As you are using a computer, you probably know what is USB because you have to use USB probably all the time if you are using an external mouse or keyboard. USB is a very useful tool. But it is a common question of what is USB type or what is the difference between them. A most common type of USBs is USB 2 and USB 3. So, the difference between USB 2 and USB 3, Which one is better, or which one to choose? Go through this article. By the end of this article, you’ll know the answer to your question.
Functions of USB
USB is very important in modern times. Before USB, many devices like mouse, keyboard, camera, mobile phone, printer, and many other electronic devices used to use different types of cables to connect to the computer. But it was not efficient. So, in 1996, USB which is known as Universal Serial Bus was first introduced to give a common connector for the electronic devices to connect to the computer. Click here to learn more about how to format a USB drive.
When you connect a pen drive or camera or smartphone through a cable to your PC, the cable is known as a USB cable and the port you are using to connect to your PC is the USB port. You must have heard of a pen drive. It is generally known as a USB flash drive and its functionality is to store data like a hard drive.
Version of USB
|USB 1.x||Data transfer rate of 12 Mbps, supports up to 127 peripheral devices|
|USB 2.0||Is Known as hi-speed USB, supports USB 1 devices and cables, was first introduced in 2000|
|USB 3.0||Is Known as SuperSpeed USB, an improved version of USB 2, first introduced in 2008|
|USB 3.1||Known as SuperSpeed+, is the latest version of USB, was first introduced in 2014|
|USB Type-C||Is a reversible plug which is a double sided connector having 24 pins, was introduced around the time of USB 3.1|
Variations of USB Connector
USB connector has many sizes and shapes. Standard, Mini or Micro variations are available in all the versions of USBs. PC and laptops have generally standard shapes. In your smartphone, you’ll find micro-USB.
USB 2(High-Speed USB)
- USB 2 or Universal Serial Bus 2 or High-speed USB 2 was released in 2000.
- It has a maximum speed of 480 Mbps.
- It is half-duplex which means it can send or receive data at a time.
- USB 2 is generally less expensive than the same kind of USB 3.
- Power usage is up to 500 mA which is not that efficient.
- Within the cable, it has 4 wires. USB 2 cable can be of maximum 5 meters long.
USB 3(Super-Speed USB)
- USB 3 or Universal Serial Bus 3 or Super-speed USB 3 was released in 2008.
- Its maximum speed is about 5 Gbps(Gigabits per second).
- It is full-duplex which means it can send and receive data simultaneously.
- USB 3 is generally more expensive than the same kind of USB 2.
- Power usage is up to 900 mA that allows more power efficiency with less power. So, it is possible to power more devices from one hub.
- Within the cable, it has 9 wires. USB 3 cable can be of a maximum 3 meters long.
USB 3 has some variations. They are:
- USB 3 type A
- USB 3 type B
- USB 3.0 Type Micro B
USB 3.1: It was released in 2014. It is an upgrade of USB 3.0. The working principle is same as USB 3.0. It has better speed than USB 3.0. But it is not that popular as USB 3.0.
USB Type C: It is the latest craze. Nowadays, it has become more popular than USB 3.0. Having an interchangeable port, it’s
USB 2 vs USB 3
- Physical Difference: Both USB 2 and USB 3 are physically different. USB 3 is generally colored Blue on inside to distinguish it from USB 2. Internally, USB 2 has 4 wires where USB 3 has 9 wires.
- Speed Improvement: Transfer rate of USB 2 is 480 Mbps whereas transfer rate of USB 3 is 4.8 Gbps which is 10 times faster than USB 2.
- Power Consumption: Power provided by USB 2 is up to 500mA but USB provides 900mA. So, USB 3 devices can provide more power when needed and also can conserve power when it remains idle. So, it can be clearly said that USB 3 is much efficient in terms of power consumption.
- Communication Architect: USB 2 has 4 wires inside the cable. Its data communication is unidirectional or half-duplex. That means it cannot send and receive data simultaneously. USB 3 has 9 wires inside the cable. Its data communication is a bi-directional or full-duplex. That means it can send and receive data simultaneously.
- Cable Length: USB 2 type cable can be of maximum 5 meters long whereas USB 3 type cable can be of maximum 3 meters long.
- Capacity: In 2000, the first USB flash drive was introduced having a capacity of 8 MB. By January 2013, it reaches a capacity of 512 GB and 1 TB. In 2017, a 2 TB flash drive was announced by International Consumer Electronics.
- Topology Visibility: A computer may have two USB 2 ports and two USB 3 ports. Suppose he has connected a mouse and a keyboard through two USB 2 ports. What will happen if he has more devices to connect? The answer is he has to use a hub. He may use the hub to extend the amount of USB. But one should keep in mind that USB 2 type devices can be used in USB 3 or USB 2 port. But USB 3 type devices cannot be used in USB 2 type ports.
- Price: Price is a huge factor here. USB 2 types of flash drives is cheap. You can buy a 16GB USB 2 flash drive at a cheap rate costing just about 10 to 15 $. But the same type of USB 3 flash drive will cost about 30 to 40 $.
- Limitations: Both USB 2 and USB 3 flash drives have limitations. Though USB 2 cable and drive are cheap and they have a low data transmission rate. But USB 3 cable and flash drive have a high speed of data transmission but they are costly. So, you have to decide which to choose. Again, both USB 2 and USB 3 flash drives have some read and write limit. That means after the limit cross, the flash drives cannot read or write data anymore. Even, you may face USB port not working, then you need to fix it.
USB(Universal Serial Bus) was introduced to connect various devices to the computer in a universal way. Without this, a lot of ports had to be introduced in the computer to connect various electronic devices which is not possible. By this, all the devices can be connected to a PC through a universal port. But USB 2 vs USB 3 which one is better or which one to choose? If you have gone through the whole article, you know the answer. USB 3 type is perfect and more efficient for data transferring.