Difference between USB 1.0, USB 1.1, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 & USB type c

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Do you want to know the difference between USB 1.0, USB 1.1, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 & USB Type-C? Here you can find their speed, compatibility, dimensions and other details.

USB 1.0 vs USB 1.1 vs USB 2.0 vs USB 3.0 vs USB 3.1 vs USB Type-C

Let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of each version of the USB in detail. The USB 1.0 was first introduced in the year 1996. It was only used to connect mouse and keyboard to the computer. Its data transfer rate is only 1.5 Mbits per second or 12 Mbit per second as maximum which is slow and it was just enough to process the information from the keyboard and mouse. But later more devices started to use the USB and need for high speed data transfer becomes essential and thus USB 2.0 released.

VersionSpeedData transfer at a timePowerEncodingBackward compatibilityMax cable lengthRelease
USB 0.81.5 Mbit/sOne side5V, 1.5 AUnicodeYes3 Meter (9′10″)December 1994
USB 1.0Low speed: 1.5 Mbit/s, Full speed: 12 Mbit/sOne side5V, 1.5 AUnicodeYes3 Meter (9′10″)January 1996
USB 1.112 Mbit/sOne side5V, 1.5 AUnicodeYes3 Meter (9′10″)August 1998
USB 2.0480 Mbit/sOne side5V, 1.8AUnicodeYes5 Meter (16’5)April 2000
USB 3.05 Gbit/sBoth side5V, 1.8A8b/10bYes3 Meter (9′10″)November 2008
USB 3.110 Gbit/sBoth side20V, 5A8b/10bYes 3 Meter (9′10″)July 2013
USB Type-C10 Gbit/sBoth side5V, 3 A8b/10bNeed connecter 3 Meter (9′10″)August 2014

The USB versions 0.8, 0.1 & 1.1 are outdated and no longer released or used widely. Along with the earlier versions USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 are USB type-A models which means they look same outside and has backward compatibility. Sometimes, USB 3.0 is also known as USB 3.1 GEN 1 and the USB 3.1 is also known as USB 3.1 GEN 2.

How to differentiate USB 2.0 from USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 instantly just by looking?

Find USB model version by color

The USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and the USB 3.1 are just same in size and shape. But there is one big difference to find them, the color of the plastic inside. The USB 1.x comes in white color, USB 2.x comes in black and the USB 3.x comes in the blue color inner plastic. There is also red color but instead of USB version it is used to denote that the USB will remain active even if the device goes to sleep or standby mode.

Is it possible to connect USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 devices to USB 2.0 slot?

Yes, you can connect USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 devices to USB 2.0 slot and it will work. But you will get only the speed of the USB 2.0 which is 480 Mbit/s instead of 5 Gbit/s and 10 Gbit/s. Both the device and the slot should be the same USB version for getting the respective speed. The USB 2.0 devices will also work on USB 3.x ports.

Data Transfer Speed

The data transfer speed was only 12 Mb per second in USB 1.0 but later it was improved to 480 Mb per second in USB 2.0. Now the latest 3.0 and 3.1 has the speed of 5Gb per second and 10Gb per second.

Data Transfer at a time

The USB 2.0 and the previous models can process the data only in one direction at a time but the 3.x models has bidirectional data transfer. So data can be send and received simultaneously at the same time in 3.x. In 2.x, it can only send or receive the data at a time. The 2.x uses the half duplex data transmission method while the 3.x uses the full duplex data transmission method.


The operational power of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 is 5V, 1.8A but the operational power of USB 3.1 is 20V, 5A which is higher. So now you power up larger devices through the USB version 3.1.

Maximum Cable Length and Type of the Wire

The cable length of the USB 2.x device can be 5 Meters (16 feet and 5 inches) as maximum and the cable length of the USB 3.x device can be 3 Meters (9 feet and 10 inches) as maximum. If you want to extend them further then you will need to provide more power in the cable through hub or other means. The USB 2.x consist of only 4 copper wires inside but the USB 3.x consist of 9 copper wires inside.


The USB versions up to 2.0  are simply mentioned that they are using Unicode as their encoding method but version 3.0 and the above has started using 8b/10b encoding method.

Now the experts are in the process of designing the USB 4.0 version and it will probably release in the next few years with more advanced features and specification. Do you have any more doubts about this topic? You can ask us below and we will answer you in minutes!

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