What is USB- Definition, Types & Uses

USB, What is USB, Definition of USB, Types of USB, Full Form of USB, Advantages of USB, Disadvantages of USB, What is USB Devices

You all must know about it, but do you know what is USB? How many types are there? and How to use it? If you also have all these doubts then according to me you should read this post completely. The full form of USB “Universal Serial Bus” which is a plug-and-play interface and it helps the computer to communicate with other devices and peripherals. USB connector devices cover a very wide range such as keyboards, music, players and flash drivers. With the help of this USB cable, the computer is connected to other devices such as printer, monitor, scanner, mouse and keyboard. This is a main part of the USB interface in which there are many different types of ports, cables and connectors.

These USB connectors were developed so that computers and other devices can be easily connected. Before the invention of USB interface, there used to be many varieties of connectors. But after its arrival the whole perspective has changed because there are many benefits of these cables such as they can be easily plug-and-play, the data transfer rate (DTR) is very high in this connectors. There has been also a considerable decrease in numbers of connectors. So today I thought I should give you the complete information about what is USB. So that you can get complete information about it. Now, without delay let’s start and know what is USB cable?


What is USB?

A USB port is a very standard cable connection that provides and interface between personal computers and consumer electronics devices. The full form of USB is “Universal Serial Bus”, which is the industry-standard for short distance digital data communications. It allows USB devices to be connected with other so that they can easily transfer digital data via USB cable. Along with this, electric power can also be supplied using them between devices.

The USB standard has both wired and wireless versions, but only the wired version has USB ports and cables. First Universal Serial Bus (version 1.0) was commercially released in the month of January 1996. This industry standard was soon adopted by other big companies like Intel, Compaq, Microsoft etc.

Types of USB

This doubt may come in the mind of many of you that if USB is universal, then why it has so many types. This is the very good question, but the answer is equally attractive, which is that all USB cables have different functions mainly according to new devices, USB cables with better specs to be compatible with them

1. Type-A

Almost all cables have a Type-A connector on one end. Almost all peripheral (such as keyboards and mouse) have a Type-A connector, personal computers usually have multiple Type-A ports, and many other devices and power adaptors use Type-A port for data transfer and charging.

2. Type-B

It looks almost like a square connector. It is mainly used for printers and other power devices which are connected to the computer and rarely used as compared to Type-A.

3. Type-C

This is a reversible cable that allows higher transfer rates and more power than previous USB types. Due to its excellent features, it is being used in almost all standard laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones.

4. Micro-USB

This is the standard USB cable used in the present mobile and other portable devices. It is being used by all the manufacturers except Apple.

5. Mini-USB

This is used to be a standard connector type for mobile devices when there were no micro-USB types. As its name suggest mini-USB is much smaller than regular USB, and it is still used in some cameras that use non-standard connectors.

6. USB 3.0

It is currently providing the fastest transfer rates according to the latest USB standard, with this it is also compatible with former USB version. This is fully compatible but to get its features it is very important for all components to be USB 3.0 compatible. There is an extra pin available in USB 3.0 cables which allows for higher transfer speed. We can use old Type-B and micro version in USB 3.0 port but cannot achieve speed like USB 3.0. This is a very emerging standard which is also changing with technology, slowly it becoming even faster.

7. USB On-The-Go (OTG)

It is a very new standard that allows mobile and other portable device is to act as a USB host. For example, if you have external drive or smartphone or laptop. Here if you have to move some files from external drive to smartphone then what will you do? The very simple answer is that we will to first transfer those files from external drive to laptop, then from laptop to smartphone. Whereas this OTG cable comes in handy, where with the help of OTG USB cable we can host external drive in our smartphone. For this we will not even need a laptop.

What is USB Devices?

Today we use millions of different USB devices, which we can use by connecting them to our computer. These USB devices are called those that use USB technology to perform their operations smoothly. Here I am going to write about some such USB devices that we use in our everyday life.

1. Digital Camera
2. External Drive
3. iPod or another MP3 Player
4. Keyboard
5. Mouse
6. Printer
7. Joystick
8. Keypad
9. Jump drive aka Thumb Drive
10. Scanner
11. Smartphone
12. Microphone
13. Tablet
14. Webcams

These USB interfaces were first developed in the mid-1990s and standardized by the USB implementers Forum (USB-IF). According to these standards there are two main types of connectors which are Type-A and Type-B. These connectors have been intentionally designed to connect properly. Connecting them wrongly is impossible in a way. Therefore, for the convenience of the uses the USB icon is imprinted on the upper side of the plug, which can be easily visible to anyone visually.

Advantages of USB

1. Ease of Use

USB was developed because it can be easily used by the users.

2. Single Interface for Multiple Devices

Due to the versatile nature of USB, it remove the complexity that comes in connecting with different devices. It connects with other peripherals very easily.

3. Auto-Configuration

There is a need to install the USB device driver only once on the operating system of the host device. Later, whenever that peripheral device is connected to the system then automatically its driver will be loaded, so that it will configure the plugged in device. Due to this it can be used easily.

4. Easy to Expand

Normally personal computers (motherboards) have 3 to 4 USB ports and if more USB ports are needed in future, then we can add external ports using USB hubs.

5. Being of Compact Size

The size of USB socket is very small if you compare it with RS232 and parallel ports.

6.  No Need for External Power

External power is not required to run USB devices because they are made in such a way that they can provide 5V DC to the host device.

7. Speed

USB is very speed and efficient as compared to other cables. They provided speed of data transfer rate of about 1.5Mbit/s to 5Gbit/s.

8. Reliability

These USB protocols can easily catch errors during data transfer, so that they notify the transmitter to retransmit the data. Usually, generic USB drivers and specific drivers software ensure error free data communication.

9. Low Cost

Due to its versatile nature and high demand, it can be manufactured very cheaply. With this, due to the high availability of its components its manufacturing can be easily is scaled.

10. Performs Low Power Consumption

USB devices usually work only in +5V and consume lot of current which is milliampere.

Disadvantages of USB

1. Speed

With the new technology USB 3.0, the data transfer rate of up to 5Gbits/sec can be reached. But it is still very less than Gigabit Ethernet.

2. Peer to Peer Communication

According to the USB standard, communication can only happen between the host and the peripheral. Here two host cannot communicate directly with each other. This is also happens with peripherals. But there interfaces such as FireWire supports peripheral communication.

3. Absence of Distance

According to USB standards, the connecting cable can be only up to 5 meters long after that USB hubs are used to expand connectivity.

4.  Broadcasting

We cannot do broadcasting in Universal Serial Bus. Only individual messages can be communicated between host and peripheral.


1. What is the full form of USB?
Ans. The full form of USB is “Universal Serial Bus”.

2. What are the types of USB?
Ans. Type-A, Type-B, Type-C, Micro-USB, Mini-USB, USB 3.0, USB OTG.

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