This topic is in my opinion vital to the use of computers. Here I will touch upon the most common connectors and cables used with a computer.


First up we have the vga connector and cord. This is the connection you will use for standard definition output to a computer monitor. That monitor isn’t going to just show what the computer wants through thin air! At least not yet! You would connect a vga cord from the back of the computer to the back of the monitor allowing the computer to send the appropriate signals to the monitor to show you what it wants.

This a less commonly used connection for a monitor, it allows more signals to be sent to the monitor for a better looking experience. Not all monitors or computers have it, so if you want it, you have to make sure that both your motherboard/graphics card and your monitor have it.

This has become the most popular way to transmit high definition data from the computer to the monitor. You probably have heard this word bounce around before and never understood whay exactly it is or does. Well all it is, is a standardized cable and connector. That’s about it. It’s important though because it’s one of the few that can carry high definition video through it. It’s ease of use and widespread adoption has made it an integral connection for those that want to take advantage of a monitor that supports high definition. Like the DVI connector, HDMI does not come on every monitor and motherboard/graphics card.

Universal Serial Bus (USB)—->

By far the most interesting connector, USB is prevalent in all electronics now. USB was the answer to make a standardised cable for everything that connects to a computer. Of course they probably didn’t think it would be as widespread as it is. In the picture to the right you’ll see the 4 major types of USB,

Far left = Micro USB, Second to left = Mini USB, third to left = Type B, fourth to left = just the female end of a Type A, last on the right = Most common Type A(you can call it USB)

USB has now taken over most other connectors for connecting keyboards, mice, external hard drives, phones, the list goes on. It successfully has killed most connectors people were familiar with in the past, like rs232 and parallel ports, you won’t even find them on most computers now. Because of it’s use in everything nowadays you will inevitably become very familiar with USB if you aren’t already.


Ethernet connections are the norm for connecting a computer to a network. You may not use one on a laptop thanks to wifi, but they usually are included anyway just in case. They may look similar to a telephone cable, but don’t be fooled, these bad boys can carry far more data at greater speeds than your old telephone cable ever could. Become very familiar with Ethernet because until the use of Fiber Optics in residential networks become reality, this will be your best friend for a completely networked home. In the upcoming networking topic we’ll cover more about the different types of Ethernet cables and their respected uses.


Extra Content

Descriptions of other cables and connections


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