[TOPIC] For beginners! About USB standard and shape of connector terminal –Types and How to distinguish–

USB is a terminal used to connect smartphone charging cables, external HDDs, SSDs, and USB memories, though it has various shapes. Since a terminal shape depends on the USB standard used, it is necessary to thoroughly check the USB standard of an USB cable, personal computer, and peripherals to be purchased in advance. In this article, we introduce essential knowledge, differences in types, and how to distinguish them when using USB.


1-4. Transfer speeds that are evolving with the times
2. mini USB
3. Micro USB
4. USB standard tips
4-1. USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are easy to distinguish
4-2. Described in the instruction manual of the personal computers and peripheral devices
5. Conclusion. Understand the specifications to maximize performance
6. Recommended our products

・1. Common USB connector types
The types of USB connectors are roughly classified into the following seven types.
・USB2.0 / 3.0 / 3.1 Type-A
・USB2.0 / 3.0 Type-B
・USB3.1 Type-C
・mini USB Type-A
・mini USB2.0 Type-B
・Micro USB Type-A
・Micro USB2.0 / 3.0 Type-B
Since you will know the shape of an USB connector of the device by looking at the shape, make sure that the shape of the connector such as the USB cable you purchase is compatible before purchasing. By the way, the standard called USB3.2 appeared in 2017, though it is not generally distributed yet. (This time, we will omit USB3.2, which is not yet popular)

・1-1. Type-A
Type-A is so popular that it can be said that “USB is this shape”. The standards mainly used for personal computers, and the following three standards are currently in circulation.
・USB2.0 Type-A
・USB3.0 Type-A
・USB3.1 Type-A
It is compatible with USB3.1, 3.0 and 2.0, so you can connect any of the same Type-A terminals. If you use a conversion cable, it will be compatible with most terminals. It is compatible with other USB standards, as well as stereo terminals such as headphones and specialized terminals such as RS-232C.

・1-2. Type-B
There are the following five standards currently in circulation.
・USB2.0 Type-B
・USB3.0 Type-B
・USB3.1 Type-B
・mini USB Type-B
・Micro USB Type-B
Type-B is a USB shape that is often used for peripheral devices such as printers, scanners, and external HDDs. Since there are terminals with different shapes from USB, mini USB, and micro USB, be sure to check which type of terminal you have. Micro USB Type-B is not compatible because the shape is different between USB 2.0 and 3.0.

・1-3. Type-C
Type-C is a new standard created with USB3.1 Gen1. Typical products equipped with USB Type-C include MacBooks and smartphones after 2015. Compatibility with other USB is maintained by using a conversion cable. Also, as a rule of USB connection, the host side (computer, game console, and media player) must be Type-A and device side (peripheral devices such as printers and external HDDs) must be Type-B. However, since the shape of Type-C is unified, terminals of the same shape can be mounted on the host side and device side, eliminating the inconvenience of mixing terminals of different shapes like the current Type-B.

・1-4. Transfer speeds that are evolving with the times
USB1.0 and USB1.1 appeared, and were installed in Windows 98 and iMac at that time. Currently, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are the mainstream, and it is expected that the number of devices that use USB 3.1 will increase in the future. The transfer speed has improved remarkably, the transfer speed of USB3.0 is 10 times faster than USB2.0 and the transfer speed of USB3.1 is two times as fast as USB3.0. Then, what happens to the transfer speed when devices with different standards are connected? For example, if you connect a USB 2.0 device and a USB 3.0 device, the transfer speed will be the lower one. Therefore, in this case, data cannot be copied at the transfer speed of USB3.0. Keep in mind that the transfer speed is determined by the lower USB transfer speed. However, be careful with cables with a transfer speed of USB3.1. This is because USB3.1 has two modes, Gen1 and Gen2. USB3.1 Gen1 has the same transfer speed as USB3.0, and Gen2 has two times as fast as USB3.0. Therefore, when purchasing a USB 3.1 cable, it is also important to check whether the device supports Gen1 or Gen2.

・2. mini USB
mini USB is a USB standard that is often used for digital cameras and drive recorders.
・mini USB Type-A
・mini USB2.0 Type-B
There are the above two types, though mini USB Type-A is rarely used.

・3. Micro USB
The standard that appeared as the successor to mini USB is Micro USB, and there are the following standards.
・Micro USB Type-A
・Micro USB2.0 Type-B
・Micro USB3.0 Type-B
Micro USB Type-A is rarely used at present, and you can think of Micro USB as Type-B. It is used for Android smartphones. In terms of compatibility, since 2.0 and 3.0 have different terminal shapes, they are not compatible.

・4. USB standard tips
When you buy a new cable due to deterioration or disconnection of the USB cable or dissatisfaction with the length of the cable, you may cause an unexpected failure if you do not check the USB standard firmly. As bits of knowledge, we introduces the few things you should remember.

・4-1. USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are easy to distinguish
The way to distinguish between USB2.0 and USB3.0 is “USB3.0 if the inside of the terminal is blue”. It’s very easy. Also, since the logo mark is different between USB2.0 and USB3.0, you can judge from the logo mark printed on the computer.

・4-2. Described in the instruction manual of personal computers and peripheral devices
An instruction manual describes which standard the port of the personal computer or peripheral device is compatible with. Also, if you lose the instruction manual, the specifications and instructions may have been uploaded to the manufacturer’s website.

・5. Conclusion. Understand the specifications to maximize performance
Depending on the USB standard, not only the shape of the terminal but also the transfer speed are different. Therefore, if you do not match the USB standards of your computer and peripheral devices, and if you do not use the optimum cable, the data transfer speed become slow down and you will not be able to demonstrate the expected performance. If you use the knowledge of the USB standard introduced this time, you will be able to use peripheral devices without stress. Be sure to check the USB terminals of your computer and peripheral devices before purchasing.

・6. Recommended our products

External HDD 6TB, EN series, Made in Japan [LHD-EN60U3WS]
Logitec’s best-selling “EN series” is compatible with USB3.1 Gen1 (USB3.0) and realizes high-speed transfer. Since the fan-less design makes it quiet even during operation, it can be comfortably used as an external hard disk for PCs, TVs, and game consoles.

SATA / USB3.1 (Gen1) / USB3.0 Conversion Adapter 3.5 inch/2.5 inch HDD/SSD for external storage [LHR-A35SU3]
You can use an internal HDD or SSD as an external storage just by inserting them into this adapter. Convenient for retrieving data.

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