Locating the USB 3.0 port

Tak is on vacation this week. Please look for his latest article in the next issue!


I just replaced my 6-year-old desktop with a brand new laptop I bought online. The product page said it comes with a USB 3.0 port but I can't tell which is the USB 3.0 port as they are all black USB sockets.

The telltale sign of a USB 3.0 port, the latest version of computer connectivity and faster than the previous USB 2.0 specifications (but backwards compatible), is the blue socket; earlier versions were black sockets.

Most manufacturers conform to that differentiation by color but I've seen instances where they kept using a black socket. In those cases you would try looking for an engraved label above or next to the USB port with the letters "SS" engraved to it. It stands for "Super Speed" and is another name for USB 3.0.

Since it is backwards compatible, you can plug your old USB 2.0 device into the newer USB 3.0 port and it will still work, although the speed is limited by the slower technology. The same is true in reverse; if you have a new USB 3.0 device you can plug it into an older computer but it will be limited to 2.0 speed.

Have a question for Tak about computers, software or other technology? Send it to editor@wbvobserver.com.

Tak Sato

Business and technology strategist/consultant with 25 years of experience. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and MBA from Cleveland State University.

As founder of geek with a heart consulting, "Hand-holding You in the Digital World", Tak helps Individuals, Seniors, Families, Small Businesses, and Non-Profits utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives.

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Volume 6, Issue 18, Posted 9:48 AM, 09.03.2014