Short for universal serial bus, USB (pronounced yoo-es-bee) is a plug and also play user interface that allows a computer to connect with peripheral and other devices. USB-connected devices cover a vast range; anything native keyboards and also mice, to music players and also flash drives. For an ext information on this devices, see our USB tools section.

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USB may additionally be provided to send strength to details devices, such as powering smartphones and also tablets and charging their batteries. The very first commercial release of the global Serial Bus (version 1.0) was in January 1996. This sector standard to be then quickly embraced by Intel, Compaq, Microsoft, and also other companies.

Where are the USB ports?

All contemporary computers have at least one USB port. Below is a perform of the typical locations wherein you can discover them.

Tablet computer - The USB connection on a tablet is situated in the charging port and also is typically micro USB and sometimes USB-C. Some tablet computers have additional ports USB ports.

USB devices

Today, over there are countless different USB tools that connect to her computer. The list below contains a few of the many common.

USB connector types

USB connectors come in various shapes and also sizes. Most of the versions of USB connectors, consisting of the conventional USB, Mini USB, and also Micro USB, have actually two or more variations of connectors. Further information top top each form is detailed below.


Mini-USB, additionally known together mini-B, is provided with digital cameras and computer peripherals. Mini-USB has largely been replaced by Micro-USB and USB-C cables on newer devices.

Micro-USB, announced in 2007, was designed to replace mini-USB. The two varieties of Micro-USB room Micro-A and also Micro-B, both special a connector dimension of 6.85 x 1.8 mm, return Micro-A connectors function a bigger maximum overmold size. Micro-USB cables are frequently used to attach computer peripherals, video game controllers, and for charging smartphones. While numerous companies space upgrading come USB type-C connectors (next section), Micro-USB is still frequently used with digital devices.

The USB type-C cable is featured ~ above most modern-day Android smartphones and also other USB-connected devices. Uneven other forms of USB connections, USB-C cables space reversible, definition they plug in properly regardless of even if it is or no they are \"upside down.\"

USB deliver speeds

USB 1.x is an outside bus standard that supports data transfer prices of 12 Mbps and also is qualified of supporting up to 127 peripheral devices. The photo shows an instance of a USB cable linked to the USB port.

USB 2.0, additionally known together hi-speed USB, was occurred by Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Lucent, Microsoft, NEC, and Phillips and also was introduced in 2001. Hi-Speed USB is capable of supporting a transfer rate of up to 480 megabits per 2nd (Mbps), or 60 megabytes per 2nd (MBps).

USB 3.0, additionally known together SuperSpeed USB, was first made accessible in November 2009 by Buffalo Technology, but the first certified devices weren\"t obtainable until in January 2010. USB 3.0 boosted upon the USB 2.0 an innovation with speed and performance increases, improved power management and increased bandwidth capability. It provides two unidirectional data paths for receiving and sending data in ~ the very same time. USB 3.0 support transfer prices up to 5.0 gigabits per 2nd (Gbps), or 640 megabytes per second (MBps). Following the relax of USB 3.1, it\"s officially renamed to \"USB 3.1 Gen1\" because that marketing purposes. The an initial certified devices consisted of motherboards from ASUS and Gigabyte Technology. Dell began including USB 3.0 ports in your Inspiron and Dell XPS collection of computers in April 2011.

USB 3.1, additionally known together SuperSpeed+, to be made accessible as of July 31, 2013, and also is the latest variation of the USB protocol. USB 3.1 is capable of transfer rates of as much as 10 Gbps, putting it in line through the very first generation the Apple\"s Thunderbolt channel. Today, numerous devices use the USB 3.0 and 3.1 revisions for enhanced performance and speed.

USB version compatibility

Each variation of USB harbor is backward compatible and forward compatible, meaning it have the right to support any type of version listed below or over its existing number. For example, tools designed with USB 1.1 and 2.0 technology work in a 3.0 port. However, it should be noted that gadgets with lower versions operation at their aboriginal transfer speeds even though USB 3.0 is capable of higher. Similarly, if you connect a USB 3.1 device into a USB 2.0 port, the 3.1 device\"s max transfer price is restricted to the of the 2.0 port.

USB cables - length and also type

USB cables are easily accessible in lot of lengths, from a few inches to end 16 feet. The maximum size of a USB cable is 16 feet 5 customs (5 meters) for high-speed devices, and also 9 feet 10 inches (3 meters) because that low-speed devices. This maximum lengths are as result of data deliver timing and the threat of data ns if using much longer cable lengths. However, utilizing USB hubs, you can affix two USB cables to effectively extend the distance in between the 2 devices.

There space different varieties of USB cables together well. Together we pointed out above, over there are different transfer speed (2.0 and also 3.0) for USB. Similarly, there are different varieties of USB cables to complement with those speeds. Girlfriend can obtain a USB 2.0 cable for use through a device using USB 2.0 or a USB 3.0 cable because that use v a an equipment using USB 3.0.

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USB expansion cables can connect to one end of a USB cable, extending the size of the connection. However, avoid expanding the cable past the maximum USB data transfer distance the 16 feet 5 inches, unless you\"re using a USB hub to rise the signal.

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