What is USB Type A? (Explained)

What is USB Type A?

USB Type A refers to the port used mainly on a computer, or host, and is the most commonly used port. In simple words, USB Type A port or connection refers to the specific design of a USB or Universal Serial port which is easily identifiable due to its rectangular shape.


  • The USB Type A port is the most commonly used type of USB port typically found in desktop and laptop computers as well as in a wide range of other devices and computer peripherals.
  • This type of USB port has a classic flat and rectangular design that makes them easily identifiable from other types of USB ports.
  • The USB Type A ports are compatible with other versions of USB ports allowing the users to plug it in the later versions of USB and vice versa.
  • The design of its socket allows a downstream connection and prevents upstream connection with the host controllers and the hubs.

Understanding USB Type A

Understanding USB Type A

A USB Type A port is rectangular in physical design and helps in connecting a receptor device with the host device with the help of a connecting cable.

Typically, this novel USB port is the most traditional and familiar Universal Serial Bus port design.

These specific flat connectors are called the Standard A connectors officially.

In fact, the Type A port is actually considered to be the ‘original’ USB connector and is the most easily recognizable and commonly used connector.

The best part of this specific type of USB port is that its design supports every available USB version which includes USB version 1.1, USB 2.0 and even USB 3.0.

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Since the USB Type A port is most compatible and is outlined in all the three USB versions, the form factor shared between them is basically the same.

This means that a USB Type A port of any version will properly fit into any receptacle of USB Type A from any other version of USB and vice versa.

The USB 3.0 Type A connector usually, but not always, comes in blue color whereas the USB 2.0 Type A port and USB 1.1 Type A port are usually black in color, but it may not always be the case.

The USB Type A port typically has two specific parts. One of its parts plugs into the device and is called the connector or the plug.

On the other hand, the other part that accepts it is called the port most commonly but is technically referred to as the receptacle.

The design of the USB-A socket ensures that a downstream connection is provided as desired by the hubs and the host controllers.

This means that it can be hardly ever used as an upstream connector on any secondary device.

Though the USB Type A port is compatible with other versions, there are few notable differences between the USB 3.0 Type A port and those ports that belong to the USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 version.

There are typically nine pins in the USB 3.0 Type A connectors as opposed to the four pin configuration of the USB 2.0 Type A ports and its 1.1 version.

These extra five pins help the Type A 3.0 connector to transfer data and information at a much faster rate from the host computer to the receiving device.

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The placement of these additional pins is very strategic to ensure that it does not prevent the port from working with other USB standards physically.


What is USB Type A

As said earlier, the USB standard A ports are typically used in the desktop and laptop computers, especially in the host controllers, and in the hubs.

There are also several other uses of these particular type of USB ports such as:

  • In gaming consoles such as PlayStation, Xbox and others
  • In smart televisions
  • In several types of peripheral devices such as keyboards, mice and others
  • In flash drives or memory sticks
  • In most tablets and
  • In DVD and Blu-ray players.

In addition to that, the USB Type A connector is also used for connecting a video monitor though it is usually connected via a DVI, DisplayPort or an HDMI port.


So now you know that the Universal Serial Bus is widely used and a universal computer port and the Type A ports are the most commonly used form of it.

It is easily identifiable due to its classic, flat and rectangular design and is compatible with all the available versions of the USB connectors.

About Taylor Swift

Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift, a UOPEOPLE graduate is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She has an understanding of hardware and technology gained through over 10 years of experience. Follow Her at Linkedin

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