USB – More Than Meets the Eye

Do you know much about your USB ports other than that is where you're Flash Drive and other devices plug in? Maybe this article will clear up the cobwebs and mystery!

USB is a great technology, and now USB 2 is forty times faster. USB, or Universal Serial Bus, is a hardware bus standard that allows you to plug a peripheral device into a USB port and have it completely, automatically configured and ready to use at the click of a mouse. Many things have been made for the personal computer, but the USB port is one of the greatest success stories of the personal computer. The UBS not only works well, it takes personal computing to the next level.

Originally, computers come with two ports; a serial port and a parallel port. Usually devices like a modem attach to the serial port and your printer will plug into your computer through the parallel port. They both look very different. The parallel is larger than the serial port.

But that is not the USB's only purpose. It also controls the transfer rate, the rate at which data can be transferred between the computer and the attached device. This is where the USB port really excels. The USB allows data to travel from the devise to the computer and instructions from the computer to the devices. Usually, with the regular USB, this travel rate is ten times the speed of the normal parallel port. Not only is it faster than the parallel port, it is also faster than the serial port. This just means that all of the devices that connect to the USB operate faster. The average serial port's transfer rate is 150 kbps (kilobits per second); the parallel port's is 1.2 mbps. The USB port transfers data is up to 12 mbps. Some of the devices connected to the USB port will run faster than others.

To locate the USB port on your computer, look at the back (where your power cord is connected) or the side of your computer. Most of the ports have rows of small pins or pinholes where your device can be plugged in. The USB port looks a bit different. It is a small thin opening about 1/2 "long. It has no obvious pins or pinholes and sometimes it is marked" USB. "Lots of computers have two USB ports; while others have more than two.

The USB port is a great little invention; But, let's take a look at the USB 2.0. The USB 2.0 is technologies' way of taking something that is quit remarkable and improving upon it. The USB 2.0 is forty times faster than USB 1. If you have a new computer with the USB 2.0 and old devices that use USB 1, they will still work. To take full advantage of the speed of USB 2, the devices that you purchase need to be USB 2 enabled and need to be run from a USB 2 port. The speed of USB 2 is beneficial to many devices including digital cameras, hard drives, and DVD drives.

You can plug keyboards, cameras, mice, joy sticks, modems, zip drives, floppy drives, printers, and scanners into your USB port. You can even purchase USB speakers which will produce great digital sound on your computer.

USB ports have made our lives easier and more productive. Are not you glad that technology has advanced in leaps and bounds?

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