A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding What Popular Cables Do


If you just bought a new desktop computer for your office or home office, along with all the bells and whistles such as a printer, a wireless router and a couple of large computer screens, you might end up having a lot of cords and cables on your hand. Just the power cords alone will end up filling 1-2 large outlets, and items like a wired microphone or sound system will also require their own specific cords.

First you have to understand that each type of cord that goes in or out of your computer and screens has its own voltage specifications. The ones you really have to worry about are the power cables, which are typically thicker and have larger plugs that go into regular power sockets, similarly to any appliances.

Next, you also have cables that connect audio and video devices like amplifiers, computer screens and cameras. Typically, these include a VGA cable for screens, regular thin cables with jacks for your audio systems and HDMI or SCART cables that connect your video board to additional screens or smart TV sets.

Finally, you have USB cables which can connect just about anything from wired keyboards and mice to printers and USB hubs for your storage devices. And lastly, there are also special cables such as old school mouse and keyboard cables as well as old LPT (Line Printer Terminal) cables that older printers used to have. These last ones are less common, but they are still worth reading about, if you ever plan on interfacing older devices with your new computer system.