Data Cables: They are more about USB cables

About Data Cables, Daily, we send pictures from our phones to other phones or laptops, transfer files from one device to another, and take data from one device to another.

All these transfers require us to connect the two devices. If you have the internet around you, Wi-fi is the most common method to connect two devices.

However, you use data cables to transfer files between two devices without a network. 

This article will go through these data cables, especially the USB data cable.

What are data cables?

If you want to transfer data between two devices, like from a laptop to a smartphone, you will need a cable, which is a data cable.

Computer and telecommunication platforms use these cables to set connections among multiple devices via a network.

In a computer, “bus” refers to the wire collection that transfers data between different components within the PC or between the computer and other devices, just as an electronic busbar transmits power to its surroundings in large environments like data centers and factories.

Before USB, people connected all peripheral devices to the computer through their ports.

However, as the number of peripheral devices kept increasing, researchers sought a standardized platform to transfer data between the main computer and other peripheral devices, leading to the USB development.

A USB data cable, as it is generally called, stands for Universal Serial Bus cable.

How is data sent across USB?

When you connect a peripheral device to the host computer via a USB, the computer detects the type of device and loads the driver automatically to make the device functional.

Four types of data transfer can occur between two devices.

Interrupt transfer

Several peripheral devices, including keyboards and mice, use this type of data transfer to send data in small amounts.

Though this data transfer occurs less frequently, it happens on essential requests.

In this, the destination device requests the data, and the source device inquires about the data that the other device needs.

If these requests fail in one attempt, requests are reattempted.

Bulk transfer

Bulk transfer data is of low priority and has no time constraints. Mostly scanners and printers use this transfer to send data in large amounts.

The data transfer rate may slow if the host computer connects several USB devices.

Isochronous transfer

All types of audio, video and real-time data use this type of data transfer.

There may be some errors while data are transferred, but it does not get interrupted in resending the packets.

This type of transfer is most common in situations where data accuracy is not critical. 

Control transfer

You can use this data transfer to control and configure USB devices. Here, the device receives a request from the host, and the data transfer starts.

You can also use this to check the status, and a device can handle only one control request at a time.

USB cable for phone or tablet

USB cable for phone or tablet

How quickly do USB 2.0 and 3.0 transfer data?

Among the different USB cables, USB-C became a universal connector that connects computers, peripheral devices, and power supplies.

However, the name USB-C does not refer to any protocol; it refers to the shape of the connector.

Two cables can have the same physical connector, but whether they can transmit data or not and how fast depends on the protocol or cable specification.

So, a USB-C line may be limited to the speeds of either USB 3.1, USB 3.2, or USB 2.0.

The transfer rate for USB 2.0 is 480 megabits per second, and the USB 3.0 can send data at speeds up to 5 GB/second.

The blue color and the initials SS (SuperSpeed) make identifying USB 3.0 easier.

Are USB charging cables the same as data cables?

On browsing the market, you will find two types of USB cables; USB charging-only cables and USB data cables.

USB charging cable

As the name clears, this cable charges your device and thus is designed to carry power signals only to the device.

They do not carry data signals and cannot communicate with USB controllers.

As the UIF (USB Implementers Forum) does not identify it, it is not a part of the standard USB.

You will find very few USB charging cables in the market, and they are quite thinner than USB data cables as they have two wires only; red and black.

These two wires are similar to our house wiring, with two wires carrying current. 

The two wires are:

  • Red/white wire: it represents the positive terminal of the power supply, and you can identify it as +5V or Vcc wire.
  • Black wire: It means the negative terminal of the power supply and is often referred to as GROUND or GND.

You can find these cables in public places like hospitals, airports, and train stations. However, you might not know these cables are data or charging cables.

If it is a charging cable, it is a good option for charging your device outside, but if it is a data cable, you may risk your data security.

USB data cable

USB data cables are the cables you can use for data transfer and charging.

The cables we use daily with all modern devices are USB data cables, thicker than USB charge-only cables.

Unlike USB charging cables, they are widely available and come with almost all modern smartphones.

These cables comprise four wires; two for data transfer and two for transmitting power. The four wires are:

  • Red line: Positive terminal of the power supply, identified as 5V or Vcc (common voltage collector) wire
  • Black line: Negative power supply terminal, identified as GND or GROUND.
  • White line: Negative pole of data cable, identified as DATA- or USB port-
  • Green line: Positive pole of DATA cable, identified as Data+ or USB port+.

How to transfer data from the phone with a USB cable?

Here, we will learn how to transfer files from our phones to different computer systems using a USB cable.

The Windows computer

  • Open your phone.
  • Connect your phone to the computer system with the help of a USB cable.
  • Tap on the “charging this device via USB” notification.
  • You will see another message which says, “use USB for.” Select “File Transfer” here.
  • You will notice a file transfer window on your PC. Use this window to drag files.
  • When the file transfer is completed, eject your phone from the computer.
  • Remove the USB cable.

To MAC computer:

  • Firstly, download the Android file transfer on your PC.
  • Now, open this android file transfer if you are connecting your phone for the first time. If you have already done it, it will open automatically.
  • Connect your phone to the computer after unlocking it.
  • Tap “charging this device with USB notification.”
  • Choose file transfer under the tab “use USB for.”
  • You will see an android file transfer window which you can use to drag files. Once done, you can unplug your cable.

To Chromebook

  • Connect your phone to the Google Chromebook after unlocking your phone. 
  • Tap “charging this device with USB notification” on your phone.
  • Choose file transfer under the tab “use USB for.”
  • You will notice that files open on your Chromebook. Drag the files you need and unplug the cable after you have done.
File transfer computing background

File transfer computing background

Can I use a USB cable to transfer data between computers?

Using a simple USB cable for transferring data may damage your computer’s power supplies and ports.

You can avoid all such data and power conflicts with the help of a USB-bridged cable.

The electronics of the USB-bridged cable organize the data flow properly.

USB bridged cables or networking cables have flat rectangular connector ends (USB A) that perfectly match the computer connectors. 

How to connect the two computers with the cable?

Ensure that computers are compatible before you connect them.

You can use computers with different Windows versions, but computers with different operating systems won’t work as different OSs need different formats to store files.

If you connect incompatible computers, although there will be no damage to the computers, the files transferred will be useless even if the connection works.

Windows to windows: Firstly, plug the USB cable into both windows computers. Both computers will install the drivers after recognizing the cable.

After that, download and install the software for transferring files. Open the transfer application on both computers and start transferring files.

Mac to Mac: You need a proprietary thunderbolt cable connecting two MAC computers.

Once you do this, both computers will recognize each other, and you need to drag and drop the files for transfer from one Mac computer to another.

Windows/ Linux/Mac to Windows/Linux/Mac: Create a LAN or local area network with the help of an ethernet cable without a router.

Use crossover ethernet cable in which color patterns are different at both ends.

On both computers, set up network sharing, and you can transfer files from one computer to another.


So, you see how you can use the USB data cable to transfer files from one device to another; be it phone to computer or computer to computer.

Always check the cables before connecting them to the computer to avoid damage to any ports or power supplies.

Use a high-quality cable, as some low-quality cables may interrupt the data-transferring process.

For more queries in this regard, you can contact Cloom professionals.

We are a leading cable assembly and wiring harnesses manufacturing company providing superior solutions for all applications. 

Leave a Comment