Daily Authority: 💻 USB cable length matters

Margaret R. Servin

USB A to USB C cable wrapped around wrists connected to phone with lock icon

Adam Birney / Android Authority

⛄Good morning and welcome to Tuesday’s Daily Authority. It’s currently -8 here in Scotland, though strangely, that means it’s too cold for snow. I’d rather have the snow!

How long can USB cables be?

Moga XP5 X Plus Review Micro USB to USB Cable Long

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

If you’ve ever wondered just how long a USB cable can be, now’s the time to find out. Our Zak Khan dove deep to answer the question.

“The maximum length of a USB cable depends on which version of the USB standard it’s designed for and whether it’s an active or passive cable. Note that the style of connector, such as USB-A or USB-C, does not necessarily indicate its version or its maximum length. Here are the maximum lengths a passive cable can be depending on the version of USB they’re designed for”:

  • USB 1.1: 5 meters (16 feet)
  • USB 2.0: 5 meters (16 feet)
  • USB 3.0: 2-3 meters (6.5 feet — 9 feet, 10 inches)
  • USB 3.1: 3 meters (9 feet, 10 inches)
  • USB 3.2: 3 meters (9 feet, 10 inches)
  • USB 4: 0.8 meters (31 inches)

Don’t forget that just because a manufacturer claims their cable works with various USB standards, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. If a cable’s exceptionally cheap but claims to meet high-speed specs, be wary. It’s always better to buy from a reputable manufacturer with good reviews.

Why is there a max length?

  • As well as active and passive USB cables, other factors like the thickness of the cable’s metal conductors are at play.
  • If your USB cable’s also sending HDMI, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, or other signals, that’s also a concern.
  • Because passive cables don’t amplify signals, a longer cable means signals sent will be weaker.
  • That means if your cable’s too long (or too long and too thin), data loss and slower speeds are likely.
  • A longer cable run can also increase the risk of noise from other devices overwhelming data signals.
  • Zak explains: “Then there are other, even more highly-technical problems like clock jitter, which start rearing their head the higher speeds and data transfer rates get.”
  • With active cables — ones that contain circuitry that amplifies signals — length is slightly less of an issue, as the stronger signals can travel farther without degrading.
  • You’ll pay more for an active cable, though, and they’ll sometimes come with their own power supply.

Exceeding the max cable length

You can extend active cables out to a specific level:

  • This is usually 30 meters (98 feet) for USB 2.0
  • For USB 3.0, 3.1. and 3.2, this is around 18 meters (59 feet).
  • Active USB 4 cables are still being introduced but currently reach around 3 meters (9 feet, 10 inches).
  • Or you could just use a powered USB hub, which connects to a USB port, and connect your longer cables to the hub.
  • If this still doesn’t work for you, check out some of Zak’s other suggestions over in the feature.
  • For advice on USB-C cables, check out our guide to USB-C as well as our roundup of the best USB-C cables for charging your devices.

Tuesday thing

toilet flush john crimaldi

Next time you use a public restroom, we guarantee you’ll think about this…

  • We know that toilets spray when flushed, propelling aerosolized poo, water, and even viruses into the air.
  • Now scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder have made this visible.
  • The team used continuous and pulsed green lasers and cameras to create a thin, vertical sheet of bright green light aimed at the toilet.
  • This sheet lit up and revealed the aerosol spray after a commercial toilet was flushed.
  • You can read more about the team’s results in the paper “Commercial toilets emit energetic and rapidly spreading aerosol plumes,” published in Scientific Reports.
  • Researchers discovered the “strong chaotic jet” can reach nearly 5 feet (1.5 meters) in height, with a peak velocity of 6.6 feet (2 meters) per second within eight seconds after the flush is activated.
  • Larger particles (for the study, this was 5 to 10 micrometers) will fall out of the vapor cloud more quickly.
  • Smaller particles can linger in the air or settle on bathroom surfaces.
  • Ewww.

Have a great Tuesday!

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.

Leave a Reply

Next Post

Common Injuries Caused by Computer Use » JaypeeOnline

It seems hardly possible to experience an injury due to computer use. Most people expect injuries to occur when doing something more intense, such as playing sports. However, even sitting at a computer for hours can harm you in one way or another. Computers have become a vital thing in […]