Nearly every gadget in your home has to be connected to something else via a cable to carry the audio, video, data or Internet information. Which cable connects which devices can be confusing, however. Here's a primer on the 10 most important cables you should be familiar with.
Essentially the HDMI for computers, USB (Universal Serial Bus) also carries digital audio, video and data signals and connects all devices – printers, smartphones, camcorders, external hard or solid state drives, external Blu-ray and DVD players flash/thumb drives – to a computer. USB can be daisy-chained – one USB input jack on your PC can recognize up to 127 separate USB connections at a time. Some low-powered devices can be powered by their USB connection, but others – such as a USB hub, which provides multiple USB input jacks into a single USB connection on your PC – often require separate AC power. For low-power devices, data can travel over a USB cable effectively for around 15 feet; for USB devices requiring AC power, keep the cable shorter than 10 feet.