A Beginners Guide to USB

Intro to USB

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus and is developed by the USB Implementers Forum, a group of member companies who create the universal standard. Some big members include Apple, Microsoft, HP, and Intel.

USB Shapes

I’m going to start by running through the different shapes.

USB Versions

Before we move to the different versions of USB here is one thing you need to know. I will be using megabytes, megabits, gigabytes, and gigabits per second to rate the speeds of each version of USB. I don’t want to get too far into the technical mumbo jumbo, so here are the basics. The higher the megabytes, gigabytes, etc. per second the faster data can move between your devices. In most cases, this doesn’t really matter it will all be happening in the background, unless you don’t like waiting for your laptop to backup or waiting for a large file to copy to your thumb drive.

Intro to Thunderbolt

Back to USB

To make USB 4, Intel generously donated the Thunderbolt 3 specification to the USB alliance. With version 4, you can transfer data at up to 5 GB/s, like it’s Thunderbolt equivalent. This addition also rebrands ports that previously supported both USB and Thunderbolt 3 to USB 4. With Intel out of the picture, so are their licensing fees making it more attainable for lower-end computers.







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