USB, short for Universal Serial Bus, is a standard type of connection for many different kinds of devices. Generally, USB refers to the types of cables and connectors used to connect these many types of external devices to computers. The Universal Serial Bus standard has been extremely successful. USB ports and cables are used to connect hardware such as printers, scanners, keyboardsmiceflash drivesexternal hard drivesjoysticks, cameras, and more to computers of all kinds, including desktops, tabletslaptops, netbooksetc.

Many portable devices, like smartphoneseBook readers, and small tablets, use USB primarily for charging. USB charging has become so common that it's now easy to find replacement electrical outlets at home improvement stores with USB ports built it, negating the need for a USB power adapter.

The parts of a USB-connected system, including the host like a computerthe cable, and the device, can all support different USB standards so long as they are physically compatible.


However, all parts must support the same standard if you want it to achieve the maximum data rate possible. A number of different USB connectors exist, all of which we describe below. The male connector on the cable or flash drive is typically called the plug. The female connector on the device, computer, or extension cable is typically called the receptacle.


These "A" plugs fit in "AB" receptacles. Tweet Share Email. USB 3. USB 2. USB 1. Only USB 3. This latest USB connector has finally solved the problem of which side goes up. Its symmetrical design allows it to be inserted in the receptacle in either fashion, so you never have to try again One of the biggest peeves about earlier USB plugs These are being widely adopted on smartphones and other devices.

This receptacle is physically compatible with USB 1. There is no USB 3.Increase in fee income and lower operating costs support State Street's STT Q1 earnings amid coronavirus-related mayhem. Heightened investors' concerns visible on banks' Q1 earnings, with the major players displaying rise in credit costs, higher expenses and margin pressure on lower rates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Day two of customers receiving stimulus checks was off to a more stable start for Cincinnati's largest lenders after they experienced technical snafus Wednesday.

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How USB Ports Work

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Back to top. Get to Know Us. Amazon Payment Products. English Choose a language for shopping. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon.Just about any computer that you buy today comes with one or more Universal Serial Bus connectors. These USB connectors let you attach miceprinters and other accessories to your computer quickly and easily.

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The operating system supports USB as well, so the installation of the device drivers is quick and easy, too. Compared to other ways of connecting devices to your computer including parallel portsserial ports and special cards that you install inside the computer's caseUSB devices are incredibly simple. You'll learn why the USB system is so flexible and how it's able to support so many devices so easily -- it's truly an amazing system.

Anyone who has been around computers for a while knows the problem that the Universal Serial Bus is trying to solve -- in the past, connecting devices to computers has been a real headache.

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The goal of USB is to end all of these headaches. The Universal Serial Bus gives you a single, standardized, easy-to-use way to connect up to devices to a computer. Just about every peripheral made now comes in a USB version.

A sample list of USB devices that you can buy today includes:. In the next section, we'll look at the USB cables and connectors that allow your computer to communicate with these devices. How FireWire Works. Which cables to use? Printers connected to parallel printer ports, and most computers only came with one. Things like external storage media, which need a high-speed connection into the computer, would use the parallel port as well, often with limited success and not much speed.

Modems used the serial portbut so did some printers and a variety of odd things like personal digital assistants PDAs and digital cameras.


Most computers had at most two serial ports, and they were very slow in most cases. Devices that needed faster connections came with their own cards, which had to fit in a card slot inside the computer's case. Unfortunately, the number of card slots is limited and some of the cards are difficult to install.To save this word, you'll need to log in. Army ultramarine blue U. Army white U. Accessed 18 Apr.

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USB Adapters

Build a city of skyscrapers—one synonym at a time. Login or Register. USB noun. Save Word. Log In. Definition of USB. Keep scrolling for more.

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Take the quiz Syn City Build a city of skyscrapers—one synonym at a time. Play the game.A USB port is a standard cable connection interface for personal computers and consumer electronics devices.

USB stands for Universal Serial Busan industry standard for short-distance digital data communications. Both wired and wireless versions of the USB standard exist, although only the wired version involves USB ports and cables. Many types of consumer electronics support USB interfaces. These types of equipment are most commonly used for computer networking:. Some devices feature more than one USB port, but do not plug both ends of a cable into the same device, as this can cause electrical damage!

Follow the instructions provided with your equipment before unplugging USB cables. For this reason, it is good practice to always safely eject your USB device before physically unplugging it. If using a USB hub, plug a separate cable into each device and connect them to the hub individually. To connect a device having one kind of port per device with another type, simply use the correct type of cable with appropriate interfaces on each end.

Not everything goes smoothly when you work with computers. There are a variety of reasons a USB port could suddenly stop working correctly. Check out our USB troubleshooting page for when you encounter problems. USB ports are an alternative to the serial and parallel ports available on older PCs. USB ports support much faster often x or greater data transfers than serial or parallel. For computer networkingEthernet ports are sometimes used instead of USB.

For some types of computer peripherals, FireWire ports are also sometimes available. Both Ethernet and FireWire can offer faster performance than USB, although these interfaces do not supply any power across the wire. Tweet Share Email. USB network adapters. USB broadband and cellular modems for Internet access. USB printers to be shared on a home network.

Several major types of physical layouts exist for USB ports:.Universal Serial Bus USB is an industry standard that establishes specifications for cables and connectors and protocols for connection, communication and power supply interfacing between computers, peripherals and other computers.

USB was designed to standardize the connection of peripherals to personal computers, both to communicate with and to supply electric power. It has largely replaced interfaces such as serial ports and parallel portsand has become commonplace on a wide range of devices. Examples of peripherals that are connected via USB include computer keyboards and mice, video cameras, printers, portable media players, disk drives and network adapters.

USB connectors have been increasingly replacing other types as charging cables of portable devices. This section is intended to allow fast identification of USB receptacles sockets on equipment.

Further diagrams and discussion of plugs and receptacles can be found in the main article above. The Universal Serial Bus was developed to simplify and improve the interface between personal computers and peripheral devices, when compared with previously existing standard or ad-hoc proprietary interfaces.

The USB standard also provides multiple benefits for hardware manufacturers and software developers, specifically in the relative ease of implementation:.

For a product developer, use of USB requires implementation of a complex protocol and implies an "intelligent" controller in the peripheral device. Developers of products that use the USB specification must sign an agreement with the Implementers Forum. Use of the USB logos on the product require annual fees and membership in the organization.

Ajay Bhatt and his team worked on the standard at Intel; [9] [10] the first integrated circuits supporting USB were produced by Intel in The first widely used version of USB was 1. Apple Inc. The USB 3. As of [update]approximately 6 billion USB ports and interfaces were in the global marketplace, and about 2 billion were being sold each year.

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Neither USB 1. SuperSpeed plugs and receptacles are identified with a distinct logo and blue inserts in standard format receptacles. The SuperSpeed bus provides for a transfer mode at a nominal rate of 5.

Its efficiency is dependent on a number of factors including physical symbol encoding and link level overhead. The increase in bandwidth is a result of multi-lane operation over existing wires that were intended for flip-flop capabilities of the USB-C connector. USB 3. Starting with the USB 3. USB4 is based on the Thunderbolt 3 protocol specification. A USB system consists of a host with one or more downstream ports, and multiple peripherals, forming a tiered- star topology.

Additional USB hubs may be included, allowing up to five tiers. A USB host may have multiple controllers, each with one or more ports.

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Up to devices may be connected to a single host controller. The hub built into the host controller is called the root hub.

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