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What Is USB Type C? Everything You Need To Know

by Lisa Hayden
What Is USB Type C

Not sure what is USB Type C? Let's find out...

Are you often confused when it comes to USB attachments? Do you even know what kind of USB you own? Few people realize that there are actually different types of USB in the market today, and each one comes with its own pros and cons.

The USB Type-C is considered to be one of the best in the range and here’s why you’d probably want to switch up to it.

There are Actually 6 Different Types

Aside from USB Type-C, there are five other USB types in the market today. There’s USB Type A in its male and female format, there’s USB Type B, and then there’s USB Type B in its mini and micro format.

Now, you’re probably familiar with USB Type-B mini because this is the standard charging port for Android phones. The USB Type A is the typical USB currently being used in laptops. The female USB Type-A is slot found in the laptop itself while the male USB Type-A is the other end or the item you plug into the female type.

Finally, there’s USB Type-C. In case, you haven’t figured it out, the USB Type-C is not yet a standard inclusion in manufactured laptops today – but that’s about to change soon.

Removing the Attachment Error

usb type c Removing the Attachment Error

The first thing you should know about Type C is that it is reversible. If you’ll notice, you almost always have to try multiple times before slotting a Type-A into its port. This is a problem you won’t have any more with Type-C because it can slot in either way. 

Data Support Ability

This new USB port can also support a wider range of data through a single port. Note that typically, when attaching hardware to the laptop, we would often be given multiple cable attachments and try to do a matching game between the ports. This is because different cable types are capable of sending different types of data through the laptop and vice versa.

The introduction of the USB Type C to the market eliminates the guessing game by a wide margin. This is because this connector can now accommodate different outputs like VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort, and more

Transfer Speed Comparison

usb types Transfer Speed Comparison

When transferring a large file from the PC to an external drive and vice versa, do you often find yourself waiting for a long time? The older USB versions had this problem considering USB 3.2 has a theoretical speed of up to 5 Gbps.

Now, here’s what we want you to remember. The USB type is different from the USB generation. The type is really just the shape of the connector but the generation is the very program that makes it run. Hence, an old USB Type-A can be running via a USB 3.2 Generation 1 or a USB 3.2 Generation 2. It is the difference in generation that marks the difference in speed when it comes to file transfer. For example, while a Gen 1 can do up to 5 Gbps, a Gen 2 can handle double that at 10 Gbps.

So what makes Type-C unique in this case? Well, most USB Type-C today are made with USB 3.2 Generation 2x2. This will give you a speed of up to 20 Gbps which is double Gen 2 version. 

Understand though that this is not true for all Type-C creations. Some manufacturers use a Type-C connector but utilize an underlying application of just Generation 2 or 3. Hence, you’re going to have to take a good look when buying electronics with this connection type.

Making the Shift

You might argue that with USB Type-A being the gold standard in most laptops for years now, it can be tough to make that transition. After all, if all your external storage hardware is connected via USB Type-A, why would you want to get a laptop that supports Type-C connectivity?

Here’s another beauty of the Type-C setup. It’s actually backward compatible. This means that an older model of USB connector can still be read by the Type-C. Obviously, the ports themselves would not fit. However, there are adaptors available with one end made with USB Type-C and the other end in USB Type-A female, thereby allowing you to still make that connection. This gives you the perfect opportunity to utilize the advantages of Type C without completely altering set products.

USB Type-C on Charging and Power Distribution

USB Type-C on Charging and Power Distribution

When it comes to charging your mobile devices, USB Type-C stands out from the rest. As it stands, Type C has a charging rate of around 60W via a 3A current. At maximum, it can hold up to 5A of current. However, that’s only true if both ends are Type-C in their creation. Essentially, this means that you can enjoy a faster charging pace for the electronics, especially if the device eats up power quickly.

Today however, the Type C’s ability to transport power is limited by the other end of the connection. This is because most cables today have a Type-A to Type C connection. Hence, one end is a Type A while the other supports a Type C. The Type A is actually limited in its capacity, capable of transporting only up to 3A of current. This is not a problem if you’re only charging a small device – like a mobile phone. Fairly soon however, there will be new products that encourage Type-C to Type-C connections and will therefore improve the rate of power use.

What This Means

The change from the slimmer Type-C with its more dependable transfer capacity makes a big impact on the tech industry. For one thing, this gives manufacturers the opportunity to create even slimmer or more compact devices while maintaining reliable power capacity and high-speed data transfer.

All in all, the emerging benefits of USB Type-C will slowly shift the market today this new gold standard. This is good for you as a user because it creates a more secure file transfer – not to mention faster speeds. Right now, if you have the option of adding a USB Type-C to your electronics setup, take that chance and be part of the future.

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