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USB Cables

Friday, June 30th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms

USB Cables

Have you ever needed to use a USB cable to hook up an external USB device to your computer? If you have, you may already know the cable specifications that are required with any device, but if you don’t, here are some details for you.

The longest cable you can use depends on if you’re connecting a full speed device (such as a CD/DVD burner or a flash drive) or a low speed device (keyboard, mouse, etc). If it’s a high speed device, the cable can only be five meters, which is just a tad below 16 feet. For low speed devices, the limit is three meters, which is approximately nine feet.

Now, you may be wondering why you can only use these certain lengths of USB cables. Well, that is an excellent question. The reason is basically that the USB’s electrical design won’t allow anything larger. When USB was designed, the decision of the lengths of the cables was important to make sure the USB data lines could handle any electromagnetic fields.

This method really does have some advantages since the USB is mainly intended for a desktop environment. Therefore, the range limits were acceptable. So, if you’re ever in the market for a USB cable, keep these length limitations in mind!

~ Erin

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