13 June 2022

USB port is available on every laptop or desktop computer. We can also find this standard connector in modern televisions, tablets, as well as mobile phones. It's an extremely practical and intelligent solution for wired data transfer between devices. Do you know how USB ports differ from each other and how to recognise a specific standard? Check what you should know about the USB.

USB plugs and cables of different colors

What is the USB Connector used for?

USB means Universal Serial Bus. Put simply, it is a bus, which allows for free communication between various types of electronic devices. For this purpose, USB cables are usually used, which are connected to the appropriate USB ports. These ports make it possible, among others, to connect peripheral devices such as a mouse, keyboard or external drive to our computer.

White USB cable with USB-C plug

Types of USB Ports

It is worth to know, that with the development of technology and progress in the field of electronics, the USB port has undergone a kind of evolution. Thanks to this, today on the market we can distinguish several types of USB. The classic ones include:

  • USB type A, which was the most popular of the USB types until recently. It has a flat rectangular shape. This type of USB allows to connect a mouse or a portable memory to the PC,
  • USB type B, which in turn is one of the older types of USB port. It is still used to connect printers. It looks like a square with slightly truncated corners,
  • USB Type-C, which has been on the market since 2014. It is currently the most popular of the USB connectors. It is characterised by its typically elongated shape. Its undoubted advantage is the fact that the connector is symmetrical, which means that it does not matter which way you insert the plug into the port.

Speaking about the types of USB connectors, we cannot forget about their miniature versions, ie:

  • Mini USB, which is a smaller version of the USB port. This type of connector was designed mainly for compact mobile phones. However, today this type of USB connector is quite commonly used in cameras or hard drives, among others.
  • Micro USB is an even smaller version of USB port, which is mainly used in small mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets or Bluetooth headphones.

Akyga AK-CH-17 universal power supply powers a smartphone, laptop and a portable bluetooth speaker

USB Connector – history in a nutshell

The first USB connector appeared on the market in 1998. Since then, a lot has changed. Types of USB plugs differ not only in shape, but also in bandwidth, standards of work, as well as constantly updated nomenclature. Among the most popular we distinguish:

USB 2.0 standard, which appeared on the market in 2000. Today it is already an obsolete technology. Standard 2.0 enables data transfer at the level of 480 Mb/s and works in half-duplex mode, which allows the transfer of information in one direction at the same time.

  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 standard appeared in 2007 and already provided users with excellent transfer speeds of 5 Gbps.
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2, also known as SuperSpeed. In 2013, it increased the speed of information transfer to 10 Gbps.
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, entered in 2017 with a SuperSpeed+ version, 20 Gbps.
  • USB 4 presented for the first time in 2019. Designed for USB-C connectors only, with a maximum information transfer rate of up to 40 Gbps.

You can read more about the USB port differences and naming changes in the article: Changing the naming of USB standards over the years.

Akyga AK-CH-17 universal power supply with two green USB type A Qualcomm Quick Charge QC 3.0 ports and two USB type C PowerDelivery PD ports

How do I identify USB port types?

Knowing how USB ports differ from each other, the history of their development and the multitude of applications, it is not difficult to make a mistake when choosing an adapter or cable. USB types can be identified by the shape of the plug, or by looking at the specifications of the port or cable provided by the manufacturer. However, to make it easier for users to distinguish between USB standards without specifications, each type has been colour coded. So, at a glance, you'll know what type of USB connector you're dealing with.

Akyga AK-CH-07 car charger with one USB type A Qualcomm Quick Charge QC 3.0 port

How does the colour of the USB connector affect its functionality? Does the colour of the USB connector matter?

USB connector type A 1.0 and 1.1 white

The oldest version of the USB port is USB 1.0 from 1996 and its later variant USB 1.1. Both versions are marked in white. Today this type of USB is practically not used anymore. The poor throughput and low data transfer rates make users reach for other, more modern solutions.

USB type A 2.0 connector black

The later USB 2.0 version is also considered to be an obsolete model. Despite its poor throughput, it is still found in many older devices that have low requirements. This type of connector has black colour code, but can also be found in white.

USB connector type A 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 gen 1 and 2 blue

The USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 versions, or according to the new nomenclature USB 3.2 Gen 1 and 2, have a blue interior. Not always, but they can vary slightly in shade. The USB Super Speed version is darker than the USB Super Speed+ version, which has a light blue colour.

USB connector type A sleep and charge yellow, orange, red

There is also a USB type on the market that is coloured red, yellow or orange. This is the so-called sleep and charge connector. This is not a typical and well-known USB standard. It is only found in USB ports. This colour indicates that the port supports high-current charging or allows you to power your electronic devices with your laptop in sleep mode without turning it on.

USB connector type A Qualcomm Quick Charge green

Ports that support Qualcomm Quick Charge technology are typically coloured green. This version of the port occurs in both USB type A and B variants.

USB type A connector Huawei SuperCharge purple

We can also meet the plugs and ports in purple. These connectors signify compliance with the Huawei SuperCharge standard and come in both USB type C and USB type A versions.

USB type A plugs of different colors on a black background

All types of USB from Akyga®

If you need a USB cable or adapter with a USB port, be sure to check out the Akyga® brand's offer. In our assortment you will find all kinds of cables, power supplies, as well as a number of accessories that will significantly improve the comfort of using electronic devices. If you have problems with the selection of accessories, you can count on the full and professional support of our advisors. Thanks to our knowledge and experience we guarantee the best service and full satisfaction from your purchase.