Three potential problems about USB-C you must know


Clearly, USB Type-C is here to stay in the future. Nevertheless, acquiring the future is not always painless, and USB-C certainly has many issues. Here are a couple of things that every USB-C user must know.

The latest android phones employ USB-C, while Apple’s laptops use this port only. It is becoming common to see at least one of these ports on new laptops and notebooks. However, not every USB-C cable works a similar way, and not every USB-C port is the same. If you are using a USB-C port for the first time, here are a number of things to pay special mind to.

The Wrong Cable Could Cook Your Devices

In older times, a USB cable was pretty much a cable. Plugging a USB-1 cable into a USB-2 port would either work or it would not. But that was it. Users did not have to worry about which cable to buy or search for an authentic USB cable manufacturer.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with USB-C. If you ignore this by any chance, it might cost you.

This problem is particularly with the cables having a USB-A connector on one end and a USB-C connector on the other. USB-C cables are known for super-fast charging. So for instance, if you connect a USB-A phone to a USB-C port via one of these cables, the phone may attain excessive power, frying your device, USB-C port, or even your laptop.

The truth is, cables that are properly formed have resistors inline to keep this from occurring. The problem is it may be extremely hard to figure out which cables have quality and which have not, except if you are purchasing from a reliable USB Type C cable manufacturer that offers great technical particulars.

Not All USB-C Ports Are the Same

Things with USB-A were relatively basic: anything you could connect would work. With USB-C, things are not that simple. Connectors and cables may or may not work depending on the features your device has. Most of the USB-C cables support USB 2.0 as opposed to USB 3.0 or 3.1 as they are intended for charging. If you want to use them for purposes such as connecting devices or transferring data, either they will not support the function or be greatly slow.

This unpredictability here is imposed by alternative modes, which use the USB-C form factor to offer extra features. A collaboration between Apple and Intel, Thunderbolt 3 gives 40Gbps transfer speeds (four times more than the USB 3.1 standard) and support for two 4k displays interfaced with a single port. The limitation here is that these speeds can only be availed by the devices that are compatible to work with Thunderbolt 3, and a cable that is compatible with Thunderbolt 3.

There are some other alternative modes: MHL and HDMI that enable the connection of particular kinds of displays. There is also DisplayPort that is packaged with Thunderbolt 3 yet also offered exclusively on a few devices. If there is a D-shaped symbol by your USB-C port, then your laptop has DisplayPort. In some cases, the icon may not be there but the port will be.

If you want to interface external displays with your laptop, you must know which alternate mode is supported by your device and thus purchase an adapter or a display that supports that alt mode.

Dongle Hell is Real

People have USB cables for almost everything: phones, printers, hard drives, etc. Shifting to USB-C will mean no direct plugging of those cables into your devices. You can deal with this in two ways. The first is to make a complete switch to USB-C cables. This may be swift but would mean a replacement of several cables. Another option is to buy a few adapters and continue using your old cables. However, this will force you into keeping a track of various dongles.

But that’s only, USB. There are more latent dongles for Ethernet and displays. As illustrated above, you will have to buy a display protocol that supports your device. It implies that buying a suitable dongle can be frustrating, and buying into all of these things can get costly. And in case you connect your laptop with other displays and projectors, it would mean, additional dongles.

Nonetheless, there is a bright perspective in the USB-C world: USB-C docking stations. This works great when you want to connect your laptop with multiple items to use as a desktop. That single USB-C port can propose a wide range of connectivity, implying that your laptop can be docked by connecting one cable.



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