What is the difference between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0?

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard was developed in the 1990s to define communication protocols, including cables and connectors, between computers and electronic devices such as printers and scanners.

As the number of devices multiplied in quantity and types, the USB port was adopted as the basic connection portal.

Devices like smartphones, smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles can connect to computers with USB ports allowing recharging and communication thereby replacing the requirement of adapters and power chargers.

What is USB?

  • The term USB stands for Universal Serial Bus.
  • It is the most common type of computer ports used in today’s Computers.
  • It can be used to connect Keyboards, Mice, Game Controllers, Printers, Scanners, digital Cameras, and removable media drives.
  • USBs is faster than older ports, such as serial and parallel ports.
  • USB connectors come in different shapes and sizes. Most of the versions of USB connectors, including the standard USB, Mini USB, and Micro USB, have two or more variations of connectors.

There are different kinds of USBs including USB 1.0, USB 1.1, USB, 2.0, etc.

USB TypeRelease Date
USB 1.0January 1996
USB 1.1August 1998
USB 2.0April 2000
USB 3.0November 2008
USB 3.1July 2013
USB 3.2September 2017

USB 3.0 was released in November 2008, almost eight years after the release of USB 2.0. Over five years later, in 2013, USB 3.1 was released with widespread use expected in 2015, and four years later, in 2017, USB 3.1 was released.


USB 2.0 Vs USB 3.0

USB 3.0 provides better speed and more efficient power management than USB 2.0. USB3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0 devices. However, data transfer speeds are limited to USB 2.0 levels when these devices inter-operate. In 2014, a new standard, USB 3.1

Let’s see the differences between USB 2.0 and USB3.0.

USB 2.0USB 3.0
The Data Transfer speed of USB 2.0 is 480 Mbps (Megabits per second).The Data Transfer speed of USB 3.0 is 4800 Mbps (Megabits per second), which means USB 3.0 is 10x faster than USB 2.0.
The transfer speed of USB 3.1 is 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps and the Transfer Speed of USB 3.2 Speed is 20 Gbps.
USB 1.0 and 2.0 delivers up to 500 mA or 0.5A current. It can provide up to 900mA or 0.9A current.
When USB 2.0 drive or earlier versions are connected to the USB 3.0 port, the drive will work normally.When USB 3.0 drives are connected to USB 2.0 port, it will work but as like USB 2.0 not as USB3.0.
To achieve a high data transfer rate, a USB 3.0 drive must be connected with a USB 3.0 port.
USB 2.0 has the Black block inside the USB port.USB 3.0 has the Blue block inside the USB port and USB 3.1 has Red Block inside the port.
It offers a one-way communication path. Thus, USB 2.0 can only send or receive data at a given time. It uses two separate unidirectional data paths, each with a dedicated function: one for sending data and another for receiving data.

USB 3.1 & USB 3.2

The newest standard is for USBs is USB 3.1. It offers three major improvements over USB3.0:

  • an “always right” C-type connector that plugs in without regard to orientation,
  • higher data transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps (gigabits per second),
  • the capacity to power any type of device.

The C-type connector is small enough for modern, slim devices, such as MacBook Air-type notebooks, tablets, and smartphones but still robust enough for 10,000 cycles of use.

What is the difference between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0

Both USB 3.0 and 3.1 are considered to be generations of USB 3.2 specifications. USB 3.1 Gen 1 (formerly known as USB 3.0), which offers speeds up to 5 Gbps will be rebranded into USB 3.2 Gen 1 while USB 3.1 Gen 2 which supports transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps will be called USB 3.2 Gen 2 moving forward.


Since USB 3.2 has double the throughput (20 Gbps) of USB 3.1 Gen 2, the updated standard has been designated as USB 3.2 Gen 2×2.

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