Every USB Cable Type, Explained

Every USB Cable Type, Explained
Image: Getty Images

Life used to be so simple when there was one primary USB in town. But fast forward to 2019 and tech has ushered in more port shapes and sizes than you can poke a thumb stick at. To help you get up to speed, here’s a quick overview of all the common USB ports lurking in your new product boxes and what they do.

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usb-a Image: Getty Images

You might also hear of USB 3, which is a backwards compatible USB-A type with faster transfer speeds. While they have the same shape, the pin area is usually coloured blue to differentiate from regular USB-A ports. A USB 4 is also on the way but its release date is still unconfirmed.


usb-b Image: Getty Images


usb-c Image: Getty Images

Even Apple, who for years preferred its own custom ports such as the Lightning ports, now comes with USB-C ports.

Mini-USB B

mini usb Image: Getty Images


usb micro Image: Getty Images

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  • I have a couple of critiques of this article:
    First, a quick grammatical one: Still expect to find the Micro-USB B port on many of your dating devices.dating” devices?
    Secondly, you’re explaining all the USB port types, not all the USB types. I clicked on this article expecting an explainer on things like USB-2, USB-3, thunderbolt and hopefully some insights on things like charging cables vs data cables. Instead, all I got was a list of plugs.
    You also missed out on some less common but still prevalent plugs like the USB 3.0 version of the Micro USB that had the extra little plug on the side. I had a port like that in my old Galaxy Note 3 (admittedly dated, but so is USB-B) and a lot of portable hard drives have them, too.
    There’s a lot of good info about different connectors on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_hardware#Connectors

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