In an earlier article, you mentioned that you can use a USB 1.1 cable on a
USB 2.0 device. But will the device run at the higher USB 2.0 speeds? I
recently bought a digital camera that is a USB 2.0 device and my computer has
all the USB 2.0 ports (hardware and software). However, when I look at the
cable, it looks exactly the same as the cable from my older camera (from 5
years ago and the older camera is definitely USB1.1).
The cables will most definitely look the same. That’s because the connectors
didn’t change between USB 1.1 and 2.0.
But not all cables that look the same are the same.
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I’ll cut to the chase and say that most USB 1.1 cables will work
just fine with USB 2.0 devices in typical usage, and yes, they’ll work at USB
I say “most” cables because it boils down to a quality issue. A higher
quality 1.1 cable stands a better chance of working at 2.0 speeds. What do I
mean by quality? Well, it’s nothing that’s visible, I’m afraid. It has to do
with the quality of the wires used and especially the shielding against
electrical interference. Higher speeds are more susceptible to interference and
noise – either from the outside, or from the USB signals themselves.
I also say in “typical” usage, because not all scenarios are the same
either. For example a short cable is more likely to work than a long one. If
you have an electrically noisy environment that might cause problems.
And of course the devices themselves play a big role. Some devices are more
tolerant of weak or noisy signals than others.
So there are two ways you can go:
Give it a try. Chances are things will work just fine.
Get a higher quality 2.0 cable. They’re really not that expensive.