Identify USB 2 cable

Maurice Brandman
Maurice Brandman used Ask the Experts™
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How can I distinguish between my USB 1 and USB 2 cables and extension leads.  Are there any external indications which will obviate the necessity to connect and test each one?  Is there a colour code or cable marking?
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USB cables are just USB cables. What makes the difference is the devices they're plugged into.

So, you can connnect any cable into either USB 1 or USB 2 devices, and they'll work just fine at their maximum speeds.
f-kingIT support technician
Commented:
Maurice BrandmanOwner, Manager

Author

Commented:
Thank you f-king.  The second article mentions "USB 2.0 compliant cables ".

How can I identify a USB 2.0 compliant cable?
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That might be a bit hard, just as you can't be sure USB "1.0" cables are really following the specs.
Though USB 2.0 requires higher grade cabling, I'm yet to find a cable that failed to perform flawlessly at USB2.0 speeds (like it's mentioned in those articles.)

Unless you're wanting to use longer than spec cables (like 7 or 8 meters cables, like I once had to use for a costumer) you should be fine with anything you can buy from a store.
If distance is indeed an issue, you're better getting regular 5mt USB cables and use powered hubs to extend its range without degradation.
f-kingIT support technician

Commented:
Usually if the package says USB 2 then it has to work at USB 2 speed.
Maurice BrandmanOwner, Manager

Author

Commented:
I have a large number of USB cables from several workstations and peripherals from office and home.  Is there a way I could test them since I would like to discard those less compatible with USB 2 standard?
f-kingIT support technician

Commented:
The problem is that a USB 1 cable will work with a USB 2 device at USB 2 speed it just doesnt have the extra shielding, so testing is a bit hard.
the only way would be to attach the cables to an external usb2 device like a hard drive and see if you get any performance drops or USB errors.
It's highly likely they'll all work fine. You can ditch the "thinner" cables, but even that doesn't mean much, as some cables may have just thicker "plastic" around thin conductive wires just the same.

If you consistently get "This device would work faster if plugged into a USB2.0 port", then you might have found a bad cable - but from my experience, this is most likely due to a faulty USB connector (in the host/slave device) than the cable itself.

Like I said, having used hundreds of cables and USB devices over the years, I'm yet to find a problem that was caused by a USB cable.
Maurice BrandmanOwner, Manager

Author

Commented:
Thank you all.  I think that although there is no clear cut answer, I have all the info available.  Thank you again.

How can I allocate the points equally to all participants, myself excepted?
You should have links next to each answer: one to accept a single answer as correct, other to split the points across the answers/experts as you see fit.

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