USB is supposedly universal, but there are so many different types. Why is this? As it turns out, they each serve different functions, mainly to preserve compatibility and support new devices. Here are the six most common types of USB cables and connectors:

Type-A:
The standard flat, rectangular interface that you find on one end of nearly every USB cable. Most computers have multiple USB-A ports for connecting peripherals. You’ll find them on game consoles, TVs, and other devices too. This cable only inserts in one way.

Type-B: An almost square connector, mostly used for printers and other powered devices that connect to a computer. They’re not very common these days, as most devices have moved onto a smaller connection.

Mini-USB: A smaller connector type that was standard for mobile devices before micro-USB. While not as common today, you’ll still see these on some cameras, the PlayStation 3 controller, MP3 players, and similar.

Micro-USB: The current standard (though slowly declining in popularity) for mobile and portable devices, which is even smaller than mini-USB. While you’ll still find micro-USB on all sorts of smartphones, tablets, USB battery packs, and game controllers, some have moved onto USB-C.

Type-C: The newest USB standard, this is a reversible cable that promises higher transfer rates and more power than previous USB types. It’s also capable of juggling multiple functions. You’ll see it on many new laptops and smartphones, including the MacBook, Pixel phones, and Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. We discuss USB-C more below.

Cackle Telecommunications is proud to provide USB cables to NZ businesses. Choose from a selection of vendors, explore our products to find the right solution for you.

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