Cable Connector Types: Know Different Connectors Used in (2023)

A cable cable connector allows physical connection between two devices for many different functions. These include connection of hardware devices through a PC cable, network connection through networking cable, and audio/video devices to a system via Audio/Video cable. This blog post is all about the different cable connector types to understand which cable will work for you.

Table of Contents

  • Cable Connector Terminology
      • Pitch:
  • Connectors for display cables
  • Connectors for Device Cables
      • Firewire (IEEE 1394):
  • Connectors for Audio cables
  • Cable Connector Types: Connectors for Power cables
  • Cable Connector Types: Connectors for Networking Cables
      • T-type connectors:
      • RJ-45 Connectors:
      • Cable Connector Types: Universal serial bus (USB) connectors:
  • Cable Connector Types: Connectors for ribbon cable
  • Conclusion

Cable Connector Terminology

Gender: You can plug into a connector and classify a connector as male or female based on this behavior. If it hits in, it is male and female if it is plugged into. However, sometimes, a connector may look like a female, but actually, it is male.

Polarity: Polarity refers to the orientation of the connector’s connection. Most of the connectors connect in one direction only. This feature allows you to avoid joining a connector in the wrong manner. You can call such connectors polarized or keyed.

Contact: The metal parts that establish an electrical connection are contacts. These are the working details of a connector, and if these parts get oxidized or soiled, connectors may not work correctly.


Some connectors have a series of contacts arranged in a repeated pattern. Here, pitch refers to the distance between one touch’s center and the following contact’s center. So, if you know the right pitch size, you can find suitable mating connectors.

Mating Cycles: When you connect and disconnect a connector, it wears over time. A mating cycle refers to a one-time connecting and disconnecting of a connector. All connectors come with finite mating cycles; however, their numbers vary. For example, a USB cable can have mating cycles up to tens of thousands, while board-to-board connectors in consumer electronics have mating cycles limited to 10-15. Always pick a connector with a good life for your applications.

Mount: Mount of a connector can refer to different things:

  • Firstly, how you mount the connectors like free-hanging, board mount, or panel mount.
  • Secondly, the angle of the connector with its attachment, such as straight or at a right angle.
  • Thirdly, the type of mechanical attachment like solder tab, hole, or surface mount.

Strain relief: When you connect a connector to a board or a cable, the electrical connections established are pretty fragile. Thus, it would help transfer the force to another object for a sturdy connection.

Connectors for display cables

Video Graphics Cable: You also know these old display connectors by the name of analog video connectors. Earlier, laptops and desktops used these connectors, but DVI and HDMI are now replacing them.

(Video) USB Ports, Cables, Types, & Connectors

Digital Visual Interface or DVI: a DVI connector can handle more extensive video data than a VGA cable. Before the mobile market, it was the primary video connector. However, it was not suitable for mobiles.

High-Definition Multimedia Interface: The most common cables are available in different sizes for different devices. The three common types are:

  • HDMI Type A: these full-sized HDMI are suitable for laptops and desktops
  • Mini HDMI Type C: ideal for small tablets and notebooks
  • Micro HDMI Type D: Suitable for mobile devices.

Connectors for Device Cables

Parallel: These are phased-out cables used ages ago to connect computers to printers. They were pretty sturdy cables but are now not in use.

Serial: These are similar to parallel connectors or a predecessor of USB cables.

Personal System/2 (PS/2): IBM invented these cables for their system (IBM’s line of computers). Earlier, people used them to connect keyboard and mouse. Until the USB captured the market, these were the standard cables.

Universal Serial Bus (USB): Nowadays, every device you use is a USB device, and you have to use a USB cable for these devices. These are of different types:

Cable Connector Types: Know Different Connectors Used in (1)

Image: USB connectors

  • USB 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0: these are the different versions of USB cables. With every later version, the cable supported a high data transmission rate.
  • USB 3.1 and 3.2: these cables allow fast data transfer and can handle more power to charge your device fast.
  • The USB Type-A: This is the standard USB connector that you find in every device.
  • USB Type B: These cables are square, and you can use them for printers.
  • Mini and Micro B type USB cables: you can use these cables for different mobile devices like digital cameras, smartphones, and tablets.
  • USB cables Type C: these are reversible cables used for mobile devices. You can plug them from any direction.

Firewire (IEEE 1394):

This is an early version of Apple’s USB but does not support USB devices. Though it supports several devices, this cable does not exist anymore.

The Thunderbolt: This is the successor of a firewire built with different features.

(Video) Coaxial cables and common connectors

  • Thunderbolt 1 and 2: it worked on DisplayPort technology and could connect devices and output video.
  • Thunderbolt 3: Apple’s USB Type-C port has video output abilities.

Lightning: Specially designed for Apple devices only, this one is the latest among iPad and iPhone devices.

Connectors for Audio cables

3.5mm Audio Jack: These are the most common cables you see every day. These connectors have black stripes on them. If there are two black stripes, it is a 3-pole connector, while a connector with three black lines is a 4-pole connector. This extra strip on the 4-pole connector indicates an additional microphone on headphones or earphones.

Optical Fibre Audio Cable: Fiber optic cables use light for data transmission. These cables are advantageous over copper cables because they do not create any sound, and thus you get a clean sound.

Cable Connector Types: Know Different Connectors Used in (2)

Image: fiber optic connectors

Cable Connector Types: Connectors for Power cables

Barrel Connectors: You can find them in cheap consumer electronics, which plug into the wall via an AC wall adapter. As wall adaptors are available in different power and voltage ratings, Barrel connectors have become common to connect power to small devices.

Molex connectors: Many optical drives, hard drives, and other peripheral devices receive power through Molex connectors. To be precise, it is a Molex series 8981 connector developed by the Molex company. These connectors can carry high currents up to 11 amperes per pin. Thus, for high-power needing projects like a 3D printer or a CNC machine, you can use a PC power supply and connect system circuits via these connectors.

The end of the cable has a female part that inserts into a plastic shell, surrounding the pins of a male connector. These connectors make a very tight connection and, thus, are not suitable for systems where you do frequent connecting and disconnecting.

IEC connectors: IEC connectors are IEC 603201 C14 (male) and C13 (female) connectors. These are exclusively used for AC power input.

JST connector: Developed by a Japanese company JST, the specific 2.0mm JST connector is a two-position polarized connector in the PH series. JST connectors have several advantages such as:

(Video) Network Connectors Explained

  • First, they are durable and compact.
  • Secondly, you cannot connect these connectors backward
  • Thirdly, these are tough to disconnect (may be a disadvantage for many)

Cable Connector Types: Connectors for Networking Cables

Cable Connector Types: Know Different Connectors Used in (3)

Image: network cables

Barrel connectors: Barrel connectors can be male or female. You can increase the length of a cable with these connectors. Based on the type of cables you join, barrel connectors are of two types:

Barrel connectors do not increase signal strength. Make sure that even after joining, the length of the cable should not exceed the max supporting size.

Cable Connector Types: Know Different Connectors Used in (4)

Image: coaxial cable connectors

F connectors: You need an F connector to connect a coaxial cable to any device. P people use F connectors to install home network appliances like CCTV cameras, Cable internet, or dish TV.

Terminal connectors: When an electrical signal passes through a coaxial cable through a device, it travels through the length of the line. I there is any other device at the end of the line, the device gets the signal. However, if there is no device at the other end, the signs will bounce back. You can terminate the other cable end with terminator connectors to avoid these bouncing signals.

T-type connectors:

A T connector establishes a connection point on a coaxial cable to connect to a device.

RJ-11 Connectors: These connectors are capable of six small pins. 2 or 4 pins come into use, like in telephone connections; you use only two pins, while in a DSL connection, you use four pins. T e connector’s top has a plastic flange that ensures a secure connection.

RJ-45 Connectors:

These are similar to RJ11, but these connectors have eight pins and are more extensive. You can use them with STP or UTP cables, and in some devices, only four pins are in use, while modern devices use all eight pins for high-speed data transfer.

(Video) Which Wire Connectors Should You Use?

DB-9 (RS-232) connectors: If you want to connect a device over a serial port, you need DB-9 or RS 232 connectors. With the nine pins and both genders available, these connectors help serial communication. You can connect one side with DB-9 and another side of the cable with any other connector type.

Cable Connector Types: Universal serial bus (USB) connectors:

All modern computers and devices you connect to the system have a USB port, for example, printers, network cards, keyboards, scanners, digital cameras, mobile phones, mice, and flash drives.

The USB connectors can support 127 devices in series. You can connect a USB device to a computer using different USB cables.

Straight tip (ST) connectors: Commonly used with MMF cables, you can call these connectors bayonet connectors too. A ST connector has an extended tip that pushes the connector into the terminating device. T en, it twists to lock it with its half-twist bayonet lock.

SC connectors: An SC connector pushes into a terminating device to lock itself. It would help if you pulled it back. I work on a push and a pull mechanism. Its other names are subscriber connectors, square connectors, and standard connectors.

LC connectors: LC connectors or Lucent connectors form a secure connection with a flange on its top. You can push this connector into the terminating device to connect. Remove it, press the connector’s tab, and pull it back.

MTRJ connectors: This connector has two fiber strands: a transmit and a receive strand. You can push the connector into the terminating device and remove it by pulling it back.

Cable Connector Types: Connectors for ribbon cable

IDC: IDC stands for Insulation displacement contact and is a connector that connects to an insulated cable’s conductor through a unique connection process. The process includes forcing the sharp blades through the cable insulation not to strip the conductor. Properly designed IDC connectors have connector blades that cold weld with the cable conductor. As a result, it forms a firm and tight connection. St IDC connectors are double rowed, but some are single clashed also.


With so many connectors in the market, you must know which connector type suits your application the best. Using the wrong connector can disrupt the whole connection. Still, if you have doubts, our experts can help you.

(Video) Networking Media and its type? Cables and connector


What are the types of cable connections? ›

There are three types of cable connectors: coaxial cable connectors, twisted-pair cable connectors, and fiber-optic cable connectors with the twisted pair.

Which connector is used for which type of cables? ›

RJ45 connectors are used for CAT6 cables and CAT5e cables. These connectors for twisted-pair Ethernet cables are similar in appearance to a standard telephone cord connector. They are wider, however, because they have eight conductors compared to only four conductors on a telephone jack.

What are the 4 most commonly used analog connector types? ›

Connector Types:
  1. The RCA Plug and Jack: The RCA is the most common connector type on consumer gear for composite and component video, as well as for both digital and analog audio. ...
  2. The BNC Plug and Jack: ...
  3. F-Connectors: ...
  4. The 4-pin mini-DIN Plug: ...
  5. The HD15 / mini dSub 15 / VGA connector:

What are the 3 types of cable connectors? ›

Electrical connectors are classified into three types based on their termination ends: board-to-board connectors, cable/wire-to-cable/wire connectors, and cable/wire-to-board connectors.

What are the 5 types of cable? ›

Cables are classified into 5 types depending upon their purpose as follows:
  • Ribbon Electric Cables. It consists of multiple insulated wires running parallel with one another and is used for transmission of multiple data simultaneously. ...
  • Shielded Cables. ...
  • Twisted Pair Cables. ...
  • Coaxial Cables. ...
  • Fibre Optics Cable.

What are 6 main types of connectors? ›

There are many connectors that are used in the English language.
Let's have a look at 6 common uses for connectors.
  • Sequence Connectors. ...
  • Addition Connectors. ...
  • Cause & Effect Connectors. ...
  • Contrast Connectors. ...
  • Emphasis Connectors. ...
  • Comparison Connectors.

What are examples of connectors? ›

Connectors of Example, Definition and Example Sentences Such as Such as means “like”, “as”, “for example”. Example Sentence; You can make a party such as wedding anniversary. Some fruits such as apples, oranges are very useful. For instance For instance means “Examples of something”, “for example”.

What is the most common type of connector? ›

The USB connector is the most common connector type. It's used for two things in computer networking: USB hubs and USB cables. If you have more than one USB device on your desk, a USB hub can help you connect them all without having to use several different cables.

What is the use of cable connector? ›

They can be used to join multiple conductors, to connect wires to a printed circuit board, or to terminate a cable into a plug or socket.

Where are cable connectors used? ›

Generally, cable connectors are mainly used between various transmission equipment, such as various digital program-controlled switches, signal transmission between power distribution racks, and internal connections of photoelectric transmission equipment.

How many types of cable are there? ›

Types of cable are Twisted pair cable, coaxial cable, multi conductor cable and fiber optic cable.

What are the 2 most common types of cable connectors? ›

Twisted pair cabling comes in two varieties: shielded and unshielded. Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) is the most popular and is generally the best option for school networks (See fig.

What are the 2 types of cables connect network equipment? ›

Shielded and unshielded twisted pair cables are often recognized as the common twisted pair network cable types in networking solution, which can be described as STP and UTP twisted pair cable respectively.

What are the 3 main connector types of audio? ›

There are a variety of different audio connectors available. The most common types are 3-pin XLR, RCA, and 6.5mm TRS plugs (also known as ¼" jacks).

What are the six 6 main types of cable tray? ›

There are under mentioned types of Cable Trays:
  • Ladder Type Cable Tray.
  • Solid Bottom Cable Tray.
  • Trough Cable Tray.
  • Channel Cable Tray.
  • Wire Mesh Cable Tray.
  • Single Rail Cable Tray.
Mar 4, 2021

What are the 4 types of network cables? ›

Four Types of Networking Cables:
  • Coaxial Cable. This system is rarely used. ...
  • Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cable. It is mostly used in business installations. ...
  • Fibre Optic Cable. It consists of several layers of protective materials that surround a centre glass core. ...
  • Unshielded Twisted Pair Cable.
Apr 27, 2021

What are the 3 types of connectors in English? ›

Connectors are used between two separate sentences. There are four types of conjunctions: coordinating, correlative, subordinating, and conjunctive adverbs (discussed elsewhere).

What are 4 pin connectors? ›

ATX 12V or the 4-pin CPU Connector

This is the 4-pin connector which supplies electrical current to your CPU and is mandatory to connect in the motherboard provided you are not using the EPS12V connector which is explained below. The ATX12V 4-pin connector is used by a majority of processors be it Intel or AMD.

What are the 4 network fiber connectors? ›

The common types of fiber optic connectors are LC, SC, MTP/MPO, ST, and FC. LC connector, as a main fiber optic connector, tends to be the most preferred one due to its compact size, high performance, and ease of use.

What are the 5 logical connectors? ›

The logical connectives commonly used in mathematics are negation, conjunction, disjunction, implication, and equivalence, which are fancy words for things you encounter in everyday English.

What are the 4 types of logical connectors and their examples? ›

LOGICAL CONNECTORS. Logical connectors are used to join or connect two ideas that have a particular relationship. These relationships can be: sequential (time), reason and purpose, adversative (opposition and/or unexpected result), condition.

What are connectors also called? ›

Key points : Connectors - also called conjunctive words - are words that link two similar elements in a sentence. The four categories of connector , which are explained below, are. coordinating conjunctions, such as and or or, subordinating conjunctions such as if, so that, because or while. and.

What is a standard connector? ›

Standard connectors are connectors that are freely available for use with every level of licensing within PowerApps. They are available across the entire Microsoft Power Platform, so they can be easily utilized in Power Automate and Logic Apps, as well as anything we create in PowerApps.

Why do we have different types of connectors? ›

Various types of connectors are present in the market. Some connectors outperform one another, while some are used for the same purposes. But overall, connectors are used to perform the same function, i.e. to disconnect and connect the circular path of electric current.

What are power cable connectors? ›

Power Connectors Defined. Power connectors are devices that allows an electrical current to pass through it for the exclusive purpose of providing power to a device (not a data stream, for example, or anything more complex).

How do you connect cable connectors? ›

Push the connector over the cable so the copper conductor sticks out. Hold the cable in one hand and the connector in the other. Then insert the conductor into the hold in the center of the connector. Continue pushing until the conductor sticks out just above the edge of the connector on the other side.

What is the most common network cable connector used today? ›

RJ45 interface is considered the most common twisted-pair connector for Ethernet cables and networks. "RJ" means "registered jack" — a standardized telecommunication network interface for connecting voice and data equipment to a service provided by a local exchange carrier or long-distance carrier.

What are two commonly used connectors on the coaxial cable? ›

There are two distinct connector styles; male and female. Male connectors have a protruding metal pin in the center, whereas female connectors have a receptacle to receive that pin.

What is the difference between cables and connectors? ›

Cables are often designed into devices or created with a specific end-use in mind and there is a wide variety in the types of electronics cabling. Connectors are used where wire lines need to be attached or disconnected. Just like cables, connectors are used in a lot of electronic equipment.

What kind of cable is normally used to connect common audio devices? ›

USB Cables

Whether you're listening, creating, or simply transferring data from one device to another, USB cables are some of the most ubiquitous and well-known digital audio cables in the world. You'll find them in various shapes and sizes, though USB-A and USB-B cables are two of the most common.

What type of cable is usually used to connect speakers? ›

Copper is the most widely used material for speaker cable due to its low cost and low resistance. However, copper does oxidise so it needs to be well covered and insulated.

What cable is used for audio? ›

XLR cables are used for microphones and other pro audio applications. XLR connectors are used to carry the small signals produced by microphones, and in other instances where signal integrity is important — typically professional audio environments.

What are the 7 types of cable network? ›

The following sections discuss the types of cables used in networks and other related topics.
  • Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cable.
  • Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cable.
  • Coaxial Cable.
  • Fiber Optic Cable.
  • Cable Installation Guides.
  • Wireless LANs.
  • Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cable.

What is Type A and Type B cable? ›

USB A-Type: This is the standard rectangular female port found on computers and other devices. USB B-Type: Most USB 2.0 printer cables, scanner cables and some external hard drive cables are B-type connectors. They are small and square. USB C-Type: These are the newest USB connectors on the market.

What is B type and C type cable? ›

The main thing that you need to understand is that the Type A, B or C usually refers to the physical design of the plugs and the ports, while the versions determine the functionality and the speed of the USB cable. So, in short the Type A, B and C only refers to how the cable looks.

How many main types of cable are there? ›

Types of cable are Twisted pair cable, coaxial cable, multi conductor cable and fiber optic cable.

How many main types of network cables are there? ›

Fiber optic cable, twisted pair cable, and coaxial cable are the three main types of network cables used in communication systems.

What is network cable connector? ›

Networking cables are networking hardware used to connect one network device to other network devices or to connect two or more computers to share devices such as printers or scanners.

What are Type-C cables used for? ›

With up to 100 watts, or 3 amps of power, USB-C cables can power almost anything. From laptops to large high-resolution monitors, even some printers. The 4K Ultra HD experience. USB-C cables can deliver Ultra-HD 4K video resolution to USB-C and HDMI displays.

What is A Type B connector? ›

USB Type B

Also known as USB standard B connector, the B style connector is designed for USB peripherals, such as printer, upstream port on hub, or other larger peripheral devices.

What is A Type-C cable connector? ›

USB-C is an industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power on a single cable. The USB-C connector was developed by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF)(Opens in a new window), the group of companies that has developed, certified, and shepherded the USB standard over the years.

What is Type A vs Type-C? ›

USB-A is a uni-directional input (how many times have you flipped a USB-A cable before finding the right direction to plug into your device?) while USB-C is reversible, meaning there is no right or wrong way to plug it into your device. The design isn't the only difference you will notice between USB-A and USB-C.

What is A Class C connector? ›

USB Type-C is known for being a powerful yet flexible connector. It brings multiple different capabilities to the user including its ability to bidirectionally transmit both data and video protocols at rapid speeds and support up to 100W of power using the Power Delivery (PD) protocol.


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