Connection of an external hard drive with USB-A connector to USB-C port

USB Type C to Micro USB Type B connection cable

You probably know this: You want to connect an external hard drive to a Mac with USB-C sockets, but the plug does not fit into the socket, as the hard drives are usually only supplied with a connection cable for a USB-A socket.

Most readers certainly know how to solve the problem with a USB-A to USB-C adapter, but I would like to suggest another solution that I discovered myself only a few weeks ago, although it is actually quite obvious .

USB 3.0 = USB A and USB 3.1 = USB C?

Brief disambiguation: There are many people who connect USB 3.0 to USB A and USB 3.1 to USB-C. However, one does not necessarily have to do with the other. While USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 refer to a transmission standard, USB A and USB C are terms that describe the plug connections (socket and plug).

So if you are looking for a "USB 3.0 to USB C connection cable", you are mixing two things that describe different areas. For this reason, the correct designation (for the cable you are probably looking for) is "USB type A to USB type C connection cable". If you want to delve a little deeper into the matter, feel free to say yourself Article on the differences between USB 3.1, USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 read.

Most will use adapter plugs to connect their old USB-A devices to the new USB-C ports. However, this solution has two serious problems.

Most Mac users will use adapter plugs to connect their old USB-A devices to the new USB-C ports. However, this solution has two serious problems.

Disadvantages of USB-C adapters

I have numerous external 2,5 inch hard drives in operation, all of which are equipped with a USB-A connector via USB 3.0. When I bought my MacBook Pro with the USB-C ports, I ordered a bunch of adapter plugs to "convert" the USB-A plug to a USB-C plug.

However, such USB-C adapters have some disadvantages that I would like to briefly list:

  • Extending the plug may cause strong leverage to act on the USB-C port, which in the long term can lead to damage.
  • By using an adapter you have an additional plug connection that can negatively affect the signal and result in transmission problems.
Many hard drives have a micro-USB type B socket that is connected to the computer with a USB cable (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Many hard drives have a micro-USB type B socket that is connected to the computer with a USB cable (photos: Sir Apfelot).

The best choice: connection cable USB type C to micro USB type B

At some point I realized that you could simply swap the entire cable between the external hard drive and the MacBook Pro. Instead of the USB-A to micro-USB type B cable, which is usually supplied with these hard drives, a USB type C to micro-USB type B cable is used.

This bypasses the problems that you may have with the use of adapters and minimizes the risk that any unnecessary plug connections have a negative impact on the transmission speed.

This cable variant is often supplied with external hard drives: USB A to Micro USB type B.

This cable variant is often supplied with external hard drives: USB A to Micro USB type B.

Which cable or which manufacturer is suitable?

I have already used a few models of the USB Type C to Micro-USB Type B cables and can report that both the models of Amazon Basics as well as that of OpenII work reliably.

A customer complains to a (otherwise only rated with 5 stars) CableCreation USB Type C to Micro-USB Type B cable a deterioration in Bluetooth and WLAN, which he attributes to inadequate shielding of the cable. I can't find anything like that on either of my models.

On the left is the USB A to micro USB B cable and on the right is the USB C to micro USB B cable.

On the left is the USB A to micro USB B cable and on the right is the USB C to micro USB B cable.

I prefer the short one (30 cm) OpenII connection cable, because I want to keep the cable clutter as minimal as possible. The Cable from Amazon Basics are only available with a length of 90 cm. Ultimately, however, it is a matter of taste what you choose. Here you can find the corresponding product boxes:

0,72 EUR
Amazon Basics - connection cable, USB type C to micro USB type B, USB 3.1, 2nd generation, 0,9 m, ...
  • For connecting USB Type-C devices (MacBook, Chromebook Pixel, Samsung Galaxy Note 7, etc.) with ...
  • The cable guarantees a reliable connection to an external hard drive, a tablet or a smartphone with ...
  • Reversible design for easy insertion of the Type-C plug into any Type-C device (it doesn't matter which ...
OpenII, USB-C to Micro-USB cable, USB 3.1 Type C to Micro B (Micro USB) for WD my PassPort HDD ...
  • USB 3.1 Type-C (USB C) to micro USB cable connects a computer with a USB Type-C port to an external ...
  • USB-C (TYPE C) is the host, connect to the new MacBook and all other host-based devices with ...
  • Micro-USB-B connector is the target device: Compatible with devices with Micro-B 3.0 such as portable external hard drives, e.g. ...

 

-
Do you like my blog? Then I would be happy to receive a short review on Google. Easy leave something here for a moment - that would be great, thank you!

 

Effectively for free: iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 deals with top conditions at Otelo - Advertisement

The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

5 comments

  1. Christoph says:

    Good idea,
    Sometimes it's the simple ideas that make the world a better place.

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Thanks to you Christoph! At first I thought there would be complaints because a contribution about such mundane topics might not be interesting. But apparently it was a good thing that I wrote it after all. : D

  2. There are no mundane topics. In the many years that I've been doing this, I have not yet found and discussed a topic that has not been and is not accessed x times.

    My grandma used to say, "Every morning a new idiot gets up."
    That is clearly a harsh but true statement. To put it mildly, one could say: Anyone who is well versed in a topic shouldn't be a shame to keep addressing the simplest matter of course. Because every day there is someone somewhere who asks exactly that and is looking for it.

    For pecuniary reasons, too, this is not uninteresting for website operators. Because especially the topic newbies like to take up purchase incentives.

  3. Tom says:

    Ordered the first-mentioned MicroUSB-USB C cable directly and leave the previously used adapter in the drawer from now on :-)
    Thanks for the article and the link.
    Greeting Tom

Leave a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * .