Difference between USB 2.0 and 3.0

Do you want to select the USB for your device? Well, it is helpful for you to choose and store the information for future usage. The various brand produces a different kind of USB. Some brands are worthy of buying it. Every USB has various stamina to store information in it. 

Some have more capacity. Others have less storage. New computers with USB 3.0 ports have been around for years. But how fast is USB 3.0? Will upgrading my old USB 2.0 flash drive significantly increase the speed?

It works fine, but only with USB 2.0 speeds. The only downside is that USB 3.0 devices are still a bit expensive. Let’s see the detailed difference between USB 2.0 and 3.0

Historical Backgrounds of USB:

USB 2.0 released in 2000, 3.0 in 2008 and 3.1 in 2014. Until recently, USB 2.0 and 3.0 were the standard USB. USB 3.1 is the latest standard, but it is not as common as 2.0 and 3.0. It has faster data transfer speeds up to 10 Gbps and can drive any device type. It has a type C connector that can insert regardless of orientation. This connector is small enough for modern thin devices, tablets, and smartphones.

A striking difference is the color of the compounds. A USB 3.0 is usually blue on the inside, while 2.0 is black. USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0, but the USB 3.0 product will perform at the same level as a USB 2.0 product. USB 3.0 connections are electrically compatible with standard USB 2.0 device connections if they are physically compatible. USB 3.0 Type-A plugs and connectors are fully backwards compatible, and USB 3.0 Type B connections accept USB 2.0 and earlier.

Theoretical speed variation:

USB is standard and defines the maximum “signal speed” of information on a USB port. The USB 2.0 standard defines a theoretical maximum signal speed of 480 megabits/second, while USB 3.0 defines a maximum speed of 5 gigabits / second. In other words, USB3.0 is theoretically more than ten times faster than USB2.0.

In practice, this standard only defines the maximum data transfer speed on a USB port. The device has other bottlenecks. For example, USB drives limits by the speed of the flash memory.

If you are not sure if you have a USB 3.0 port, check the USB port itself. Usually, the interior of the USB3.0 port is blue. Many computers have USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports.

Visible difference:

Difference between USB 2.0 and 3.0

You may be wondering: do USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 look the same? Is there a physical difference between them? How can I distinguish between USB2.0 and USB3.0 by physical properties?

It is not difficult to check out the physical differences of your USB. 

The USB 2.0 connector is white or black on the inside. The USB 3.0 is blue on the inside.

Therefore, if you want to see if the USB port or USB stick of your computer is 2.0 or 3.0, you can see it by the color of the internal USB port.

Another physical difference between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 is the number of cable connections.

USB 2.0 has a total of 4-wire connections that support half-duplex communication. USB3.0 has a Total of 9 connection cables. These five additional cables increase the bandwidth of USB 3.0 and allow two-way communication at the same time.

Power Management abilities:

USB 2.0 vs 3.0 | Difference between USB 2.0 and 3.0

Compared to USB 2.0, USB 3.0 offers more efficient power management and improves power supply. USB 2.0 provides up to 500mA. USB 3.0 provides up to 900mA. As a result, the total output power increases from 2.5 W to 4.5 W (5 V). Similar to charging USB 2.0 and 3.0, USB 3.0 devices can charge faster. USB 3.0 ports can support devices that consume more power.

USB 3.0 devices provide more power as needed and save energy when connection, but idle. USB 3.0 is ahead of USB 3.0 in terms of power management and consumption.

Connectors difference:

USB 2.0 (probably the type used for devices older than a few years) specifies six standard connectors. A, B, and mini and micro versions of each. USB 3.0 simplifies this with all three backwards-compatible connections. The advantage (and difference) of USB 3.0 over USB 2.0 is the increase in speed. USB 2.0 can send data at levels up to 480Mb / s, while USB 3.0 connections can reach speeds up to 5Gb / s. Other benefits include reduced connectivity standards and backward compatibility.

USB 3.0 is more beneficial than USB 2.0:

Transfer Speed feature. USB 2.0 provides transfer speeds of 480 Mbps. USB 3.0 offers transfer speeds of 4.8 Gbps, which is 10 times faster.

Add physical bus: The number of cables has doubled, from 4 to 8. The extra Cables require space in both Cables and connectors, so new connectors types have been found.

Power Usage. USB 2.0 supplies up to 500 mA, while USB 3.0 supplies up to 900 mA. USB devices 3. More power when you need it and save energy when connected but slow.

Bandwidth property. Instead of one-way communication, USB 3.0 uses two one-way data paths, one to receive data and the other to transmit, while USB 2.0 can only process one-way data at a time.

When data transfers over USB 3.0 devices, cables, and connections, the transaction is initiated by the requesting host, followed by a response from the device. The device accepts or declines the request. If it allows device sends data from the host.

Standards of USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 you should know before buying:

USB 2.0 and 3.0

USB 2.0 compulsory standards:

Plugs and Sockets-A standard USB plug is plugged into a USB host or hub to transfer power and data.

Plug and Socket B: Standard USB B usually connects to larger devices such as printers.

Micro-USB 2.0 plugs and sockets (Micro-A, Micro-B, and Micro-AB)-Micro-USB connections transfer power and data. It also supports USB On-The-Go. It can use with small portable devices such as smartphones, digital cameras, and GPS devices.

USB 3.0 compulsory standard:

Standard A connection: It has excepted for the extra connectors. They are very similar to USB 1.1 and USB 2.0. Many of the port cluster connections are marked in blue and are compatible with any USB cable.

Series B connectors – There are two types: Standard-B and Micro-B. Micro-B design for mobile devices but use by portable and desktop USB 3.0 hard drives.

Micro-AB and Micro-A are also part of the USB 3.0 project but are not primarily used.


I conclude that the difference between USB 2.0 and 3.0. USB 3.0 is better than USB 2.0. The USB 3.0 has more features and more capacity than USB 2.0.