1. Alternatively referred to as a cord, connector or plug, a cable is one or more wires covered in a plastic covering that connects a computer to a power source or other device. The picture is an example of what the power cord may look like for your computer or monitor. The power cord is just one example of thousands of other cables found in and around computers.
There are two main types of computer cables, a data cable and a power cable. A data cable is a cable that provides communication between devices. For example, the data cable that connects your monitor to your computer and allows your computer to display a picture on the monitor. Other examples of data cables include the CAT5, IDE/EIDE, SATA, and USB cables. A power cable is any cable that powers the device. For example, the power cord that connects to your computer and a Molex style cable inside the computer are both good examples of power cables. Below, is a listing of the most common types of cables found with computers and electronics and examples of devices that use them.
Types of cables
- AT - Used with early keyboards
- ATA - Used with hard drives and disc drives
- CAT5 - Used with network cards
- Coaxial - Used with TV and projectors
- Composite (RCA) - Used with TV, projectors, and consoles
- DisplayPort - Used with computer monitors
- DVI - Used with monitors, projectors, and other displays
- e-SATA - Used with external drives
- Firewire (IEEE-1394) - Used with digital cameras and external drives
- HDMI - Used with monitors, projectors, DVD/Blu-ray players, and other displays
- MIDI - Used with musical keyboards and other equipment
- Mini plug - Used with headphones, microphones, speakers
- Molex - Power cable used inside your computer
- IDE/EIDE - Used with hard drives and disc drives
- Parallel - Used with printers
- PS/2 - Used with keyboards and mice
- S-Video - Used with projectors, digital cameras, and other displays
- S/PDIF - Used with DVD and surround sound.
- SATA - Used with hard drives and disc drives
- SCSI - Used with hard drives, tape drives, and disc drives
- Serial (RS-232) - Used with a mouse and Modem.
- Thunderbolt - Primarily used with Apple displays and devices
- USB - Used with keyboard, mouse, printer, MP3 players, and thousands of other devices
- VGA/SVGA - Used with monitors and projectors
2. Cable can also refer to cable TV or a cable modem that is used with cable broadband.