Identify The Types Of USB Ports On Your Computer with 3 basic Steps

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is the standard cable connection port for personal computers and consumer electronic devices. In other words, USB ports allow devices equipped with USB ports to be connected to each other and transfer digital data via USB cables. Besides, it can transfer electrical energy to devices that need electricity to operate.

There are two types of USB ports: wired and wireless, but the most popular is still a wired USB port.

Most computers today have at least one USB port, like:

  • Desktops: usually have 2 – 4 usb ports in the front and 2 – 8 usb ports in the back of the CPU case.
  • Laptops: There are 1 – 4 usb ports on the left, right or both sides of the laptop.
  • Tablets: usually the USB connection port is integrated right at the charging port, belonging to the micro USB port type, sometimes the USB-C port type.

USB (Universal Serial Bus) is the most common plug-and-play interface used in modern computers/ laptops.

Are you sure you know all of them and how to use them? If you are still wondering about some issues, then check out this post. will identify the types of USB ports on your computers/ laptops.

Let’s get started now:

Step 1: Know the Types of USB Ports on the Computers

Types of USB Ports on the Computers
Types of USB Ports on the Computers

Sort by Connector Shape

There are two types of USB ports on your computers/ laptops today, we have:

USB Type-A: The USB A connector is rectangular in shape with a length of about 1.4 cm (9/16 inch) and a height of 0.65 cm (1/4 inch). This is the most common USB port, commonly used for wired mice and keyboards.

USB Type-C: Due to its smaller size, they’re typically included in slimmer laptops like the newest MacBooks and the Dell XPS series. The highlight of this type of port is that it can be reversed and still plugs into the device.

There are other USB standards (like Micro USB) that are commonly used, but they’re found more in mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, not computers. Additionally, micro USB ports are also found on some older devices, such as digital still cameras and computer peripherals. However, the mini USB port has almost been replaced by micro-USB and USB-C cables today.

Sort by Transmission Speed

USB has had multiple iterations since its inception in 1996. In the different versions of USB, the main difference is the transfer speed and the amount of power they can deliver.

Transfer rate definition: Transfer rate is the maximum rate in which the USB device is able to transfer data from one end to another.

Here are the current USB port types that are currently in use and their transfer rate:

  • 1.0 (1996): 1.5 Megabits/second (Mbps)
  • 1.1 (1998): 12 Mbps
  • 2.0 (2001): 480 Mbps
  • 3.0 (2008): 4.8 Gigabits/second (Gbps)
  • 3.1 (2013): 10 Gbps
  • 3.2 (2017): 20 Gbps
  • 4.0 (2019): 40Gbps
Types of USB Ports according to Transmission Speed
Types of USB Ports according to Transmission Speed

USB 2.0 ports are uni-directional, which means that it can only send or receive data, but never both. USB 3.0 updates this standard and allows for simultaneous sending and receiving.

Another difference between the different versions is the amount of power they can deliver. USB 2.0 is capable of supplying power up to 500mA, while 3.0 can provide up to 900mA.

What this means is that the newer the port, the more energy it can bring to a connected device. A device where this is relevant is the external hard drive, as a 3.0 port would no longer require a hard drive to have its own power supply included.

The Type-C USB connector, also based on the 3.1 standard, can support up to 100 watts of power.

Type-C devices also support video input and output. With Type-C ports in place, there’s no need for dedicated video display ports like HDMI and DisplayPort.

Step 2: Check the USB Ports on your Computer

Manufacturers sometimes label the ports with what USB port type they are. Check the type of label on your computer’s ports marked as 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 or 3.1.

In addition to the form factor of your PC’s USB port, USB ports are now also color-coded, making it easy to identify what type of port it is. Details of each color are described in the table of Check the USB Ports by Color. Using this table, you can now determine what type of USB port is on your PC.

Check the USB Ports by Color
Check the USB Ports by Color

Another way to know which USB port is available on your computer, you can check the symbol next to the port and cross-reference it from the symbols given in the table below.

Check the USB Ports by Symbol
Check the USB Ports by Symbol

Find the symbol on your PC above, below, or either side of the USB port.

These will help you easily identify the types of USB Ports on your computer.

Step 3: Identify USB Ports by Motherboard’s Technical Specifications

For Windows

For Windows devices, press the Windows Key + “R” to open the Run Command dialog and type in ‘msinfo32’ and press Enter.

Identify USB Ports by Motherboard’s Technical Specifications
Identify USB Ports by Motherboard’s Technical Specifications

Next, find the value under “System Model” and use a search engine to look for a list of the laptop or motherboard’s specifications. For the most reliable results, check the results from the manufacturer’s website.

Some words to look for include: USB (including the version number), USB Type-C, and other similar terms.

For MacOS

MacOS users can determine what model their Mac is by clicking the Apple logo > “About this Mac.” This displays an overview of the device, including OS version, model name, and serial number.

Once you find out what model your Mac has, go to the Apple support website for notebooks and desktops to check the technical specifications.

The USB port is responsible for transferring data between devices equipped with a USB port without using the network.

In addition, this interface also has the function of transmitting power to devices that need electricity to operate, even to charge the device’s battery.

In short, understanding the types of USB Ports helps you choose and use the right USB cable with the right interface for your computer, to promote data transfer speeds and avoid damaging your device. Hope the above knowledge will help you!


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