus ports (USB) or connectors. Let us start by understanding what a USB port is. By definition, it is a fixed cable connection interface that is commonly found on many consumers’ electronics and on your personal computers. It is very useful as it allows the user connect many stand-alone accessories like keyboard, mouse, printers, and many others to the computer easily and quickly via a cable, helps in communication and power supply. We can say that when we compare USB to other devices, it is generally simple in its usage and functionality.

How does a USB work?

The device is very important in data transfer. It allows data to be moved between devices. Still, USB ports can be used to supply electric power using a cable to devices that don’t have their own source of power. To connect a device to the computer, just locate the port at the back of your machine, and then connect the USB connector into it. It will be auto-detected by the operating system and installed. After usage, you can connect and disconnect it at any time.

What can be plugged into a USB port?

Many devices are supported by the USB interface. Most of them are used for networking. Some of them include:

  • USB printers
  • Cellular modems and USB broadband used for accessing internet
  • USB network adapters
  • Scanners
  • Mobile devices
  • Video phones
  • Webcams
  • Joysticks

USB cables and connectors

Many devices come with their own inbuilt cable. A and B are the standard connecters that are used to prevent confusion. To further help in distinguishing different functions and versions of the ports, they are often color-coded.

Most of the time, the computers we purchase may come with either one or two USB sockets. At times, you may have too many devices you want to connect, and you may end up running out of the sockets. The easiest and the instant solution is to use a USB hub. A hub contains multiple sockets. It is only plugged into a computer and then devices are plugged on the hub. You can chain dozens of hubs into your computer.

USB versions

In the market there are multiple versions’ and they include 2.0, 1.1, 3.0 and 3.1. It is worth noting that regardless of the version supported, the ports have an identical physical layout. The 2.0 version is an upgrade for 1.1. It has an additional bandwidth for storage and multimedia applications. 2.2 data transmission speed is 40 times faster compared to version 1.1. USB 3.0 is regarded as a super speed and it is 10 times faster than 2.0.