What Are The Different Types Of Power Cords?

Power cords are all around us, and there might be one close to you right now. With the emergence of mobile phones as one of the most cardinal devices in our lives, these power cables have gained more significance and usage. How many of these power cords are there in the world? What are the different types of power cords, and how do they differ? Let’s unveil these facts together through this article.

Power Cables

Mobile phones are no magic machines that can keep on working for extended hours, they need the power to work. While this power comes from the electric power we are supplied, it reaches the phone through these double-ended power cables. It must be addressed that mobile phones are not the only devices that require a connection via these. Other devices like speakers and lights, among many others, also make use of these connecting power cords.

An array of different cords can be seen on the market; some are considered modern while some are seen as primitive based on how obsolete they are getting. There is a power cord out there that can be inserted into the port in your device.

Ports and adapters

Over history, different cords have been manufactured. The invention of each new type of power cord simultaneously caused the invention of a port that is compatible with it. The port is the hollow in our devices designed to fit only one particular type of cord perfectly.

That is all about where one end of the cable goes, but what about the other end? It goes into an adapter. The adapter designed for these power cords is shaped like a cube or a rectangular cuboid, with a plug on the end. This plug is inserted into a power outlet to draw power. On the opposite end of the adapter is a port that is made for the cord to be connected with.

An alternate for an adapter is a laptop or CPU which has the compatible port in it.

USB cables

The abbreviation USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. The term universal in the name holds that USB cables are the most universally used and manufactured connectors globally. However, the universal in USB is untrue in the context of types. A single universal type of USB cable does not exist; there have been multiple variations. Some have gained a lot of popularity, while some are now becoming increasingly uncommon. Here is a quick look at the various types.


As the name suggests, a micro-USB connector is small in size. The need for a micro-USB cord rose when mobile phone companies began dipping their toes into the production of slim smartphones. This tiny connector allowed them the freedom to do so without the worry of fitting the pin of a large power cable.

The success of a micro-USB cable paved the way for more power cables, leaving the micro-USB cable in use by a much smaller population. However, devices with micro-USB ports are still available and used worldwide, for example, Bluetooth speakers, smartwatches, wireless headgear, and so on.

A micro-USB connector is only compatible with a micro-USB port.


A mini-USB connector is slightly wider and thicker than the micro-USB connector. These used to be the standard but as technology transformed, the need for this lowered. The invention of alternatives made connections easier and the manufacturing of devices smarter. One example of such an alternative is the micro-USB power cord mentioned above.

Mini-USBs have not gone extinct, though. They can be seen in various older devices like digital cameras, MP3 players, and controllers.

USB-A Cord

The USB-A cable is one of the most common ones and has been around for quite some time. The USB-A cable is bigger than a mini-USB connector.

A USB-A connector is on one end of most cords, and this is the side that is inserted into an adapter, laptop, or CPU to charge the device.

The cords that have a USB-A connector on both ends are most commonly used to transfer data from one computer to another. Moreover, they are used to connect two devices with a USB-A port for different purposes.

Extension cords, power strips, and power banks nowadays often carry a USB-A port in them. The need for an adapter is diminished, and easier connectivity for charging or power is made possible.

USB-B Cord 

A USB-B cord is one of the most unique out of all USB cords. It is designed in a cubic shape, unlike any other connector. The USB-B cord was specially made to connect printers and other similar devices. The connectivity of this cord is not as diverse as others. The second end of the cord has a USB-A connector.

Over time, the USB-B cord has gone obsolete as new connectors have replaced it by being more efficient and diverse in connections.

USB-C Cord

USB-C Cord

USB-C is the latest power cord invention and has gained a lot of praise ever since its release. The most unique feature of a USB-C cord is that, unlike other cords, this one does not have a USB-A connector on the other end. It contains a USB-C connector on the other end too. The connector can be connected both ways, flipped upside or down; this is a feature the other USB cords lack.

The success of the USB-C cord has caused device manufacturers to shift to USB-C ports and connectors in an attempt to accommodate the masses. So much so, even Apple, which has historically been persistent with their use of the lightning cable, has been elicited to make the switch to a USB-C cord in their new MacBooks.

The USB-C cord is used on almost all modern devices that support it presently.

Lightning cable

A lightning cable is primarily used by Apple; this limits its connectivity solely to IOS devices. When this power cord first came out, it was anticipated that Apple might have to drop it given the lack of connectivity across other devices, but Apple has stuck to it ever since.

The lightning cable is used as a mobile phone charger and to sync up apple devices. The name, lightning cable, hints towards the fast speed that this cord can function with while transferring data.

The other end of the cord has a USB-A connector attached to it.

Lightning cables have been notorious for being delicate and wearing down quicker than expected, prompting users to buy new cables ever so often.


All the information that one might need is right here to make an informed decision about the different types of power cords. Individuals have very little power in deciding which power cord they will have to use as global trends, and the choices of device manufacturers tend to influence that a lot. We are at their decision’s disposal. An individual can perform some prior research, though. It can help deduce which cord their device could need and its compatibility.

Power cords are inexpensive and easily accessible, making it a lot easier to switch between them. Moreover, adapters and dongles that help connect cords to incompatible devices continue to make life simpler.