A cable may refer to any of the following:
1. Alternatively called a cord, connector or plug, a cable is one or more wires covered in plastic that transmit power or data between devices or locations. The picture shows what the U.S. power cord may look like for your computer or monitor. The power cord is one example of thousands of other cables found in and around computers.
There are two main types of computer cables, a data cable (interface cable) and a power cable. A data cable is a cable that provides communication between devices. For example, the data cable (i.e., DVI, HDMI, or VGA) that connects your monitor to your computer allow it to display a picture on the monitor. Other popular 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 examples of power cables.
USB cables can act as a power and an interface cable. For example, plugging your smartphone into your computer lets you transfer information to and from the phone and also charges it at the same time.
Examples of computer-related cables
Below, is a listing of the most common types of cables found with computers and electronics and examples of devices that use them.
- AT (advanced technology) - Used with early keyboards.
- ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment) - Used with hard drives and disc drives.
- Cat 5 - Used with network cards.
- Coaxial - Used with TV and projectors.
- Composite - Used with TV, projectors, and consoles. Also known as RCA cables.
- DisplayPort - Used with computer monitors.
- DVI (digital visual interface) - Used with monitors, projectors, and other displays.
- eSATA - Used with external drives.
- Firewire (IEEE-1394) - Used with digital cameras and external drives.
- HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) - Used with monitors, projectors, DVD/Blu-ray players, and other displays.
- MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) - 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 (digital versatile disc) and surround sound.
- SATA (Serial AT Attachment) - Used with hard drives and disc drives.
- SCSI (small computer system interface) - 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 used with cable broadband.