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Data Cables


USB 2.0USB Superspeed There are many types of USB ports and sometimes it's difficult to find the right cable for your device. In the table below, we explain how to find the right data cable. Please refer to the user manual of your equipment in order to pick the right cable.

  What is it? What can I find it in?
USB 2.0 A   USB 2.0 A
connection

This is by far the most well-known and common USB connection. This connection can be found in a great number of devices: from laptops and computers to portable hard disks, car chargers, phone chargers and digital instruments. Easily recognised by the flat port and connector.

USB 2.0 B USB 2.0 B
connection

This connection can be found in most printers, but also in many peripherals. Easily recognised by the gate-like port and connector.

USB 2.0 mini USB 2.0 mini
connection

This is one of the smaller types of USB connections. Even though the port is smaller, it can still transfer at regular USB 2.0 speeds. Often found in smaller devices like Mp3 players and cameras. Easy to distinguish from micro USB as the port and connector are a little less flat.

USB 2.0 micro USB 2.0 micro
connection

The smallest USB connection there is. This tiny connection is used in current and next generation smartphones and tablets. Easy to distinguish from mini USB as the ports and connector are flatter.

USB 3.0 A USB 3.0 A
connection

USB 3.0 A connections look a lot like USB 2.0 A connections. To prevent mistakes, most USB 3.0 A ports are coloured blue. 3.0 connections are backwards compatible. This means that you can connect USB 2.0 devices to USB 3.0 ports and USB 3.0 devices to USb 2.0 ports.

USB 3.0 B USB 3.0 B
connection

This connection looks a lot like the USB 2.0 B connection, but it has an added 'bump' on top of the well-known gate-like USB 2.0 B connector. USB 3.0 B connections are backwards compatible as well. However, it is impossible to plug an USB 3.0 B cable into a USB 2.0 B port!

USB 3.0 micro USB 3.0 micro
connection

This is the smallest version of the fast USB 3.0 standard. Easy to distinguish from USB 2.0 micro because of the extra 5-pin plug stacked on side of it. This can be found in portable devices. USB 3.0 micro connections are backwards compatible as well. However, it is impossible to plug an USB 3.0 micro cable into a USB 2.0 micro port!

 

FireWire is a competitor of the USB standard. Both standards deliver fast data transfer rates and share a number of other characteristics, but due to the lower costs (among other things) USB gained ground on FireWire.

FireWire was introduced by Apple in 1999 and is still used in certain devices with an updated version.

  FireWire logo

There are 4 types of FireWire available: 4-pin, 6-pin and 9-pin. These version use the IEEE 1394a or the IEEE 1394b transfer standard. Just as USB, FireWire can provide connected devices with power. Both the 4- and 6-pin version use the same transfer rate standard, but the 6-pin connection also has two extra pins available for power.

FireWire differs from USB by not being backwards compatible. All FireWire connectors differ from eachother. That is why there are a lot of adapters available to connect different devices to different ports.

FireWire

Because of the higher bandwith of FireWire, as opposed to USB 2.0, this type of connection was often used in portable hard disks and recording equipment like (video) cameras.

As mentioned before, there are two different transfer rate standards: IEEE 1394a and IEEE 1394b. These are also called FireWire 400 and FireWire 800. The number stands for the number of Mbit/s that can be realised. Both the 4-pin and 6-pin connectors are made to the 400 standard. The 9-pin connectors are made to the 800 standard.

FireWire
 
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