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How do I know if my computer has a high-speed port?

Answer: A "high-speed port" is a general term that describes a port used for connecting peripheral devices to your computer. The "high-speed" part of the term implies the port supports high data transfer speeds. While there is no official definition of what qualifies as "high-speed," a high speed port is typically fast enough to support an external hard drive.

Several types of ports qualify as high-speed ports, including USB, Firewire, eSATA, and Thunderbolt. However, a "high-speed port" most often refers to a USB 2.0 port. This is because USB 2.0 is also known as "high-speed USB" (since it can transfer data 40 times faster than USB 1.1). Also, USB is the most common type of peripheral interface. Therefore, if the documentation for an input or output device says it requires a "high-speed port," it usually refers to USB 2.0.

Important: USB 2.0 is also known as "High-Speed USB," while USB 3.0 is officially dubbed "SuperSpeed USB."

Published: July 13, 2011 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center