USB-C

There's a new port making its way to phones and laptops this year.

For years now, nearly every smartphone and smartphone accessory on the planet has used a similar port for power. It's called microUSB, and while it did wonders for creating a unifying standard that basically meant nearly everyone's charger was the same, this year we're going to see the rise of a new standard. It's not going to be quick, and it's not going to be universal at first, but this new plug at the end of your charging cable is the start of a whole new kind of universal port.

It's called USB-C, and whether you're already using the port or you're looking at buying something that uses this port, there's a few things you should know.

USB-C is much more than a charging port for your phone. Long term, this port is going to replace multiple kinds of USB ports. This oval port will replace the rectangular USB port you see on the side of your PC, the angular port you see at the bottom of your phone, and in some cases even the power port and display port for things like laptops and small monitors. This single port is built to make it possible for one cable to connect just about anything to do with your phone and your PC, but it's going to take a long time before you truly only need one cable.

There's a lot to know about using USB-C right now, including some dangers associated with manufacturers selling cables and adapters that don't work quite the way they should, but there are a ton of positive benefits to using this new port. To help explain this point a little better, we've assembled this handy infographic to tell you just about everything you need to know about making the jump to USB-C. Enjoy!

USB-C