The world of USBs. Inevitably and essentially important to venture into if you want to use them. Sometimes, even though we use them, we do not have much knowledge about the type we should use and why. Whenever we go for buying USB adapters and cables, all we check is the purpose it needs to solve. This is when some detailed insights into USB might come of help.

Today, we shall talk about USB C cables. These days, it is quite common to find them everywhere right from charging cables to external hard drives. Although all USB C look the same, all of them offer different functionalities and capabilities. Let’s get to know few things about them we were previously unaware of.

Introduction to USB C

When it comes to transmitting data and power, USB C is the industry standard connector. The USB Implementers Forum – the body that develops and certifies USB standards developed the USB C connector. Above 700 companies are a member of this forum including companies like HP, Apple, Microsoft, Dell and Samsung.

So, Is USB C like Micro USB?

At the first look of it, USB C connector looks like a Micro USB connector. It is of oval shaped and a little thicker as compared to other USBs. The best part about this USB is that if you line it up properly, there is no need to flip or change the sides to plug it in. Also, as it has the same connector on both ends, there is no need to figure out which end would go where. This is quite dissimilar to other USB cables that you have been using for over a past few decades.

USB-C & USB 3.1

With USB C, the default protocol is USB 3.1, which is two times faster than USB 3.0 at 10 Gigabits per second. The only drawback is that you can avail USB 3.1 in the large and original shape. Apart from desktops, you are more likely to see USB 3.1 ports with USB C connectors.

USB Implementers Forum have categorized the USB 3.1 Gen 1 standard as meeting the data signaling rates and interface as USB 3.0. Hence, when you make use of 3.1 version of USB (Gen 1), it will work at the same speed as USB 3.0. USB 3.1 Gen 2 refers to data signaling rates at 10Gbps. (which is double to USB 3.0 and matches with the speed of single channel Thunderbolt)

Port Support

With the help of USB C’s potential for sending power streams and video signals simultaneously, you will be able to connect with an HDMI device, MHL or a native displayport, by assuming that you might have the right USB cables and adapters. The USB C spectrum also helps with audio transmissions. However, it has not replaced the 3.5 mm headphone jack on computers like it has for high-end Android phones. Google Pixel 2XL, for example, makes use of the USB C interface when it comes to data transfer and charging instead of its formerly used Micro USB. This is they case even if it includes the traditional 3.5 mm headphone jack.

But before you buy the USB C port, you must check the specs on the PC that you want to buy as not all USB C ports are the same. The ones you have come across support the power delivery and data transfer over USB C. Now, although USB C supports HDMI displays and DisplayPort connection with an adapter, not every PC comes with the ports connected with the system graphics hardware.

Compatibility with Cables and Adapters

As we read above, USB C is compatible with older USB 3.0 ports and also perfectly goes with the USB 3.1 ports. However, due to the new port style, you would need cables and adapters with plugs for connecting anything that doesn’t have the USB C connector. If you buy a new laptop, it might come with the connectors. But otherwise, you will have to buy them differently.

If you browse for PCs, you will be able to find several of them that support old protocols. However, if you invest into normal USB C cables, they would work with all the devices that support USB C. This would really help you get over the past agonies when using a mini USB cable to charge your micro USB phone wouldn’t work.

Should I Invest into USB C?

Well, you must consider doing it in case you’re buying a PC. If you buy a sleek laptop, it will undeniably come with a USB C port, which means you would obviously be using it according to the current standards. But in case you prefer desktops, you will be able to find the ports with the gaming ones. It would be difficult for you to find USBs old Type A connectors.

The next generation of cross-platform connectors has replaced the old ones. And USB C is sure to rock for the years to come!