Computer Cables

Plug in to computer cable know-how

From a basic power cable to network cables to peripheral-device cables, computers can require a lot of wires to run at their optimal capacity. Your computer, and therefore your business, can do a lot of things with the right cable connections.

If you're just learning about computer cables, it's important to know a bit about what you're looking for before you go out and buy.

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Types of Computer Cables

There are numerous cables on the market, and their names might be confusing. To help you, here are a few of the most common types of cables:

  • Serial cable refers to any common network cables that transfer data to devices.
  • Parallel cable is cable that implements transmissions of digital data simultaneously rather than singularly (as serial cables do).
  • HDMI cable, or High-Definition Multimedia Interface cable, is used to transfer digital data in an uncompressed format, meaning you get more range and better quality in your audio and video.
  • SCSI cable, or Small Computer System Interface cable, is most commonly used for disc and tape drives, but it can also be used to connect devices like printers and scanners.
  • FireWire cable is one of the fastest means of transporting data and is great for transferring video data.

Choosing Computer Cables

When it comes to choosing cables, one of the biggest issues to be aware of is compatibility. It may seem obvious, but you need to make sure that the cable you are purchasing can work between the two devices you wish to connect – for example, USB mini to USB cables will work for Smartphones and digital cameras, but not for printers. There may also be compatibility issues with audio video cables and others, so it's best to consult your device's manual before you buy.

Another important factor to consider when buying cables is cost versus reputation. Some companies inflate the prices on their cables to make you believe that those cables will provide you with better quality or faster transfers. In many cases, this is simply not true, and a generic or other well-known brand will provide exactly the same quality.