New Product Spotlight: USB 3.0

USB SuperSpeed 3.0 is today’s star in our new product category. Although USB 3.0 was developed back in 2008, it’s still not as widely used as its forefather, and not everyone has heard of the newer technology. What’s the difference between 2.0 and 3.0? When it comes down to buying a USB cable, is a Super Speed 3.0 cable a good investment?
The all-around answer is yes.
While most of the world is still using the 2.0 standard, there are a great many products that are currently out on the shelves that have 3.0 capabilities. Most new computers sold on the market today feature USB 3.0 ports. Same goes for newer external hard drives, cameras, cell phones and other accessories. USB 3.0 will come in the same alphabetical styles as always: USB type A is a standard connection, USB type B is a printer connector and USB type C is a micro connector.
When looking at the specification for these cables, you can see the differences and improvements that were made with USB 3.0. Physically the two cables are similar; the pin-out design of the USB 3.0 is similar to the 2.0, as only four pins were added to the 3.0 design. The 3.0 has a blue block that was added to the inside of the connector so that it can be differentiated from other USB speeds. The USB 3.0 type-A standard cables are backwards compatible with devices that have 2.0 ports, so you don’t have to worry about upgrading all of your gadgets.
Speed is one of the most important factors that differentiate the two types of cable.
USB 3.0 is much faster than its predecessor, as the power output jumped from 500 mA to 900 mA with the new technology. USB 3.0 is also bi-directional, meaning that information can transfer in both directions at the same time. The 3.0 now comes with a higher bandwidth and transfer speeds from 2.0’s 400MBps now to 3.0’s 4Gbps, which will minimize the amount of time you are waiting around. USB 3.0 is ten times faster than 2.0. That means movies will download much quicker, and transferring info will be lightning fast.
Make your cables work for you! In the end USB 3.0 will allow you to increase your productivity while saving you time, and you can’t ask for much more than that.

Fiber Optic Vs Copper Cables: What’s the Better Bet?

In the world of networking cables, there is still a little bit of a mystery surrounding fiber optics. How do they work, and how do they match up to copper cables? Which type of cable will be the better investment? Let’s compare.

To start, what are the differences between fiber optic and copper cables? Fiber optic cables carry digital information by transmitting light from one end to another through thin strands of glass, otherwise known as optical fibers. A standard cable, such as an Ethernet cable, is typically constructed with copper wiring and transmits data through an electrical current.

Speed is one of fiber optic’s biggest draws, as new fiber cables operate near the speed of light. Copper cables experience more signal loss, which inherently slows them down.

If you are looking at a long cable run, a fiber optic cable would be the best choice because they transmit data much further than copper cables, and can also transmit greater bandwidth over longer distances. If you are running a standard Ethernet cable such as Cat5e, you will definitely have length limitations. Usually Ethernet switches can be used for longer runs with copper cables, but that will also cause your set-up to be more expensive.

If security is one of your concerns, fiber definitely beats out copper in every which way. Fiber is much more secure and less easy to tap into than a standard copper cable. Because fiber cables do not need to be grounded in the same way that copper cables do, it means that there is much less chance for other digital interferences.

Do keep in mind though that fiber cables need special handling as they are more fragile than standard copper cables. This is due to the fact that glass strands are much weaker than copper. This in turn makes a fiber cable physically lighter than a copper cable. Installations of fiber cables can be more expensive than other cable installs because specialized equipment is needed, as well as an installer who is specially skilled with fiber optics.

So when the two types of cables are put side by side, it looks like in the end fiber is your best bet. Your cable will be faster, lighter, safer and more secure.