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What is a USB?

A USB is a type of connection used by a wide variety of computer peripherals, from keyboards and mice to MP3 players and digital cameras. USB ports are standard on all modern PCs, including both Windows and Basic Knowledge of Macs.

USB ports and cables are always labeled with the universal USB logo. These ports can be found in the following locations on Carleton lab machines:

    • On all computers, USB ports can be found on the back of the machine. These ports are generally the most reliable. Some USB devices may complain of insufficient power when plugged in to other ports.
    • Current Dell monitors have USB ports on their left side. These will function as long as the monitor itself has a USB connection to the computer. If a monitor does not have such a connection, contact the ITS Helpdesk so that a new USB connection can be installed.
    • All Mac monitors, similarly, have USB ports on the back of the monitor, toward the right side.
    • Mac keyboards also have USB connections. Because Mac keyboards connect to the computer via USB, these ports should always work. They are located on the sides of older Mac keyboards, and on the back of newer Mac keyboards.

Types of USB

There are multiple versions of USB, with USB 2.0 being the newest. All computers made in recent years have USB 2.0 ports. Although older USB ports look the same, USB 2.0 ports and cables are faster, and some devices require them.

USB Storage Devices

Many removable storage devices use USB to connect to the computer. For more information, see Basic Knowledge of Thumb drives.