The universal serial bus (USB) cable is the standard most of us use to transfer data, connect devices and charge our technology. USB cables were designed in the 1990s to standardize the connections between our peripheral items such as monitors and keyboards with our computers. That was before mobile devices became the integral parts of our lives that they are today. USB 3 cables are just the most recent advance in our search for more reliable data and energy transfer. Since their development, USB cables have become the most successful kind of peripheral cable ever created. Some have estimated that three billion are shipped every year. That is a lot of cables!
While most smart phones today should last about two years (if we can wait a full two years to replace them), the cell phone cable accessories required to connect them and charge them may not. This is more than just an annoyance of modern life. It can be dangerous as well. In 2008, electrical fires damaged about 54,000 homes in the United States. Nearly 500 people were killed as a result, 1,400 were injured and nearly $1.4 billion in property damage was reported. Frayed cables were the cause of many of these fires.
Since the USB cables were first introduced back in the 1990s, they have undergone a lot of upgrades and changes. The main difference until lately was between USB Type A and USB Type B. The USB A plug is the flat, rectangular plug that most people are used to.They can all be plugged into computers, wall charging units and other devices. If you have a car with an USB port, this is the plug that will fit that connection. Both sides of the USB Type A have this flat plug. The USB Type B has two different plugs. The first is the same as the Type A and the second is the plug that goes into the different devices such as your printer, smartphone, tablet or whatever else. With the USB Type C, companies have gone back to having both sides have an identical plug but it looks a lot different from the USB Type A.
Since the first USB port was created, there have been different versions created. For the most part, the main difference is the amount of power or data that can be moved along the cable. The USB 3 cables were introduced in 2008. They can carry 5Gbps in their SuperSpeed mode. In July 2013, the USB 3.1 cables were released and they can double the speeds offered by USB 3 cables. If you are concerned that you only have USB 3 cables when the world has invented USB 3.1 cables, fret not. Your USB 3 cables are still fine and you do not need to throw them away.
As technology advances towards what is faster, sleeker and more powerful, new technology will replace the older versions. Just as USB 2.0 cables came before the USB 3 cables, there was still a time built in to make the switch from one to another. The newer cables are faster and more powerful but the others still have value.
When looking for new USB 3 cables, it is good to get a good price but also ask about the warranty. While our mobile lifestyles mean they are subject to a lot more wear and tear than our technology used to have to endure, they should still last a decent amount of time. A company that has decent workmanship invested in its USB cables, regardless of their type or version, should be willing to guarantee they will work for some period of time.
You should also know that it is a myth that better cables always cost more. Many people remain convinced that good quality highspeed HDMI cables have to cost a lot (at least $50 a piece). This is simply not true. Another cable myth is that the quality degrades over distance. If you are cabling your home, for instance from your DVD player to your television, the distance should not make a difference. Unless your living room is the size of a football field, you should not worry about the length of your cable.