Tips and advice

Types of USB:Everything You Should Know About It

There are many types of USB's and USB-C is one of type named for the new round-shaped connection that you will find on more and more devices.

Types of USB: What is USB-C?

USB-C is the name for the new round-shaped connection that is one of types of USB that you will find on more and more devices. It even seems that in a few years every laptop, desktop, smartphone, monitor and other device will have a USB-C port.
That’s nice, because if every device has the same connection, you no longer need so many different cables or an adapter.

The USB-C port is round in shape, see the image below

A MacBook with a USB-C port. Recognizable by the round shape. This port supports Thunderbolt 3 , this is not visible by the appearance.

  • All regular USB versions
  • HDMI
  • DVI
  • DisplayPort
  • Thunderbolt
  • VGA
  • Power transfer (up to
  • 100 W)
  • Ethernet

However, it differs per device what your USB-C port can do .

It depends on the device what your USB-C port can do. So check this in the manual of your product or on the internet.

  • If you want to connect a display, check whether the USB-C port supports DisplayPort technology. That is then explicitly stated.
  • Before charging your device, check whether the USB-C port explicitly states Power , Power delivery or PD .

This is in contrast to a Thunderbolt 3 port, which is simply a USB-C port that supports the complete list of options such as 4K HDMI, charging and 40Gbit / s data transfer as standard.

Types of USB: What is Thunderbolt 3?

Furthermore other types of USB include The Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port thus supports a range of protocols such as HDMI and power transfer. Thunderbolt 3 is the technology that gets the most out of USB-C right now. If your device has a Thunderbolt 3 connection, that connection looks like any other USB-C port.

With every Thunderbolt 3 port you are guaranteed to :

  • Speed ​​up to 40 Gb / s for data transfer
  • Support for 2x 4K UltraHD displays
  • Charging main device through the port up to 100W
  • Video output: HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort, VGA.
  • Via adapter to: Ethernet, Thunderbolt 2.

Thunderbolt 3 is therefore a USB-C port with a guaranteed package of functions.

With a USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 Adapter or Hub you can connect your old peripherals to this new port. The great thing is that this powerful port can be expanded with hubs of up to 10 ports such as HDMI, VGA, multiple USB 3.0 and other ports.

Different types of USB (2.0, 3.0, 3.1, etc)

USB-C is the name for physical round connection characteristic  . But there are also different types of USB, which differ in transfer speed.

From Left to Right: USB2.0, USB3.0 and USB-C, note the square and then round shape.

At the moment these are the still relevant versions of USB:

  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • USB 3.1
  • USB 3.1 Type-C (USB-C)

Transfer speed in figures

So USB-C has many guises, but how do those different connections relate to each other? You can see that in the table below.

Name (type of connection) Data transfer rate (maximum)
USB 2.0 (square) 480 Mb / s
USB 3.0 (square, blue) 5 Gb / s
USB 3.1 Gen 1 (square or USB-C) 5 Gb / s
USB 3.1 Gen 2 (square or USB-C) 10 Gb / s
Thunderbolt 3 (round) 40 Gb / s

Here you can clearly see how developments have gone, and how big the jump is between USB-C (also called USB 3.1 Type-C (gen 1 or 2)) and Thunderbolt.

Do you often work with memory sticks, do you want to charge quickly and do you want to connect an external monitor with a high resolution of 4K?
Then you can see if you can do this via USB-C or Thunderbolt 3. You will probably need an adapter for this.

Summary and conclusion

We summarize the difference between Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C:

  • USB-C is the new version of USB that is round in shape.
  • It differs per device what your USB-C port can do.
  • Thunderbolt 3, on the other hand, is a USB-C port with a fixed package of functions (video output, charging, etc.).
  • The gate shape is therefore the same, namely round.
  • The two are compatible with each other, you can exclude a USB-C device on Thunderbolt 3 and vice versa.
  • The difference between USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 on the one hand and Thunderbolt 3 / USB-C is the new round shape.
  • A Thunderbolt 3 port can do more than a USB-C port.
    • 40Gbit / s vs 10Gbit / s
    • Standard 100W charging

Thunderbolt 3 is a technology that gets a fixed set of functions from your USB-C port. If you have a USB-C port without Thunderbolt 3, read carefully with your manufacturer what your device can do. For example, the USB-C port may not be able to provide power transfer or USB-C to HDMI .

How do I know if a USB-C port supports display output?

The best way is to look up the manual or manual of the USB-C laptop in question online. The first chapter after the introduction usually provides an overview of which buttons and connections are available on the laptop. Find the description of the USB-C port. When it says that it supports DisplayPort, ALT-DP or video output, you can connect a display with a standard USB-C adapter.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment