Adapters Bring Together the Old and the New, & That’s Good!

When it comes to connecting accessories to computers, it is not always with a USB to USB cable. Even after the invention of the USB standard, the various types of serial connectors stayed. Everything did not immediately switch to USB entirely. This is when manufacturers started to find a middle ground because they did not want their accessory to be useless (or, out of time) in a short time. So, they started making devices that could connect to a computer via its USB port while the device itself retains its serial port. They shipped their device with a USB to serial adapter.
These cables and chips are low cost. So, when you try to connect any device using these, you might face issues because, along with the cheaper hardware, there is usually also an issue of driver compatibility. As this USB to serial adapter cables are supposed to be for short term use, they are not made with future software in mind, or even more than one software (in terms of Operating System) in mind. You are less likely to upgrade your printer every two or three years, but your computer is definitely getting regular software updates, making your printer more incompatible with each update. However, a simple fix for this is always having the latest software drivers as well as firmware updates for your printer.
Another use case of USB cables is that if you want to connect something that solely connects via a serial connector then you can get a USB to serial adapter cable. This increases the lifespan of your device by making it forward compatible with a USB standard, something that is generally widely available, as the words USB standard suggest.
USB cables have evolved from carrying data slowly and only enough power for it to work, to carrying data much faster, as well as being the gold standard in fast charging.
You can plug in serial adapters into the newer devices along with the compatible software. The drivers are generally available to download and install. You have to make sure to get the right cable for your requirement before buying it.
Use Cases of a USB to Serial Adapter:
  • To set up a printer that may be older, you have to get a compatible USB to serial adapter and install drivers on your computer.
  • Get the maximum use out of your older printer using a USB to serial adapter because even if your computer or laptop may not have a serial port, it definitely has a USB port. Therefore, you can plug in your printer with this adapter.
  • Another area that will require a USB to serial adapter is when you want to connect things like barcode scanners or receipt printers to point of sale devices. Newer point-of-sale devices usually don't have a lot of I/O ports. Therefore, if they only have a single USB-C port, you can connect a USB-C hub to it, which allows you to connect a charger to it, as well as a barcode scanner, receipt printer, and a card machine to it.
With so many adapters and cables to take care of, it would make sense to upgrade all your devices to the latest USB cables. However, it is better to use adapters to the maximum value of your product rather than keep upgrading to each new technology because that only increases the hardware trash. With limited resources, that might not be the best idea to continue throwing out older devices.
Adapters can breathe fresh life into older devices and you can use them for way more time than the constantly upgrading industry wants you to.
Dongles are too bad considering they are the one keeping your devices for being obsolete too fast. Read here to know why that is.
If you found these Articles useful, here are some other articles that may be of interest.

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