Understand more about USB connectors and data transfer speed.
Learn more about the different types of USB connections.
USB Type A (2.0 and 3.2)
Standard large rectangular USB connectors are known as Type-A connectors. They are available in white for USB 2.0 and blue for USB 3.2.
There are different versions of USB 2.0 connectors, including Mini and Micro.
In addition to these connectors, the Type-C connector can be plugged in either way round and is compatible with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.2 devices. It is also compatible with the USB Power Delivery (PD) specification and can be used to charge mobile devices including laptops and Chromebooks.
Up to 480Mbps data transfer speed.
USB 2.0 is also known as Hi-Speed USB and theoretically can achieve data transfer speeds of 480Mbps (480 million bits per second).
Up to 20Gbps data transfer speed.
Ok, this now gets a little confusing, but stick with us. Here's how USB 3 breaks down:
- USB 3.2 Gen 1:
Originally named USB 3.0 and then changed to USB 3.1 Gen 1. It’s the original USB 3.0 specification, and it can transfer data at up to 5Gbps.
- USB 3.2 Gen 2:
Previously known as USB 3.1, and then later as USB 3.1 Gen 2. It can transfer data at up to 10Gbps.
- USB 3.2 Gen 2x2:
Formally known as USB 3.2, it’s the newest and fastest spec, promising speeds at up to 20Gbps (by using two lanes of 10Gbps at once).
To make things easier the USB-IF has renamed USB 3 as SuperSpeed.
- SuperSpeed USB (5Gbps)
- SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps
- SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps
Overall, it is up to 10 ten times faster than USB 2.0 and offers backwards compatible to USB 2.0.
The USB-C port puts everything you need in a port all in one place.
It delivers SuperSpeed data transfer (up to 5 Gbps), and video output in a reversible design that’s one-third the size of a traditional USB 3 port, giving you the flexibility to easily connect your favourite devices.
The Type-C connector can be plugged in either way round and is compatible with both USB 2 and USB 3 devices. It is also compatible with the USB Power Delivery (PD) specification and can be used to charge mobile devices including laptops and Chromebooks.
Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 do not share a common connector type. This not only causes confusion but can also add cost to a solution should TB2-TB3 adaptors be required.
Thunderbolt 2 was used extensively on older Apple MacBook computers, but Thunderbolt 3 is the latest standard.
Thunderbolt 3 uses a USB Type-C connector and is now common on modern computers.
- The two Thunderbolt 2 ports feature dual 20Gbps channels for data transfer.
- That’s up to four times faster than USB 3.2 (Gen 1).
- The two Thunderbolt 2 ports feature dual 32-Gbps channels available for data transfer (8Gbps for video).
- Two times faster than Thunderbolt 2
- Eight times faster than USB 3.2
- That’s up to four times faster than USB 3.2 (Gen 1)
- 62 times faster than USB 2.0.
USB transfer speed makes a hug difference to how fast you can transfer data.
See the helpful chart below and watch the video to see how Thunderbolt takes data transfer to the next level.