Types of USB Cable Connectors

Updated April 17, 2017

Universal Serial Bus ports are the commonly used method to connect external devices to a computer or for data transfer from a digital camera, flash drive, or other external devices. These devices are connected by a long or short USB connector cable that attaches on one end to a USB port in the computer and the other end to a USB port in the device. There are multiple types of USB connector cords you may use depending on the device you are connecting.


USB-A connector cables are used for connecting to computers and USB-A hubs. These types of connectors are long, flat and rectangular. USB-A type connectors use flat contacts capable of upholding continuous attachment and removal. This type of USB connector provides downstream, as opposed to upstream, connections. The downstream connection is for use on host controllers and hubs only. USB-A cables connect USB devices to a PC or other USB device, facilitating data transfer between two computer systems.


USB-B connectors are smaller, square connectors that are used for plugging into external CD or hard drives, scanners and printers into a USB port. The B connector is designed to stay in place using the friction in the connector body. The USB-B cable is an upstream connector, meaning it is only used in peripheral devices.


Mini-B USB connectors are smaller versions of USB-B ports used for connecting cameras, camcorders, personal digital assistants (PDA) and cell phones into another USB port. They are small, trapezoidal connector ports. Mini-B USB connectors may be 5-pin, 4-pin or Fuji, depending on the device.

Micro-USB B

The Micro-USB B connector is found on newer cell phones, global positioning systems, PDAs and digital cameras. The micro-USB connector is very small but still facilitates high-speed transfer.

USB 3.0

The 3.0 USB connectors are the latest in USB technology. The A and B 3.0 USB connectors are known as "SuperSpeed" connectors, having all the features of the USB A and B connectors, but with additional pins to facilitate faster connections. USB 3.0 connectors create up to 10 times faster data transfer and better power efficiency. To differentiate between the A and B USB connectors, the 3.0 connectors are typically blue in colour.

4-pin Mini-B

The 4-pin Mini B connector is the USB connector cord created by Sony. This connector cord is small and square in shape, found on certain Sony digital cameras.

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About the Author

Laura Gianino works at a publishing company in New York City. Her writing has appeared on eHow, LIVESTRONG, Synonym and Global Post.