What Is USB-C?

You may have heard the term USB-C being thrown around on occasion in regard to phones, laptops and other gadgets, but what is it, and do you need a USB-C cable?

What is a USB-C cable and how is it Different?

USB (Universal Serial Bus) cables are something we all know and love, used by billions of people every single day to charge up their phones or to connect gadgets and peripherals such as a keyboard to their PCs. They're robust, commonplace, and instantly recognisable. Perhaps the only downside is that you can guarantee 90% of the time you'll try to plug it in the wrong way!

USB was designed and created in the '90s in an attempt to standardise cables used for connection, power, and data transfer.

Over the years, there have been several types of USB cable. Although the end of the cable that plugs into the power supply unit, PC, Mac, USB wall plug or powerbank has stayed the same, the end which connects to your device has changed significantly, going through several different formats including micro-USB, Mini-USB and types A and B that you may still see on older devices.

USB Type-C, however, is revolutionising the way we use USB cables to charge and power our devices, or to transfer data. Similar in size to micro-USB, USB Type-C aims to provide a new method of connecting at both ends of the cable, even though you'll still find USB-C cables with a 'traditional' USB connecter that's still compatible with your computer / charger / powerbank. The biggest change you'll see with USB Type-C however is that the end that connects to your devices can be inserted both ways - no more attempts to jam it in before realising your USB is the wrong way around!

Take care to check whether you need a USB-C cable or a C-C cable. USB-C features a traditional USB end and a C end, whereas C-C features a C end on each end of the cable.

C-C Cable

USB-C Cable

Shop USB-C cables

Do I need a USB-C cable?

Realistically, it depends on the kinds of devices you use every day. Not all devices use USB-C right now, for example many Apple phones still uses Apple's latest version of their lightning cable, but lots of new Android phones and certain computers (including the latest MacBook Pro variants) use USB-C. At the end of 2017, the consensus for tech giants (and regulatory bodies) was to create a standardised way of connecting, and USB-C was chosen, so you won't go wrong by adding a spare USB-C cable to your collection - there'll probably be a phone or device coming up that will use one.

What are the benefits of USB-C devices?

USB-C will eventually become the absolute standard for all electronic devices that charge or transfer data via cable, removing the need for all the different cables we all have lying around our houses. There's also a few other big benefits that USB-C already does or eventually will bring.

  • Reversible
  • Faster data transfer
  • More powerful
  • Versatile - it doesn't just transfer data, but can also charge and power devices
  • Better quality

Anything Else I Need To Know?

Like all electronics, ensure you're buying from a trusted retailer like ourselves. Counterfeit USB-C cables are out there and some have been known to damage devices and even catch fire. It's better to be on the safe side when it comes to precious items like your phone, laptop or tablet.

Take a look at our range of USB-C cables here.