Most computer users are familiar with the Universal Serial Bus (USB), which has become the most common way to connect peripheral devices to a computer. Your mouse, printer, digital camera, scanner, and other devices most likely connect to your computer through a USB port. Many memory storage devices, such as portable hard drives, flash drives, and memory card readers, also connect to a computer via USB.
A variety of USB cables including micro, mini and standard plugs.
USB connectors make it possible to connect a device to the computer using USB. A long cable is used to connect the device to the computer. Typically, the connectors on each end of the cable are quite different, so you need to know which one goes to your computer and which one plugs into your device.
A USB drive.
Most USB cables have two types of connectors, one on each end. A type A connector is on the end that connects to your computer. They are wide and flat, with a piece of plastic inside that prevents the user from connecting them upside down. Most users are familiar with USB Type-A ports on their computers, as virtually all peripheral devices on the market today use them. For example, printers, scanners, and digital cameras connect to computers using a USB cable. USB drives, which are small mobile data storage devices, usually have Type-A connectors on one end, which plug directly into a computer’s USB ports.
Memory card readers connect to a computer via USB.
The other most common type of these connectors is a little more square in shape, although there is a notch taken out of two of the corners to ensure the user inserts it correctly. This is known as a USB Type-B connector and usually connects to the peripheral device. For example, most printers and scanners have ports for type B connectors.
A USB hub can help you connect USB devices to computers with different types of connectors.
Other types of USB connectors are becoming more and more common. Most newer cell phones and digital cameras use a Mini-B type connector, which is shaped like a type B connector but is smaller. They’re especially useful for small devices that don’t have room for a full-sized USB port. In fact, many cell phones, digital cameras, and PDAs come with a USB cable that has a Type-A connector on one end and a Mini-B connector on the other.
USB cables are used to connect devices – such as printers, keyboards and music players – to computers.
There are also Mini-A connectors. They are generally used for On-The-Go (OTG) devices that need to connect to each other rather than to a computer. Like the Mini-B USB connectors, the Mini-A was developed because the devices were too small to offer a full-sized Type-A port.
MP3 players often use USB cables to connect to a computer.
Ports for USB connectors are now found on almost any kind of computer device. Because it has become such a common way to connect peripherals to a computer, USB ports are often located in more convenient places than they used to be. While desktop computers still have USB ports on the back side of the tower, where it is difficult to access them, they now also have them on the front of the tower, usually underneath the disk drives. Laptops usually have two or three USB ports on the right side of the laptop, where a mouse would need to be connected, while some laptops have one or two USB ports on each side to make them easier to access.
USB 3.0, with its SuperSpeed connection, is shaped differently than previous ports.