USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a serial bus standard to connect various devices to a host computer. It was developed to allow many peripherals to be connected to PC using one standardized interface socket. This standard allows devices to be connected and then disconnected without rebooting the computer or turning off the device.

USB features such pleasant options as providing power to low-consumption devices; you can even charge certain cell phones. Also allows many devices to be used without manufacturer-specific device driver installation.

Some historical facts about USB

The USB 1.0 specification was introduced in 1996. It was developed to replace the numerousness of connectors at the PC's back and to simplify software configuration of communication devices.

The USB 2.0 specification was released in April 2000 and was standardized by the USB-IF at the end of 2001.

The USB 3.0 specification was released on November 12, 2008 by the USB 3.0 Promoter Group. It is up to 10 times faster than its predecessor specification.

The USB 3.1 specification was announced on July 31, 2013. It increases the signalling rate to 10 Gbit/s, twice more than USB 3.0. USB 3.1 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.

Device classes

There are class codes defined by USB in order to identify device's functionality and to load the needed driver. Thus devices from various manufacturers, that comply with a given class code, are supported by device driver writer.

Here are some examples of most popular USB devices

USB keyboards, USB mouse, USB drives, USB webcams (check new sharing guide by link), USB cameras, USB scanners, iPods, USB dongles, USB printers, USB DVD drives, USB speakers, USB microphones, USB sound cards, memory card readers and more...

Did you know?

Most of USB devices can be accessed from a remote PC as if they were connected locally to yours with the help of USB Network Gate.