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USB Charging Cable Differences? What's Fast Charging? 


The USB cable you use influences the charging speed of your device so even if you have the latest "quick" charger you might still not be charging at the fastest speed available. Outside, a lot of cables look the same but on the inside, the construction is VERY different and many cables are only designed to support slower charging speeds. It all comes down to the wire gauge, which affects it's ability to transfer data or current.
A USB cable consists of 4 wires:

  • Red - 5V
  • Black - Ground
  • White - Data
  • Green - Data
The red and black are 5V and carry the power for charging, these determine charge speed.
The amount of power your cable can carry is determined by the size of the two 5 Volt wires inside, a standard cable is 28 gauge and is capable of about .5A, this is the standard charge rate. A faster charger cable has larger internal wires (mostly 24 gauge) that can carry larger currents of 2A or more.

The relationship between gauge and total current is basic electrical physics, a wire is limited in the amount of current it can transfer therefore a larger wire can carry more current. This effect is even worse if you buy really long USB charger cables, you get a longer cable at the price of charging speed. Cable makers can make a low gauge cable cheaper than a fast one, so that is why fast charger cables are usually more expensive as the wires inside are larger. As most devices now are fast compatible, I expect to slowly see all third party cables become faster. Currently, there are mostly slow standard cables in the market so if you are ready for fast charging, be sure to check your cables are also ready for your latest device and charger.

Cables like these come in cool colors and are really long. Most of these style cables though are high gauge [thinner wire] and really slow down your charging speeds.

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