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Whether we like it or not, Ethernet cables are still a common sight. Everywhere we look in our homes, numerous gadgets are still hooked up with cords. Among the most frequent types of connectors are the USB ones. However, with their numerous varieties and different labels, choosing the right one for your requirements can be challenging. The newest USB connectors might have improved features, but they require specific compatibility. Therefore, understanding the differences between them is beneficial. Let’s examine them all below:

USB Type-A Connector

  • A type-A connector is likely the connector you’ve utilized quite frequently. This connector, known as the A-style connector, features a flat, rectangular design. It’s the connector you’ll typically see at the end of almost every USB cable. It’s important to note that standard A-A cables are not designed for linking two computers or a computer to a hub. Attempting to do so could result in permanent damage to your computers and could even lead to a fire risk. They are most commonly used with various devices like PCs, cameras, mice, keyboards, and memory cards.

USB Type-C Connector

  • USB-C is gaining popularity across various devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets, and is being hailed as the next big thing in USB cables. What sets it apart is its reversible feature, allowing you to connect it either way. It’s also highly versatile, making it compatible with older connectors. When linking two devices that support USB 3.1, the USB-C cable can handle data transfer speeds up to 10Gbit/s, and it offers improved power capabilities, including up to 20 volts, 5 amps, and 100 watts for both power and charging.

Mini-USB Connector

  • As indicated by its title, this connector is a compact version that was the norm for portable electronics, yet it’s bigger than the version that came after it. It’s not as common today, but you might still discover it on older versions of different devices, particularly cameras, MP3 players, and game controllers, among other items.

Micro-USB Connector

  • The micro-USB is notably compact, enabling a slimmer profile in most smartphones, and has been embraced by nearly all manufacturers worldwide. Although it’s still present in certain models of smartphones, tablets, USB battery packs, and game controllers, the majority have transitioned to USB-C.

Lightening Cable

  • A Lightning cable is a kind of cable designed for charging and synchronizing Apple gadgets like iPhones, iPads, and iPods. It got its name from the “Lightning connector,” a unique connector created by Apple to substitute the older and larger 30-pin dock connector found on one end of the cable and a USB connector on the other. (2)

HDMI Cable

HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface, which is a standard for the efficient transmission of both digital video and audio signals from a device like a computer or TV cable box to a display such as a monitor, TV, or projector. HDMI cables come in both male and female versions, featuring compact right-angled connectors that either lock in place or have a gripping mechanism. They are classified as low voltage, allowing for their installation within walls.

The most common types of HDMI connectors currently in use are Type A (standard), Type C (mini), and Type D (micro). Despite their different names, all three types share the same configuration of 19 pins. However, the pin assignments may vary among them. Functionally, they are all capable of supporting the latest HDMI 1.4 and beyond standards. (3)

DisplayPort Cable

  • Choosing a DisplayPort cable is straightforward with DisplayPort. A basic DisplayPort cable is created to be compatible with any device that uses DisplayPort, like a computer or laptop, and any monitor that supports DisplayPort. This implies that a basic DisplayPort cable is compatible with the earliest DisplayPort devices and screens that came out more than a decade ago, and it will remain compatible with the latest and upcoming devices and screens that feature multi-stream and display resolutions as high as 5K at 60Hz. (4)

USB Type-B Connector

  • This is a connector that’s not in as much demand these days. It features a square form with rounded corners at the top sides, primarily utilized with printers and other electrically powered gadgets that link to a computer. It is gradually being replaced by more sophisticated USB connector varieties.

Are Public USB Ports Safe?

You may have heard in the news lately not to use free charging stations to charge your phone in Airports, libraries, malls, etc.  But, if you read the original post/warning… they only mentioned the USB port as the problem.  The electrical outlets are OK to use as long as you use your own cables and plugs.  (Below you can read the real post from the Federal Communications Commission.)

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