USB stand for Universal Serial Bus. It is a piece of hardware technology that was developed back in the mid 1990's and it is still used today. The USB cable is the standard today and it is hard to get anything done without one in your life. These cords are designed for multiple applications and you probably use one every day without knowing it. Many of today's smart phones employ a USB cable to power the battery.
The original cords were designed to connect the accessories of a computer. A USB cord would be employed to connect the keyboard on your desk to the computer. They could also connect your mouse, a printer, a pointing device, a network adapter or a disk drive. The cord would facilitate easy communication between the computer and its peripherals. The idea was to have an interchangeable cord for all of these functions. It would make computer hardware easier to manage.
Today, these cords are used for many different modern devices. They are used to connect smart phones, tablets, PDAs and video game consoles. The great thing about a USB cable is that it connects two pieces of electronic hardware and is capable of powering the hardware at the same time. This saves the user from having to use two cables; one for power and the other for connection. You can use a long USB cable in lengths up to 5m.
The world can thank seven different companies for the advent of the cord. These companies include Compaq, DEC, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Nortel. The idea was to come up with a way for all their devices to be able to communicate. It helped their businesses. The consumer could buy a piece of hardware from one of these companies and buy another piece of hardware and connect them with a USB cable. It made buying from these seven companies convenient and it drove their sales up.
Not all cords are made the same. Some have different sizes and others have different capabilities. Most of the sizes are displayed right on the connector of the USB cable. It will usually have a letter that tells you what size it is. Most mini cords, usually labelled with a B, are used for smart phones. Some cords can carry more information. The wire's information capability is not usually found on the cord itself. You will have to examine the cable's packaging for that information and it is usually listed as a number; higher is better.