Most people who have ever used a computer have at some point used their USB ports, whether it’s for storage, or input devices such as keyboards and mice. The USB has been around for years and is still going strong today, it is continually being updated to perform better. In November of 2008 USB 3.0 was introduced, when compared to the previous version of 2.0, the newer 3.0 is far superior offering much faster transfer rates.
If you purchased a laptop/computer after November 2008, it doesn’t mean all of your USB’s are 3.0. Sometimes it is not obvious which version of USB you have, some 3.0 ports are easily distinguishable because they are manufactured blue, however this is not mandatory and some new machines do not follow the blue colour. One way to identify a 3.0 port is if it has ‘SS’ next to the USB symbol, this confirms it is a 3.0 port and will offer the faster transfer speeds.
It’s not just transfer speeds the newer port offers, it also boasts a maximum power output of 0.9 A, whereas the older 2.0 can only output 0.5A. Charging your phone will be faster from the 3.0 port, not as fast as charging it from the wall, but significantly faster than USB 2.0. You won’t find much difference in performance from a mouse or keyboard from 3.0, the best way to take advantage of these newer ports is transferring data via a USB storage device or a hard drive.