“USB” or Universal Serial Bus is a standard that was created as a means to make connectors more universal and transparent. USB C is a specific shape of USB connector and was designed to take that universality a step further by being the one connector for almost anything including data, power/charging, video and audio. The connector is also reversible, it has no up or down orientation!

While USB C does make some things a lot easier, there is also lots of confusion and uncertainty surrounding it. Are all USB C cables the same? (No). What can USB C do that older USB cable types can’t? (A lot more but it also depends on the cable). Can a USB C cable damage hardware? (Potentially). USB C can be tricky but much of the confusion is hopefully cleared up in the following pages.

Confused and in a dash?

If you need USB C info in a jiff, we got you covered. When in USB C doubt, check this graphic out! (Click to embiggen)

USB C cables and hubs for purchase

These three items will fill most USB C related cable needs. Additionally, all of the following parts have the required USB C specifications and certifications including implemented safeguards for protecting cables and ports.

"Full-featured" USB C to USB C cable

This cable is best for charging USB C devices as well as data transfer. It is NOT meant to be used as a DisplayPort or to connect any other type of display receptacle. The cable includes an EMARK chip, required by the USB C specification (but sometimes left out). That means you can use this for high current (5A) charging.

As technology changes and adapts, so does Adafruit! Rather than the regular USB A, this cable has USB C to USB C plugs!USB C is the latest...
$9.95
In Stock

Thunderbolt 3 USB C cable

This cable can be used for DisplayPort. Which means it can be used with other monitors as display receptacles. Additionally it contains all the same features the above "Full-featured" USB C cable has.

1 x Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Cable (USB C to USB C)
DisplayPort support, 4K support, monitor powering, 40 Gbps

USB C Adapter Hub

The current downside of USB C is that, quite often, newer computers have only USB C ports. This means with older cables and devices you'll often need an apter to connect to the usb ports. This adapter hub is great for those situations.

1 x HooToo USB C Hub
6-in-1 USB C to 4K HDMI Adapter

This guide was first published on Nov 27, 2019. It was last updated on Nov 27, 2019.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Oct 24, 2020.