In 2017, 64 percent of all Americans owned an iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch or iPod product. In fact, almost 395 iPhones are sold every minute. In 2017, the Apple iPhone 7 accounted for 8.1 percent of smartphone sales in the United States in the third quarter of 2017.
With so many products being sold, both Apple and Android, there’s always a need for chargers and cables. From a USB 2.0 device cable to highspeed HDMI cables for TVs and laptops to cell hone cables, there’s a never-ending array of chords that folks can put to use in their electronics.
The USB 2.0 device cable ports are found on most current laptop and desktop computers (in both Windows and Mac formats). Using a USB cable, especially the newer models offers users better bandwidth, better multi-channel audio options and better stability for transferring data.
With so many products available, it can be difficult telling the difference between a USB 2.0 device cable and another type of USB cable such as USB-C. If you’re needing to purchase a new USB cable, here are a few things to keep in mind:
There are two common types of USB cables: 28AWG and 24AWG. Both of these types or gauges refer to the thickness of the wire in the USB cable and the lower the gauge, the thicker the wire (so 24AWG is the thicker cable). When it comes to charging speeds, a 24AWG wire should give your phone or other electronic device a quicker charge.
If you’re pouring over rows and rows of cables in the store, keep an eye on the labels. Some less expensive chargers are 28/28 which means there is both a charging wire and a data wire. A 28/28 cable is going to charge more slowly because it can only handle up to 2 amps, meaning you’ll get a slow charge.
Whether you’ve got a fast charger or not, always be sure to charge your phone at the right times. Experts say to not wait until your phone hits close to 0 percent before charging it. Instead, they recommend waiting until your phone or other device hits between 35 and 40 percent and then giving it some juice.
By comparison, a 28/24 cable will give you a faster charge. As an example, this is the type of cable that usually comes standard with a tablet or a smartphone.
Technology has allowed USB cables to be plugged into an average surge protector. Depending on which model of surge protector you buy, it comes equipped with several built-in USB ports, so you can charge all of your electronic devices safely.
Different makes and models are available depending on your needs.
- A three-outlet surge protector with a quartet of USB charging ports and USB charging cables can be purchased from Amazon for about $20.
- A 12-outlet surge protector power strip with three smart USB charging ports from HOLSEM is available for around $30 from Amazon.
- Still another option is a USB surge protector, which helps protect a computer’s USB ports from power surges as well as power spikes when devices are attached. Using this, computers are still assured of USB 2.0 speeds and these are ideal for giving a PC an extra layer of protection from WiFi client adapters. They can be purchased for around $25.
No matter what you’re using a USB cable for, make sure you’re getting the right one for the device you’re using and make sure to read the labels. A cheap charger might save you a few dollars in the short term, but in the long run you’re likely going to be frustrated and will end up having to continuously buy replacement chargers. A 28/24 gauge cable is the best bang for the buck and shouldn’t have any negative effects on your electronic devices. Along with a reliable charger, consider getting a surge protector to add another of protection for your USB-connected devices.