How USB 1.0 and USB 2.0 are similar to and different from one another.
Every recent computer has Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports. Over the past decade, they've become a standard way to connect devices to both PCs and Macs. USB ports are the small rectangular holes that can be found on either the front or back of a computer. They can be used for connecting a wide variety of peripheral devices, including digital cameras, mp3 players, keyboards, jump drives, and printers.
There are a number of complex technical differences between USB 1.0 and 2.0, but the most important thing for an average computer user to understand is that 2.0 is considerably faster than previous versions. Newer computers generally use USB 2.0, which entered the market in 2002. Although it did not become popular right away, the original USB 1.0 was introduced in 1996. During those eight years, much advancement had been made in computer technology. People also began to use their home computers for a wider variety of tasks that were increasingly complex. Improving the speed capabilities of USB allowed it to keep up.
A big reason why USB technology has become so popular is that it simplifies the process of connecting devices to a computer. In the past, serial and parallel ports were used more frequently. To plug in a different device this way, the computer had to be turned off and settings usually needed to be configured. Most computers only had a port for the printer plus two more. This was an issue any time someone needed to connect more than two or three devices. With USB, it is much easier to quickly plug things in and use them. USB hubs can painlessly increase the number of USB ports available.
USB 2.0 is able to handle a lot of things that 1.0 can't. Because of its vast improvement in speed, it became possible to easily connect devices that need a lot of bandwidth. Things like DVD burners, mp3 players, and digital cameras transfer so much data that they moved at a snail's pace until 2.0 came out. Now, it's not a problem to use multiple devices like these at the same time. To illustrate the difference, USB 2.0 has bandwidth of 480 Megabytes per second, while the original USB 1.0 could only handle 1.5 Megabytes per second, and USB 1.1 was capable of up to 12 Megabytes per second. All versions usually perform quite a bit below their stated maximum specifications, but there is still an obvious improvement both on paper and when actually using them.
Both types of USB are compatible with one another. In other words, a USB 1.0 device can be plugged into a USB 2.0 port on a computer and it will work. The opposite is also true, but a 2.0 device will run much slower if it is connected to a 1.0 port. This is a bigger problem when doing something more complex like transferring large photo files or video files than it is when uploading small documents from a jump drive.
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