USB 2.0 vs USB 3.0 vs USB 3.1

Dear reader this post will help you understand the basic differences between various USB standards in use.

I always had question in my mind how do these terms differ. Following are the details that I found.

What is USB


Large circle is left end of horizontal line. The line forks into three branches ending in circle, triangle and square symbols.

                                                                                            USB Logo

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. It is an industry standard developed in the mid-1990s that defines the cables, connectors and communications protocols used for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and electronic devices.

USB was designed to standardize the connection of computer peripherals (including keyboards, pointing devices, digital cameras, printers, portable media players, disk drives and network adapters) to personal computers, both to communicate and to supply electric power.

It has become commonplace on other devices, such as smartphones, PDAs and video game consoles.  It is currently developed by the USB Implementors Forum (USB IF).

USB 2.0


USB 2.0 was released in April 2000.

It specified a data rate of 480 Mbit/s (High Speed or High Bandwidth). Due to hardware constraints effective data rate is limited to 280 Mbit/s or 35 MB/s.

USB 3.0


USB 3.0 standard was released on 12 November 2008.

It defines a SuperSpeed transfer mode of upto 5.0 Gbit/s. Due to overhead it is reasonable to consider it around 3.2 Gbit/s (0.4 GB/s or 400 MB/s). It means it is around 10 times faster than USB 2.0.

USB 3.0 provides better speed and more efficient power management than USB 2.0. USB 3.0 is backward compatible with USB 2.0 devices; however, data transfer speeds are limited to USB 2.0 levels when these devices inter-operate. USB 2.0 provides up to 500 mA whereas USB 3.0 provides up to 900 mA.

USB 3.0 uses two unidirectional data paths, one to receive data and the other to transmit while USB 2.0 can handle only one direction of data at any time.

USB 3.0 Connectors are different from USB 2.0 Connectors and the 3.0 connectors are usually colored blue on the inside in order to distinguish them from the 2.0 connectors.

USB 3.1


This standard was released on 31 July 2013.

It introduces transfer mode called SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps. It doubles the transfer rate of USB 3.0 and in actual it is around 7.2 Gbit/s. It can power any type of device.

The USB 3.1 standard is backward compatible with its predecessors USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.


I hope you have enjoyed this post and found it useful and informative. Please give your comments and ask any question if you want. Get new posts through email by subscribing on Home page.



Ahmer Faraz is an IT Executive. He blogs about Technology through his blog “”.

His aim is to provide Technology information in a simple way so that people like you can understand different Technology concepts easily and get new updates on a regular basis.


  1. Ahmer July 26, 2016
  2. Ghulam Muhammad July 25, 2016
  3. Kiersten July 24, 2016
  4. Aqsa naeem July 23, 2016
  5. boom beach hack android June 29, 2016
  6. seo June 28, 2016
  7. Warren June 14, 2016
  8. Bill April 28, 2016
    • Ahmer April 29, 2016

Please add valuable comment

Get updates

Stay ahead with essential and latest Technology Information.