Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
Many modern computer peripherals connect to your machine via USB cable, such as external hard drives, cellphones, keyboards and video cameras. Depending on your computer, you may have older USB 1.0 or 1.1 ports, or newer USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, which are much faster and will result in markedly better performance for your devices. With a few minutes of cyber-detective work, you can find out what type of USB ports you have.
Click the Windows "Start" button. Right-click "Computer" and choose "Properties."
Click "Device Manager" on the left side of the window. Click the arrow next to "Universal Serial Bus controllers."
Look for the word "Enhanced" in the USB port description. If you see "Enhanced," the USB port is 2.0; if you don't see it, the port is version 1.0 or 1.1. If you see an entry labelled "xHCI" or "Extensible Host Controller Interface," the USB port is version 3.0. The port might also be clearly labelled "USB 3.0."
- Another way to tell if your computer uses USB 3.0 is by looking at your USB cables. A USB 3.0 cable connector is larger than a 2.0 connector and has additional pins.
- Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images