Is a Printer USB Cable Different From a Standard Cable?

The majority of printers connect to your computer using the same USB cords as other USB devices. The necessity to build a connection standard to replace the numerous serial, parallel, and other wires previously used to connect peripherals to computers served as the impetus for the development of USB. Most printers used parallel wires to connect to PCs before USB was invented.

Universal Serial Bus development

Most computer peripherals use the Universal Serial Bus as their primary kind of connection. The old-fashioned method of using a distinct connector type for practically every device that connected to a computer was replaced by USB. You can connect a keyboard, hard drive, mouse, printer, or any other USB device to your computer using its USB ports. As USB ports are now so often used to connect printers, PC makers no longer include parallel connections on their devices.


Although USB cables are a common form of cable, printer USB cables differ from other USB cable types. All USB cables feature the same flat, rectangular connection on the end that plugs into the computer. A square connector with rounded corners will be on the end that connects to the printer. There are additional USB configurations besides the typical one. For connecting to external devices, especially compact, mobile devices, alternative cable types typically have smaller ends.

Purchasing Cables

Any USB printer can be used with any USB cable that has the common connections. Knowing this is crucial because USB cables are rarely included with printers by their manufacturers. Although USB cables come in a wide range of prices depending on the manufacturer, any cable with the proper ends will work to connect your printer to your computer due to USB’s standardized nature.

Benefits of Parallel

Before USB was widely used as a printer connector, parallel cables were the norm for printer connections. In addition to offering a standardized connection that makes it simpler for customers to connect their devices, USB has technical advantages over parallel ports. Compared to parallel wires, USB cables might be longer. This gives wiring an office more freedom. Moreover, USB enables a device to be hot-swappable, meaning that you can plug in a device and the computer will automatically make the necessary adjustments to use it. Prior to using the printer, the computer has to be restarted after plugging it into a parallel port.
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