USB versions and compatability?

Discussion in 'computers, web and general tech' started by weltweit, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    I want to buy an external HDD for backups and see that current ones use USB3.

    I don't know what USB version my computer has but as it is quite old it is likely to be 1 or 2.

    Will a USB3 device still work on USB1 or USB2? Albeit perhaps slower?
  2. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Yes. All backward compatible.
  3. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    1 though? !!
  4. stdP

    stdP I never learn.

    It's been aeons since I've had a USB1 device (and TBH I'd be very surprised if anyone else did these days either given that is was almost entirely supplanted by USB2 in the early 2000's) but on paper at least they're backwards compatible. I say on paper because USB3 is only required to be backwards compatible with USB2 and it's possible USB1 might not work. Also assuming of course you've got compatible sockets/cables; most should be the ubiquitous "type A" rectangular connector (the one that can never be plugged in the right way the first time).

    If you are dealing with USB1, and I doubt you are if you're using something from this millennium, expect any file transfers to be glacially slow. Maximum throughput of 1.5MB/s meaning ~12mins to transfer a 1GB file. USB2 should be able to sustain 30MB/s.

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