Last updated: August 18, 2021

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Today we are going to talk about one of the most important accessories in today's technological world: the data cable! We're sure you have at least one and that, whether it's for transfers or to charge your devices, you use it every day.

In addition to the original versions of data cables that come with electronics, it is also possible to buy other models that are faster or more resistant. Do you want to understand how all this works and make the purchase that will help you the most in your daily life? Then stay with us and read our article carefully!




Summary

  • Data cables are very important in today's world and are present in everyone's daily life, either for connecting to the internet or for transferring files between devices.
  • There are many types and models of data cables and so you should always pay attention to compatibility before buying one.
  • It is increasingly common for manufacturers to be concerned with more durable or larger cables. However the price also goes up, they end up being important in several situations.

The best Data Cable: Our Picks

Buying guide

Is there really a difference between one data cable and another? And what can a superior model add to your day-to-day life?

The buying guide is the question and answer section of our text! It's time to have all your doubts answered!

Imagem mostra um técnico instalando cabos de fibra ótica.

Data cables can be connected to complex networks. (Source: radist/ 123rf.com)

What is a data cable and what is it used for?

We call every cable "data cable" that has the purpose of transmitting data, files or documents from one electronic device to another. As such, there are a huge number of models and varieties.

The most common, of course, are those with USB male connectors at one end and female at the other. They are ideal for transmitting data between computers and mobile devices and also for charging smaller devices.

Although there are other alternatives, such as the cloud and bluetooth, for the transfer of data, cables are still widely used for their safety and speed, as well as their independence from internet signals or similar. You know you can count on them even in the most adverse situations.

Did you know that models with USB connectors are only a small part of data cables? There are many other types, such as Ethernet, fibre optic, cat4, cat5, cat6 and even those for submarine transmission. The latter you obviously won't be using in the home!

What are the advantages of having a data cable?

Why should you have a data cable in times of cloud storage anyway?

Data cables offer secure and convenient transfers

The first clear advantage of this accessory is security. As the transmission is done offline, there is no risk of intrusion or data theft. Furthermore, practicality stands out, as there is no need for an internet connection.

Some data cables offer excellent transfer speed, surpassing the Bluetooth connections. And they also have other uses, especially as they are essential for recharging the battery of mobile devices.

On the other hand, a physical media obviously has durability problems that do not happen with virtual transmissions, even when extra reinforced. And they also have extra costs and limitations of supported connections according to their ends.

See in the following table the main advantages and disadvantages of data cables:

Advantages
  • Greater security in data transmissions
  • Some models are quite fast
  • They do not depend on internet connection
  • They also help in battery recharge of the devices
Disadvantages
  • Problems of durability of the physical media
  • Limitation caused by the format of the connectors

What are the types of data cables on the market?

As USB data cables are the most famous and most sought after on the market, we will mainly focus on them in this section. However, keep in mind other possibilities, such as Ethernet and fibre optic cables, which are mainly used for internet connections.

In the case of USB cables, we call "male" the larger size connector, compatible with input in laptops, televisions and the like, and "female" the smaller, ranging from 2.0, 3.0 and the like, and is usually connected to mobile devices.

You will most often find USB data cables on the market with a male and a female connector. However, there are also those who look for the different versions, male x male and female x female. Both have their range of uses.

So you can better understand the differences, we have prepared a table!

Male x female Male x male Female x female
Connection Tips with a male connector and a female connector Tips with a male connector on each side Tips with a female connector on each side
Usage situation Connection between a mobile device and a larger one, like computer or TV Connection between larger devices, like two computers Connection between smaller devices, like two mobile devices

For what purposes can I use a data cable?

Using a data cable is very common in modern day life. We have listed some of the times you will need them most:

  • Transmission of files between devices: Whether it is from a mobile phone to a computer or between similar devices, the transmission of files is common. The use of a data cable has its advantages over the cloud, sending via social networks or bluetooth.
  • Device recharging: A data cable will always allow you to connect your mobile device to the inputs required for recharging. Recent chargers already have a USB input on the connector that goes to the socket.
  • Internet connection: For the internet to reach your home, it passes through a data cable, which can be Ethernet, fibre optic, or other. Eventually, you may need to change it.

Those who have the proper data cables always have a way to stay safe from unforeseen events with their electronics!

How much does a data cable cost?

The variations in the prices of data cables depend on the purpose and quality, especially of the material. There are very cheap models that cost approximately 5 GBP, while others of greater resistance get close to 15 GBP.

Buying Criteria: Factors for choosing a data cable

You already understand everything about data cables, but want to know which one is best for you? We have selected four technical criteria that will help you to choose the ideal model!

Below, we discuss more about each of them!

Purpose

What exactly do you need a data cable for? Is it to improve your internet connection? To transfer data between computers? From a computer to a mobile device? Connect some electronics to a TV?

Before making the purchase, know exactly the purpose of your cable. Only then will you be able to buy a model that is perfectly suited to what you need and not realise later that the model you have chosen does not have the necessary connectors!

Imagem mostra cabos de rede conectados.

It is always necessary to buy the correct cable for each purpose. (Source: Bru-nO / Pixabay.com)

Strength and durability

Ordinary data cables often have problems with durability, especially if taken from place to place frequently or used in different situations. Cheaper models can break when you least imagine it.

Reinforced cables are increasingly common on the market

Luckily, many brands have invested in more elaborate data cables that are able to last for many years and do not suffer breaks in their internal wiring. Some of the tricks for this are nylon sheathing or production in special fibres and PVC.

If you want a cable with greater durability and do not mind paying more for it, know that the possibility exists. This is recommended especially for those who carry the accessory a lot.

Compatibility

USB type cables have gone through many evolutions. Between 2.0, 3.0 and Type-C, the changes appear in the most modern devices from manufacturers. Therefore, you need to always pay attention to the compatibility of data cables.

If a model has 2.0 inputs in its connectors, for example, there's no point in wanting to use it in your modern mobile devices. Read exactly what the models are so you don't end up with a product that has no use for you.

Length

Many people don't need longer cables than normal. However, if there are few sockets in the house or they are in difficult places, counting on a model of great length, above one meter and a half, can be essential.

People who need long cables should always pay attention to this fact. And in case you are someone who travels a lot and never knows where you will use your accessory, opting for a different model in such aspect can also be an excellent option!

(Featured image source: FelixMittermeier / Pixabay.com)

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