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What You Need to Know When Picking Up a USB Extension Cable

Using a USB extension cable to transfer data between devices is a common method. In fact, you can use USB cables to transfer data between everything from your smartphone to your computer. When buying a USB cable from eBay, there are a few things that you should consider.

How long is a USB extension cable?

USB extension cords come in a variety of sizes from 1 to 50 feet. Of course, buying a long USB extension cable will typically cost more money and may be quicker to preserve the integrity of the data transfer over a long distance. Also, shorter USB cables often have better transfer rates because they have a shorter distance to send the data. There's always some loss in speed when sending data over a great distance. When searching for cables, be sure to see the manufacturer site for details on size.

Can you only use USB cables to transfer data?

The main reason why most people buy USB cables is to transfer data. They buy extensions to make it easier to connect devices at a greater distance. With that said, you can use USB cables for other reasons too. For example, USB cords charge the batteries for many different devices. Some examples include:

  • Smartphones
  • Video game controllers
  • Rechargeable battery packs
  • Computer tablets
  • Portable navigation devices

Splitters are available to turn one USB port into several for charging multiple devices. Splitters are a common way to attach to USB extension cables, especially when you want to connect several devices to an under-desk computer.

How do you plug in a USB extension cord?

USB extension cords each have a male and female end. One end plugs into a device while the other takes the existing USB cord. To plug in a USB extension cable, you will need to follow a few steps:

  • Determine the two devices that you want to connect via USB
  • Plug a normal USB cord into one of these devices
  • Secure the loose end of the USB cord into the female end of the USB extension cable
  • Connect the male end of the USB extension cable into the other device
Why do some USB extension cords feature gold plating on the connectors?

The gold plating on the ends of a USB extension cord assist connectivity and provide shielding from other electromagnetic waves. Radio signals from other devices could interfere with the signals that the USB cord sends. The gold plating keeps that signal clear, which provides faster transfer rates and less data loss. Not all cords have this gold plating as an option.

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