USB 2.0 vs USB 3.0 – the differences

by Johannes

There are a few differences between USB 2.0 and 3.0. Probably the biggest one is speed. However, there are other factors that differ. In this practical tip we tell you exactly what these are and what else you need to know about USB connections.

USB 2.0 vs. USB 3.0 – these are the differences

USB 3.0 was released in November 2008 and, compared to USB 2.0, primarily brings higher data transfer rates.

  • With USB 3.0, you can transfer data at up to 4.8 Gbps. That is ten times faster than with USB 2.0, which has a maximum of 480 Mbps.
    • Another advantage of USB 3.0 is that it works in full duplex. This means that data can be transferred in both directions. With USB 2.0, you can only transfer data in one direction at a time.
    • Furthermore, with USB 3.0, the maximum current has been increased from 500 mA to 900 mA. This eliminates the need for an external power supply for 2.5-inch hard drives.
    • The maximum cable length for USB 3.0 is limited to 3 metres. USB 2.0 cables can be up to 5 metres long.
    • You can tell if your computer has a USB port with USB 3.0 by the colour. If the connector is blue inside, this is the case. If, on the other hand, it is black, it is a USB port with USB 2.0.
    • USB 3.0 is completely backwards compatible with USB 2.0, which means that a USB 2.0 stick can also be connected to a USB 3.0 port and a USB 3.0 stick will also work on a USB 2.0 port. On a 2.0 port, data is not transferred faster even with a USB 3.0 stick. A USB 2.0 stick will benefit from slightly faster transfer rates on a USB 3.0 port.

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