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USB Connectors

Friday, June 30th, 2006 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms
 
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Q:
What are the different types of USB connectors?

A:
That’s an excellent question, because most of us have to use a USB port at some point in our everyday computing. Since so many of us work with computers on a daily basis now, it’s very likely that we have used a USB connector somewhere along the line. Today, most computers come with two or more USB ports and it’s very unusual if your computer doesn’t have at least one.

Right now there are four main types of USB connectors: Type A, Type B, Mini-A and Mini-B. All of these types are supported by USB 1x and USB 2x. Let’s go over what these different connectors do in relation to what you do with your USB ports.

Type A

This type is known as the host connector and it is also sometimes referred to as the downstream connector. This is the one that you usually plug into the ports on your CPU or into a USB hub. It’s usually rectangular in shape as well.

Type B

This connector is mainly used for the different devices that can be plugged into a port. This one is also known as the upstream connector and it is the one that attaches directly to the end of a device (whether that be a digital camera, a printer, a mouse or keyboard, etc). A Type B connector is usually box shaped.

Mini-A

This type of connector was designed to connect with mobile devices. This one can be used without a computer and it can be used with most mobiles, big and small.

Mini-B

This connector was designed when the “USB creators” found out the original connector for USB 2.0 ports was too big for certain devices such as a PDA or a cell phone. So, in the end, this one was created for those of you who wanted to take advantage of the USB PC connectivity that is available with these smaller devices.

There you have it; the basics on the different types of USB connectors. Which type do you use the most?!

~ Erin

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