Category: 

What Is a USB Plug?

USB 3.0 was introduced in 2008, providing much faster speeds than the 2.0 plug.
A variety of USB plugs.
USB cables are used to connect devices -- such as printers, keyboards and music players -- to computers.
Joysticks may connect to a computer through it's USB port for gaming purposes.
An A/V to USB adapter cable with a USB plug on one end.
The USB plug goes into the USB port.
MP3 players often use USB plugs to connect to a computer.
A USB cable.
Article Details
  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The Queen of England legally owns about one-sixth of all of the land on Earth.  more...

December 20 ,  1860 :  South Carolina seceded from the US.  more...

A USB plug is a connection port and the accompanying wire that creates a connection between an external device and a computer. USB plugs — or universal series bus blugs — are used with a variety of computer devices, ranging from MP3 players to printers, and they connect to most computers. These plugs have been developed over many years to be nearly universally compatible with all brands of devices. Each USB plug has three distinct properties: usability, durability and compatibility.

The USB plug was invented by Ajay Bhatt in 1994. Its invention was part of a seven-company initiative to create a device to make it easier to connect external devices to personal computers (PCs). The companies Compaq, DEC, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Nortel all pooled funds and resources, and the plug was first made available to the public in 1995. The USB plug has been updated several times since then, but its primary function remains the same.

A USB plug works by providing a series of hubs for data to travel through from the external device to the computer. This information specifically travels through "pipes," a term referring to the logical channels of flow. A variety of information for a number of commands is sorted out and sent to the appropriate receptor within the PC.

Ad

One of the most popular uses of this technology is data storage with a USB memory stick. This small, portable device can store many megabytes of data. USB cables also connect functional devices such as printers, scanners, microphones and cameras. Video game joysticks and consoles frequently utilize a computer's USB port. This device eliminates the need for a computer to have a variety of inputs for products and simplifies operation to a single spot.

USB plugs have become popular because of their three distinct properties: usability, durability and compatibility. Its usability comes by design, because plugs cannot be incorrectly inserted, thanks to its distinct shape. USB plugs also are made to be highly durable because of the USB wiring and the highly insulated cable most devices use. Others, such as a memory stick, have no cable at all and plug directly into the port. By adhering to a series of standards created by the USB Committee, any USB plug is compatible with any USB port, no matter the brand or model of the device.

The USB plug is one of the most popular connection tools for computers. By adhering to rules of usability, durability and compatibility, users connect many things. Scanners, video game controllers and memory sticks utilize USB plugs to make them much easier for people to use with their computers.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon80804
Post 1

Boy, this is all greek to me. All I want to do is put the photos I took with my Nokia camera phone and put them on the computer. Help!

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email