Video:Computer Cable Ports 101with Don Schechter
Do you know the differences between USB, PS/2, and FireWire ports? Learn where and when each connection is used.See Transcript
Transcript:Computer Cable Ports 101Hi. I am Don Schechter for About.com Computing. Today, I'll show you the differences between USB, FireWire, and PS/2 ports. You'll learn where and when to use each kind of connection.
PS/2 Cable PortsThe PS/2 connector is the port that is was commonly used to connect keyboards and mice to a PC. Apple computers, and many newer PCs, use USB instead of PS/2 for mice and keyboards.
The PS/2 port is round, has 6 pins and is commonly color-coded to make it easy to distinguish the port for the mouse and the keyboard.
USB Cable PortsThe Universal Serial Bus, also known as USB, is found on most desktop PCs and notebooks. You can connect everything from printers, scanners to zip drives and cameras. There are several different types of USB connections, but the fastest is USB 2.
USB is slower than FireWire, which is fine if you are using the connection to transmit small bits of information like documents and pictures.
Both USB and FireWire offer faster data transfer rates, true plug-and-play connectivity, and the ability to unplug one device and plug another into the same port without rebooting.
USB DrivesUSB drives, also known as thumb drives, flash drives, or USB keys, are commonly used as small external drives that you can plug into your computer, save information, and easily transport.
FireWire Cable PortsIf you need to move bigger files or capture video, FireWire is a better choice. FireWire connections are offered today in many notebooks, digital camcorders, and digital cameras, and some external hard drives, CD writers, and other devices.
However, there are various types of FireWire connections. FireWire 400 is often used to connect camcorders to computers. FireWire 800 offers a faster connection and is often used to connect computers to external hard drives.
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