Buying Guide for USB Extension Cables
Why buy a USB extension cable?
Everyone has USB-compatible devices they can’t live without. From digital cameras to VR headsets and even your cat’s favorite laser toy, USB 3.0 technology has made it so many devices can benefit from a USB connection. However, there may be times when your average USB cable leaves something to be desired in terms of length. A high-quality USB extension cable is exactly what you need to get more use from your USB devices so they can be utilized from a distance. We made this guide to showcase the best USB extension cables on the market so that you can find a product perfect for your unique application.
What should you look for in a USB extension cable?
- Connection Quality: There is a world of difference between USB 2.0 and 3.0 technology, and knowing the difference can save you a massive headache. USB 3.0 cables offer a data transfer rate of 5 Gbps, which is 10 times faster than USB 2.0. Thus, if your PC or devices are USB 3.0 compatible, you will not regret investing in a USB 3.0 extension cable.
- Length: Naturally, you will want to ensure your USB extension cable is long enough for your unique applications. However, be aware that USB 3.0 technology is only suitable for passive (non-powered) cables up to 10 feet for data transfer speeds to be at their best. Don’t worry; if you’re looking for an extra-long cable for your VR headset or other devices, seek an active USB 3.0 cable with a signal booster to ensure a flawless experience.
- Durability: In terms of durability, there are several key components to keep an eye out for. Corrosion-resistant conductors and gold (or silver) plated connectors are good indicators that you are looking at a high-quality product. Additionally, a reinforced joint will ensure a longer lifespan for your USB extension cable as it will be more resistant to pulling and dragging.
What is an alternative solution that solves cable length problems?
One alternative is to purchase a longer USB cable. However, finding a proper USB cable that accommodates the correct port for your device can be challenging. Since an extension cable extends the USB end of your cord, you can simply use your existing cord and attach the extender to its respective end.
Our Picks for the Best USB Extension Cables
AINOPE USB 3.0 Extension Cable Type A Male to Female
This cable features nylon-braided material for increased durability, as well as strong charging and data transmission speeds.
Pros: This USB extension cable is a durable one, offering reinforced braided material for joint stability, anti-tangling, and overall protection. It’s made with layers of corrosion-resistant and gold-plated connectors for ultimate sturdiness. It comes in lengths from 3.3 to up to 20 feet, so you can choose from multiple sizes to fit your needs. Thanks to its USB 3.0 port, you’ll also use added data transmission speeds. The included sticky buckles help keep the cables organized and tidy as well.
Cons: Its tough exterior can also be a downside. It’s not as flexible as traditional cables, so wrapping this cord around obstructing furniture is slightly more difficult.
Bottom Line: If you’re on the hunt for a no-fuss cable extension cord, look no further. It’s an efficient, long-lasting option that provides lightning-fast charging and data syncing.
MutecPower Active USB Extension Cable 3.0 Male to Female
This active USB cable allows for stronger connection quality at long distances.
Pros: This USB 3.0 extension cable is available in multiple lengths from 16 to 100 feet. You’ll enjoy transmission speeds of 5 gigabits per second, dual-bus backward compatibility, and treaded connectors for ergonomics. Gold-plated and copper connectors and braided shielding combine to provide high-quality performance.
Cons: The connectors may need to be unplugged and re-plugged to gain a connection.
Bottom Line: If you don’t mind the slight possibility of having to fiddle with the cable’s connectors for some peripheral devices, this is a great cable to own. It meets all the standards from low speed to super speed.
Amazon Basics USB 2.0 Extension Cable
This extension cable resists corrosion and reduces interference for the best connection possible.
Pros: This is a USB 2.0 extension cable that provides clarity through its toughness. Its connectors are corrosion-resistant, gold-plated, and shielded to provide the best protection against interference and signal noise. With an extra 6.5 feet, you can extend the connection to your computer with your camera, printer, keyboard—among other devices.
Cons: Be aware that this is a USB 2.0 cable: for peripherals that transmit data at a pace of a USB 3.0, the 2.0 cable won’t transfer data at its top speed.
Bottom Line: All in all, it’s a strong cable that will execute. But if you’re looking to transmit data at a USB 3.0 speed, you may want to look elsewhere.
AINOPE USB 3.0 Extension Cable Two-Pack
Double your extension cable value with this two-pack set of reinforced USB 3.0 cords.
Pros: You’ll get great value from this two-pack set of extension cables. The USB 3.0 cables are extremely reinforced to prevent wear and tear. The connectors are made of an aluminum alloy that prevents corrosion and interference, and they come with sticky buckles to keep them untangled and orderly.
Cons: There seem to be issues with power flow and cable lengths. With longer USB extension cords, you may experience a delay or no power when connecting to a powered device.
Bottom Line: This is an excellent option if you have more than one peripheral device to which you need to connect. Having an extra isn’t the only benefit: these cables are quick, durable, and ultra-compatible.
VCZHS USB 3.0 Extension Cable
This extension cable provides one of the longest length options for those who need the extra footage.
Pros: This USB 3.0 cable is a high-speed cord with strong conductors and shielding. Made with gold-plated connectors, you’ll surely have ultimate durability and protection. It works wonders for any peripheral device, like Oculus VR, gaming consoles, keyboard, and mouse.
Cons: Its long length is a benefit but also may be a cost. For some lengths, the cable exceeds the signal transmission limitation and consequently provides a less-than-stellar signal from device to device.
Bottom Line: If there’s a considerable distance between your two devices, a long cable like this one will undoubtedly help. Its minimal white design makes it inconspicuous and creates a clean look wherever you need it.
No more straining to get your cables to connect. USB cable extension cords are an excellent way to take care of those out-of-reach devices and bring them back to one another. This guide is a great place to start if you’re on the hunt for one of these.