Universal Serial Buses are a category of hardware that permits the easy addition or connection of extra serial devices into your personal computer. In Windows, USB supports are built in the Windows Driver Model Specification, or WDM, to allow compatibility and support to later developments in USB drivers.

For installation of a USB device or computer peripherals, just plug the cord of said device into the USB port of your host system. Another device known as IEEE 1394 is a similar device, but the latest version of the USB works faster than the IEEE 1394. Though both the USB devices and the IEEE 1394 devices runs on same technologies, their connections cannot be used interchangeably. This incompatibility is primarily due to the differences in size of the ports.    

Approximately, the IEEE 1394 port measures  1mm by 5mm while the USB port is 7mm by 1mm.

USB connected in the car stereo

flickr.com/bradmcmahon

USB drives may often work like hard drives, only that they are portable and can be carried around anywhere and can be plugged into different computer units.

Pen drives or flash drives  have the same general characteristics. Basic features include portability, light weight, and small sizes. There is numerous variety of brands for USB drives. They almost always perform in the same way, only differing greatly in price, functionality,  design, and other add-in features.

This kind of USB drive can be compared with other data transfer and storage media. USB drives are now available in both online and offline computer accessories stores, e-retailers and electronic distributors.

USB drives are perfect for end users who are frequently transferring data from one individual computer unit to another, or for storing files which require large memory. Also, USB drives may benefit people who regularly transport information, documents,  and digital files like digital pictures and videos.

Sometimes, USB drives are handier when compared to USB external hard drives and other forms of hard drives. Normally, the operating system does not need the configuration or the rebooting of the system before it recognizes and operates the USB drive. Mostly,  USB drives do not contain moving parts or separate components that can be damaged by being dropped or crushed.

Moreover, USB drives can store larger-sized data. Instead of the meager capacity of a 1.44 MB floppy disk, the USB drive can save as much as 2 gigabytes of memory. However, the most effective drives can have a memory capacity of 8 GB.

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