Man holding Samsung cable and adapter

USB Data Cables

Adapters

  • Connection adapters. Many adapters connect a digital port designed for one standard to a port of a different standard. They’re easy to recognise by the different connectors at either end. A common example is a VGA-to-HDMI adapter, which has a D-shaped multipin plug at one end and a narrow trapezoidal plug at the other. Don’t confuse this type of adapter with a simple cable, which has the same type of connector at both ends (although sometimes in male and female variations).

  • Power adapters. Power or A/C adapters translate between the alternating current that flows from an electrical outlet and the direct current that drives a computer or other device. You can recognise them by the rectangular box (or brick) attached to the cable, which terminates in a two- or three-prong electrical plug at one end. Auto adapters are designed to accept power from a car battery, so they terminate in a bulky plug that fits into an automobile’s cigarette lighter. Aircraft adapters take advantage of the EmPower standard built into airline seating and feature a round connector.

  • Dongles. The term dongle describes a special type of adapter, a compact unit that features two connectors without a cable in between. The dongle’s body houses electronics that process the signal as it flows from one end to the other. A LAN dongle is a good example (see below). If a device requires a dongle, the dongle is usually included in the package.

Ethernet Adapters and LAN Dongles

Micro HDMI-to-VGA Adapters

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