Data line

Updated: 12/10/2023 by Computer Hope

A data line may refer to any of the following:

1. With a cable or wire, a data line, data cable, interface cable, or data cord is a cable used to transmit data between two points. For example, a network cable is considered a data line.


Many devices connected to your computer have two cables: one that communicates with the computer (data) and the power cable that supplies the device with electricity.

Examples of data cables

There are many different types of data cables that connect to a computer. Here are some examples:

Are data cables internal or external?

Data cables can be internal or external. In most situations, if the device is internal, it has an internal power and data cable. If the device is external, it has an external data cable that connects to the computer and a power cable.

How do I connect a data cable?

Today, most data cables are designed to connect to a port with little or no force. Realize some cables can only connect in one direction, which means you may need to look at the shape of the cable connector and the port to ensure it's properly aligned. For more specific information about connecting a data cable, use our search to find the cable you're attempting to connect.

How do I know if a data cable is connected correctly?

Today, almost all data cables are keyed, meaning they can only be pushed into the device properly. In other words, if you've plugged any data cable into a port on a computer or other device with little or no force, it's connected correctly.

Are all cables data cables?

No. Data cables often only allow data to be transferred to and from computers or other similar electronics. All other cables are power cables, which supply electricity to devices.


Some cables, like a USB cable, are designed to transfer data and power.

2. With computer microchips, a data line is an electrical line or circuit that carries data and determines whether a bit represents a 0 or 1.

Cable, CPU terms, Network terms