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    StarTech.com USB Cables

    Most companies are product orientated, but StarTech.com centres the customers problems at the heart of what they do. They design at least one or two new products every day, working hard to solve hard-to-find solutions. This range of USB cables are made from the best quality materials and are all backed by a lifetime warranty to boot.

    USB stands for Universal Serial Bus and are used to connect peripheral devices such as phones, keyboards, cameras, or printers and scanners to a computer. The connection typically serves to transfer power or data between your computer and a second attachment device so that the latter can perform its task.

    What are USB cables used for?

    Some common uses of USB cables are for charging phones via a wall adapter and connecting external hard drives to a laptop. These are more domestic types of usage but given that they can be up to 25m long, then can be utilised in an industrial or office setting. Appliances like lathes and CNC machinery use USB cables to transfer data and power.

    How many different types of USB cable are there?

    There are many different types of USB connectors out there and it's easy to get confused. To make it simple, let's split them into two categories: generation 1.0-2.0 and generation 3.0-3.1.

    Generation 1.0 - 2.0 connection types include USB A, USB B, USB Mini-A, USB Mini-B, USB Micro-A, USB Micro-B.

    Generation 3.0 - 3.1 connection types include USB A, USB B, USB Micro-B, USB C.

    You can differentiate between 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 USB connectors by looking at the colour of the plastic inside the connection end. The plastic will be either white, black or blue respectively.

    The difference between the USB generations is the rates of data transfer. Version 1.0 transfers data at 12Mbit/s, USB version 2.0 has a 480Mbps rate, and 3.0 transfers at a massive 5Gbps. The latest USB cable is best used with the latest compatible ports to make the most of the fast file transfer rate.

    How far can USB cables be extended?

    Standard USB cables have a maximum length of 5 metres before active circuitry is needed. Cables up to 5 metres perform tasks normally while connected to a host computer, but for cables longer than 5 metres these require active circuitry to aid data transfer over those longer distances.

    Cables with 2.0 version connectors have a maximum distance of 5 meters for standard cables and 25m for an active cable.

    This reduces for version 3.0 to 3m for standard and 15m for active cabling.

    IP Ratings for USB Cables

    IP ratings describe how waterproof the cable is. If you are looking for a cable which is water resistant, a rating of around IP40 is suitable. If you require something which is waterproof, you should look at a higher number such as IP67 or IP68.

    RS Components feature a generous range of USB cables, supplied by leading brands such as Startech, HAMA, D-Link and of course our trusted own brand RS Pro. To find out more, please visit our ultimate guide to USB cables.

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