How Does USB Technology Work?

Anyone who’s ever used a computer knows that there are multiple plugs and ports that allow you to connect a number of devices and peripherals to the computer itself. In the past, many of these ports required a specific type of cable or adapter in order to connect a printer, a mouse, or another piece of equipment. Headaches arose when you found that you didn’t have the right cable or port and, therefore, couldn’t use the peripheral.

The advent of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) port on PCs, laptops, and other electronics effectively eliminated those headaches. A person could now attach hundreds of devices, whether it was a USB flash drive, speakers, or a printer, to their computer. This simple connection allowed the computer to instantly recognize the new USB device, install the necessary drivers, and allow the user to access the connected device. At CMI Promotions, we love the fact that our custom flash drives are compatible with anything with a USB port!

A and B Connectors

bsk1k-usbpendrive_mountThere are two different types of USB connectors – A connectors and B connectors. Thumb drives have the standard, flat “A” connection that you see on the majority of USB devices and cables. “B” connectors are found on devices such as printers, and the cables usually have a “B” connection at one end and an “A” at the other. This allows you to connect the cable to your computer from the device you want to use. There are also adapters that give you the ability to connect to a number of peripherals.

Data Transfer

When you’re using a USB device, such as a flash drive, the computer acts as the “host” for the connected device. The host assigns an “address” to the device using a process called enumeration, and then the host decides what type of operation the device wants to perform. If you’re transferring data from your USB storage device to the computer, you’ll be able to open the device through your computer and select which files to move. One great feature of flash drives is that they are hot-swappable, meaning you can plug and unplug them at any time. Older devices used to have to be “ejected” from the computer before you unplugged them, otherwise you could potentially end up with corrupted data.

Increased Compatibility

Perhaps the most important thing that USB brought to the table was increased compatibility. People were now able to take files from one type of computer, transfer them to a flash drive, and plug the drive into another computer. Files no longer had to emailed or stored on floppy disks, and with increased storage capabilities, flash drives could hold entire presentations or sales specs.

If you’re interested in ordering custom drives for your business, contact CMI today. We can create a bulk order of personalized flash drives that feature your company name, logo, and more. Your employees, customers, or whoever it is that use the drives will love how easy it is to store and transfer data, and they’ll be reminded of your business every time they use them.

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