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USB 3.1 vs 3.0 vs USB Type-C - Differences and Connections

Jul. 07, 2021

USB, or Universal Serial Bus, is one of the most widely used port standards that has been around for nearly 20 years. With so many devices supporting USB, it is important to stay up to date with the latest developments in the port, cable and standard.

There have been several improvements to the reliable USB ports we have long used. I'm sure we've all had trouble plugging in cables or flash drives because we've turned them upside down. The new USB Type-C cables and ports are reversible, so there is no "up" or "down" and you can plug in any way you want. USB also has other new features such as blazing fast data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, up to 100W of power, enough to charge a laptop, and even the ability to add an HDMI Connector or DisplayPort to a single cable.

USB Type-C

USB Type-C

USB 3.1 and USB Type-C - Standards and Ports

Before we continue, it's important to note the difference between a standard and a port or plug. the version of the USB standard indicates the speed and functionality of the cable. the USB type refers to the shape of the cable plug and the shape of its port in your computer or device. There are many types, most of which you probably already know.

USB Type-C is just a new shape for ports and cable plugs. The new USB Type-C port has many benefits. The first is reversibility. The difficulty of plugging in USB devices is a common standard on the Internet. Even plugging in a USB cable correctly does not seem to be easy. Since the new USB Type-C connector is reversible, it doesn't matter if you can plug it in upside down or face up.

USB Type-C is also the same size as a micro USB connection, so it can be used on even the smallest devices. Plus, USB Type-C is great for charging. Bi-directional power means that your device can not only charge peripheral devices, but peripheral devices can also charge the host device if the device is running low on power.

This fact is made even more confusing by the fact that some USB 3.1 ports have 100W of power while others do not, and some USB 3.0 cables have 100W of power. Some newer laptops have charging ports. This also means that devices such as hard drives and USB hubs will not require separate power cables, reducing cable connections and confusion.

USB 3.1, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0

It's hard to believe that USB 3.0 was introduced a decade ago, in November 2008. At that time, the new USB 3.0 dramatically increased the speed of data transfers; USB 2.0 could only theoretically reach a maximum data transfer rate of 480 megabits per second, while USB 3.0 could reach speeds of 5 gigabits per second, or more than 10 times faster. Not many computers were equipped with USB 3.0 ports at the time, and some computers had only a few USB 2.0 ports. To distinguish between USB 2.0 and 3.0, USB 3.0 ports had a blue connector or tongue inside.

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