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USB cables

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by asdfght5, Jul 10, 2018.

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  1. asdfght5

    asdfght5 Thread Starter

    Jan 16, 2004
    Are all USB cables created equal? Are some USB cables better than others? If so, what technical characteristics or specifications make one USB cable better than another?

  2. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor

    May 24, 2003
    First Name:
  3. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor

    Nov 28, 2005
    First Name:
    Besides the connector type mentioned by managed, USB cables can be certified to one of four data speed ranges. You can read about them on the USB Implementers Forum web site at http://www.usb.org/home. You will see four red and blue icons on the page that resemble USB plugs. Clicking on each icon will take you to an explanation of each speed range.


    Beyond that some cables from one company may be better built and last longer than a cable from another company.
  4. kenbok51


    May 31, 2011
    I swap cables around for external drives all the time with no issues (I don't own anything USB3) but swapping power bricks is a different issue because of their amperage rating. And of course the devices type of connector is an issue. For example most external hard drives have a mini connector on the device and a regular connector for the PC. I have one external drive that has two firewire connectors, one E-Sata and one mini USB.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  5. cornemuse


    Apr 26, 2016
    For me: I've found that some cheap usb cables without shielding around the '4' wires, (the shielding being connected to '-' ground), a lot of time do not work with some thumbs/memory cards. Not such a problem with usb hdd's. Usb hdd cases/adapters are a different story. Some cases draw more current than others & require either the 'second' usb plug for power, or a plugin power supply directly plugged in to the case/adapter.

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