What is the difference between USB Type-A and USB Type-B

USB is a convenient way to connect devices to your computer. However, if you’re like most people, you probably don’t know what the difference between USB-type A and USB-type B is. That’s okay! This article will fill you in on the details of both types.

A Universal Serial Bus (USB) is of different types according to its functions, uses, design, shapes, sizes, and plug heads. The two main types which are most commonly used are USB-A and USB-B. Once you go through this article, you will no longer be asking the question that what is the difference between USB-A and USB-B.

The initial original designed USB for the rectangular and flat USB port is USB-A. It is also known as standard-A. The USB type A is supported by almost every USB system. In contrast, when you are working with ultra-speed USB applications or devices, USB type-B connector is used to carry power and data.

Let’s move ahead and discuss in detail the differences between USB Type-A and USB type-B.

USB Type-A VS USB Type-B

types of usb connectors chart

The main feature that differentiates USB type-A from USB type-B is the physical form of their plug or heads and the sockets or ports into which they are inserted, plus the configuration of their pins. But the major thing that we should know is that where to use each one of these types of USB connectors and how to figure out that which USB do we need while performing any particular task.

Compatibility and design

USB type A is rectangular whereas USB type B is available in square shape or multiple designs, however, none of them is reversible. The USB Type B is backward compatible with other hardware versions while USB type A is not. USB Type-A connectors are always compatible with the type-A socket present on the host device.


Different types of type-A plugs and connectors are used; Micro type-A, Mini type-A, and standard type-A. USB type-A connectors are used by devices such as desktop computers, laptops, keyboards, mice, USB flash drives, and so on.

Different types of type-B connectors include Micro type-B, Mini type-B, standard type-B, and standard-B USB 3.0. In comparison, different peripheral devices such as printers, external hard drives, and phones use USB type-B to transfer data and power.

One of the major differences between USB-A and B is that the USB-B controls the peripheral devices whereas USB-A serves the purpose of the host and connects to different USB devices.

Uses of USB type-A to USB type-B cable

A USB Type-A to USB type-B cable contains a USB-A plug at one end and a USB-B plug at the other. So, what is USB Type-A to USB Type-B used for?

  • This type of cable is used to connect a printer to your computer, the USB-A connector is plugged into the computer while the USB-B head is inserted into the port present in the printer.
  • USB-A to USB-B cable also connects a scanner to your personal computer or laptop.
  • Hard drives, optical drives, and flash drive also have a port for USB-B connectors,, therefore a USB  to USB-B cable is used to connect these peripheral devices to your computer.
  • USB Type-A to USB type-B connector cable can connect any standard host device like mouse, keyboard, etc. to any standard control or peripheral device .

Since peripheral devices are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, you would also find a variety of designs in USB-B connectors and ports.

Advantages of USB-type A connectors

USB-type A connectors have a number of advantages. The biggest advantage is that they are relatively inexpensive, which would only be a problem only if your device typically requires an expensive cable to work with it.

Secondly, USB-type A connectors are very common, so replacing a lost cord is relatively easy because you can buy one from any computer store. Thirdly, the small size of the USB-type A connector makes it a very convenient connector to use. This is especially true for smaller devices such as USB flash drives or keyboards and mice.

Where to plug in USB Type-A and USB Type-B

Are, you still confused and asking yourself that where do I plug in USB Type-A and USB Type-B? Well let me make it easy for you to understand, USB type A is used for host devices whereas USB type B is used for control devices. So, USB type-A is connected to laptops, modern computers, streaming media players, smart TVs, and game consoles, like play stations, X-Box, etc. while type B connectors can be plugged into scanners, printers, phones, and external hard drives.

In the modern era of technology, the pace at which new advancements are being made is undoubtedly fast. Every day you get to experience an entirely new invention. The different types of USB connectors and ports are one of these inventions, thus, making things possible. You just need to know how and where to use one.

Hope, this article was useful and you learned some new facts about USB Type A to USB type B connector and its uses. Please comment and let us know your opinions and recommendations about this article. Happy learning!

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Tags: history, usb-a, usb-b