What Is A USB And What Is It For? 

By Tanner Abraham •  Updated: 09/07/22 •  4 min read

The term USB is very widespread and you can hear it when talking about any charger for the mobile, in the cables to connect a mobile to the PC, in the connection of a keyboard to the computer, to connect a pen drive, etc.

Despite the constant evolution in the world of computing and the arrival of more and more connections by alternatives to cables, these continue to be very present in everyday life. USBs are still very necessary and it is practically impossible to imagine today’s world without them. These are connections that allow us to connect different equipment and devices between them, thus allowing their communication.

You will have heard about them thousands of times, but even so, you may still have doubts about how they work and what they are, so in this article we are going to try to give you the best possible answer to these questions. If you want to know what a USB is and what it is for, continue reading.

What is USB and what is it for?

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. This is a connection protocol that allows us to carry out the connection between different peripherals and electronic equipment so that data can be exchanged. It can also be used to perform certain operations or to charge the battery of connected devices. In short, it is a port that allows us to connect different devices.

The devices that can be connected via USB are numerous, from mobile phones to mice and keyboards, including webcams, external hard drives, tablets, photo cameras…

The origins of USB

USB was created in 1996, when a group of seven technology companies (Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Northern Telecom, NEC, Compaq and Digital Equipment Corporation) decided to develop a format to improve connectivity between technological devices. The purpose was to achieve a standard that would facilitate the work of all manufacturers.

Unlike other ports, USB does not require a system reboot as it is Plug Play capable. This means that it can be plugged in and used directly.

The USB itself also has the ability to detect and install the software that is necessary to make the devices work.

Types of USB standards

Over the years, USB standards have evolved remarkably. During its development there have been the following, many of which are currently active:

Types of USB connectors

In addition to the types of USB standards, it is necessary to know the types of USB connectors that exist, since the same ones are not always used. Currently, there are mainly the following types:

In this way, depending on the type of device, one type of connector or another can be found.

USBs, therefore, are elements that are part of our day to day life and since the technology is currently everywhere imaginable, it is a protocol that we use on a daily basis, even if we do it without even noticing it. Despite this, its importance is maximum to be able to allow the exchange of data between devices or the loading of some of them.

Tanner Abraham

Data Scientist and Software Engineer with a focus on experimental projects in new budding technologies that incorporate machine learning and quantum computing into web applications.

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