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USB Complete: Cable Types and Connector Types

Jan. 20, 2022


USB Cable Types 

USB cables are named in one of two ways.

1. As a single type

A cable that has both USB Type-A and Type-C connectors is a USB Type-C cable.

If both connectors are USB Type-A, then it will be a USB Type-A cable.

The iPhone cable is described as an Apple Lightning cable.

The Android cable is called the Micro-USB cable.

2. From one type to another

For example, Type-A to Type-C cable.

If there is a Type-A connector on one end of the cable, that is usually the first type. The second is the shape of the connector that plugs into the device.

Some cables have the same connector on both ends and are named accordingly - for example, USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable.


USB3.1 Type C Male to Male Data Sync Charging Cable



USB Connector Types

Ports (also called sockets, jacks, or receptacles) are the parts of the device that USB connectors plug into. USB ports are sometimes called "female" because they accept "male" connectors.


1. USB Type A

The classic flat rectangular shape. Used by the following devices.

Almost all computers

Most tablet computers

Gaming consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, etc.)

Smart TVs

DVD and Blu-Ray players

Peripherals (keyboard, mouse)

Flash drives/memory sticks


2. USB Type B

You will usually find USB Type-B ports on large devices that are connected to your computer, such as printers and scanners. You may also have external storage devices or drives that use them.

Most USB Type-B connectors are located on one end of the USB Type-B to USB Type-A cable. Plug the Type-B connector into your printer, scanner or other device and the Type-A connector into a standard USB port on your computer.

Video can be played back via USB TYPE-B. Note, however, that USB is not always the best format for video playback and HDMI may be a better choice.


HDMI connector 19PIN DIP Type A with through hole legs


3. USB TYPE-C

Symmetrical rectangle, still fairly new, and therefore only used by a limited number of devices, such as

Apple MacBooks

Some of the newest laptops

Nintendo Switch game console

Some Android phones


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I connect a USB TYPE-C device to my PC?

First, check if your PC has a USB Type-C port- not all devices do! If so, you can connect a USB Type-C device to it using a USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable or a USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable.


2. Is USB TYPE-C the same as THUNDERBOLT?

While USB and Thunderbolt were once competing standards, the latest version of Thunderbolt 3 has been changed to use the same shape and most of the same features as USB Type-C.

This means that every Thunderbolt 3 port can also be used as a USB Type-C port, and every Thunderbolt 3 cable can be used as a USB Type-C cable.

Any USB Type-C device plugged into a Thunderbolt 3 port will work fine, but a Thunderbolt 3 device will not work if plugged into a USB Type-C port.


3. Does USB TYPE-C come with USB OTG?

Yes, USB On-The-Go (OTG) is available for USB Type-C connections.

USB OTG allows compatible devices to read data from USB devices without having to connect to a computer first.

This allows these devices to connect to.

External hard drives or USB flash drives

Keyboards, mice or game controllers

Printers, digital cameras


4. Is Type-C compatible with USB 2.0?

Yes. USB Type-C is backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 3.0 devices. However, you will need an adapter because the USB Type-C connector is shaped differently than the connectors on USB 2.0 and 3.0 cables.


5. Is USB TYPE-C the same as FIREWIRE?

No. USB and Firewire are different standards, although they work the same to transfer data. Firewire, which was once quite popular, has declined in recent years as USB became the industry standard.



Here is our compilation of common cable classifications and connector related issues. If you need to buy cables or USB connectors, contact AIKE for great service and reliable quality.



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