How to Find High Speed USB Ports on a Computer
By Dan Ketchum
A myriad computer peripherals, from printers and cameras to MP3 players and flash drives, use universal serial bus – or USB – connections to communicate with your computer. Industry standard since 2000, High-Speed USB ports, commonly known as USB 2.0, feature data transfer speeds of up to 480 megabytes per second. Finding a USB 2.0 port is a two-step process – first, you must visually identify the port, and then find out whether or not it is a High-Speed port using device management tools on your computer's operating system.
Examine your computer's casing for a USB port or ports. Most desktops feature USB ports on the front or rear of the tower, while laptops tend to feature them on either side of the keyboard or on the rear of the device. These thin, rectangular ports measure about a centimeter wide. If you look closely, you'll see two prongs on the bottom and another thin rectangle in the middle. Many High-Speed USB ports feature the USB symbol, a trident-like icon with three prongs protruding from a circle; the top or left prong ends with a circle, the middle ends with a triangle, and the bottom or right prong ends with a square.
Find out if your USB ports are High-Speed once you've physically located them on the computer. If you're running Windows 7 or Vista, access the “Start” menu, right-click on “Computer” and select “Manage” to bring up the Computer Management window.
Click on “Device Manager,” located in the left-hand column of the Computer Management window. From here, double-click “Universal Serial Bus controllers,” which drops down a list of your computer's USB ports. Any ports labeled “Enhanced” or “High-Speed” are High-Speed USB ports.
USB Implementers Forum, Inc.: Hi-Speed FAQ
Intel: Intel Universal Serial Bus (USB) Frequently Asked Questions
Gizmodo: The Secret Histories of Those @#$%ing Computer Symbols
Apple Support: Archived – Microsoft Windows: Identifying USB 2.0 Ports on Your Computer
USB Implementers Forum, Inc.: SuperSpeed USB from the USB-IF
USB 3.0, or SuperSpeed USB, inputs feature blue ports and have a double "S" on the USB trident logo. SuperSpeed USB ports still work with High-Speed USB devices.
Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.