What is a USB port?

USB Port stands for Universal Serial Bus, an industry standard for short-distance digital data communication. These allow USB devices to be connected to each other and transfer digital data over a USB cable.

USB-A, USB-B, and USB-C – USB port types

  • USB-A (Type A): Rectangular USB Type-A connectors approximately 1.4 cm (9/16 in) in length and 0.65 cm (1/4 in) in height are common use for wired mice and keyboards. USB sticks also usually have USB-A connectors.
  • USB-B (Type B): Less common than Type A, USB B devices are roughly square in shape and commonly found on routers, computers, printers, and game consoles.
  • Micro USB: So-called Micro USB versions of both USB-A and USB-B also exist – smaller versions than their native counterparts popular on mobile devices. Now obsolete “mini USB” versions can also be found on many older devices.
  • USB C Port: With dimensions of 0.84 cm by 0.26 cm, this new standard design to replace both A and B with smaller ports to better support the thinner form factors of mobile devices.

Where are USB ports found?

Desktop computer – A desktop computer typically has two to four ports in the front and two to eight ports on the back.
Laptop computer – A laptop computer has one to four ports on the left, right, or both sides of the laptop.
Tablet computers – The USB connection on the tablet is located in the charging port and is usually Micro-USB and sometimes USB-C. Some tablets have additional USB ports.
Smartphone – The USB port on a smartphone using as either USB-C or Micro-USB for both charging and data transfer.

How to use a USB port?

  1. Connect the two devices directly to a USB cable by plugging each end into a USB port.
  2. The cable can be plugged into a USB port even when the device is turned on or off.
  3. Connect multiple USB devices to each other using a single USB hub.
  4. A USB hub plugs into a USB port and has additional ports for other devices to connect to later.
  5. If you are using a USB hub, plug a separate cable into each device and connect them to the hub separately.

Note: Unplugging the USB cable from the device may damage the files in use on the device or computer. For this reason, it is always a good practice to safely eject your USB device before physically unplugging it.

USB Device Name

Many different USB devices connect to your computer. The list below contains some of the most common.

  • Digital Camera
  • External drive
  • Gamepad
  • Headset
  • iPod or other MP3 players
  • Keyboard
  • Keypad
  • Microphone
  • Mouse
  • Printer
  • Joystick
  • Jump drive aka thumb drive
  • Scanner
  • Smartphone
  • Speakers
  • Tablet
  • Webcams