Travellers abroad are often frustrated by the variety of plugs found across the world. France conventionally uses Type E plugs, though the outlets may safely accept other types of European plugs as well. France uses 230-volt electricity with 50 Hz alternating current, while the United States uses 120 volt electricity at 60 Hz.
Type E Plugs
Type E plugs have round bodies and are identified by two wide pins spaced 19mm apart, with a hole that accepts a ground pin from the outlet. Outlets designed for Type E plugs will also accept a Type C plug, also known as a "Europlug." These have the same configuration except they do not accept a ground pin from the outlet.
Type F Plugs
The Type F plug, or "schuko plug," is similar to the E plug except that it has clips to keep it attached to the outlet. These are compatible with French outlets but are more commonly found in Germany.
Choosing an Adapter
When buying an adaptor the most important question to ask is whether the device you are using requires a specific type of electricity and if so, whether the plug converts the electricity in the wall to that type. With devices such as laptops it's particularly important that you check the output voltage and frequency of the plug adaptor. The power supply for your laptop should have information printed on it regarding compatible voltages and frequencies. Many laptops are designed to accept electricity from European outlets.
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