Thursday, July 12, 2012
Universal Serial Bus — better known as USB — was first developed in the 1990s and encompasses the industry standard for all aspects of connecting devices to computers and other hardware. The USB Flash drive is perhaps the most well-known piece of equipment to utilize a computer's USB ports, as the devices are routinely used to store and transfer files between computers.
The equipment governed by the USB standard also includes cables, connectors and communications protocols. Beyond data transfers, USB ports can also be used as a power supply for certain devices, such as a mouse or mobile device.
History of USB
USB 1.0 was released in January 1996 after two years of development that saw contributions from some of the most well-known technology companies, including Microsoft, IBM, Intel and Compaq, among others. However, the first widely used version of the USB standard wasn't released until two years later with USB 1.1.
The original standard and version 1.1 included two transfer speeds, low and high, defined as 1.5 Mbit/s and 12 Mbit/s, respectively.
Not until 2000 was USB 2.0 widely released. By this time, the presence of USB ports on computers and devices that plugged into them were both becoming more common. And transfer speeds were 40 times faster than version 1.1 at 480 Mbit/s.
It took another eight years for version 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed, to make its debut. The first equipment leveraging the third generation of USB hit the market in early 2010. Along with higher speeds, USB 3.0 also boasts lower power consumption to complete tasks.
USB transfer speeds: Definition and considerations
The unit of measurement for USB file transfer speeds — Mbit/s, or megabits per second — defines the amount of information that can be passed from a computer to a USB device, and vice versa. While the standard versions of USB, from version 1.0 until the latest SuperSpeed release, all have base transfer speeds, there are other factors that can determine how fast data is transferred between devices.
For one, the device being connected to a computer, the amount of information being transferred, the storage capacity of a device and the overall speed capabilities of the computer being used could all have an impact.
Security remains a problem with USB
While there's little arguing with the convenience and ease of use when it comes to USB file transfers, the standard is not without fault. For example, security remains a serious concern for professionals who use USB Flash drives and other similar devices to store and transfer confidential information.
USB devices are very easily, and often, stolen or lost. When such a situation occurs, a company can face a potentially serious loss of data or a breach that could expose confidential information. USB devices also give malicious insiders the ability to download and smuggle intellectual property and trade secrets out of the company.
The cloud is a better choice for file transfer
Because of the security concerns surrounding USB, professionals would be better served to leverage file transfer services from companies like YouSendIt. By utilizing cloud computing, companies can rest assured that employees have access to a technology that is not only effective, but extremely secure as well.
To share files using the cloud, all a professional must do is upload information to the hosted platform and choose who to send files to. Security is never a problem because YouSendIt leverages enterprise-class encryption to protect files that are stored and shared online.
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