USB C vs Thunderbolt - What are the differences? | One PC Panda

USB C vs Thunderbolt

The two most common types of ports currently being used in computers are USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. While they might seem similar at first glance, there are important differences that set them apart from each other, both in terms of their functionality and cost. Let’s take a look at the key differences between these two kinds of ports.


USB-C is a new type of connector that’s smaller than existing USB Type-A connectors. (In case you haven’t noticed, USB Type-A ports look like little rectangular prongs.) You might have heard some people refer to it as a thunderbolt port, but that’s incorrect. Unlike Thunderbolt 3, which also has reversible connectors, USB-C is symmetrical and supports both charging and data transfer over one cable connection. Because of its shape, it can only be inserted in one direction into your laptop or phone—no more prying it out with your fingernails if you accidentally push in at an angle! USB C ports are increasingly common on high-end electronics.

Advantages of USB C

USB-C is a new kind of port that allows you to use your computer's power, transfer data and connect to multiple peripherals. USB-C is a reversible connector that can be plugged in either way up, so it reduces accidents. This port gives you greater flexibility when connecting peripherals such as external hard drives or monitors because you can plug it into any orientation—even upside down!

Disadvantages of USB C

USB-C is still fairly new, meaning it's difficult to find compatible products. While Apple has helped push for widespread USB-C adoption with its flagship MacBook, other brands haven't yet followed suit. If you don't have a compatible device or computer, you can only use USB-C peripherals and cables when connected to a USB-C port. For example, if you plug your smartphone into a non-compatible computer using a USB-C cable, nothing will happen. Also, many manufacturers provide adapters to help you connect a standard USB-1 product to a USB-C port. However, these adapters take up space in your bag that could otherwise be filled by another accessory like earbuds.

Thunderbolt Ports

Thunderbolt 3 brings some exciting new changes to USB-C ports. It provides a 40 Gb/s transfer rate, enough bandwidth to support 4K video. But what's most impressive is that Thunderbolt 3 can provide 100 watts of power over USB-C. This makes it possible for your laptop to charge another device, such as a smartphone or tablet, using its own battery instead of needing an additional wall outlet. One other feature unique to Thunderbolt 3 is reversible connectivity; there’s no longer any guesswork about which way you should plug in a cable.

Advantages of Thunderbolt Ports

Where USB 3.0 and FireWire 400 excel at being dedicated interfaces, Thunderbolt has built-in capability to connect to a wide variety of peripherals and media. This means users can plug in any combination of video inputs and outputs—DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI or VGA—and still access data on connected hard drives or flash drives. It also means that users can daisy chain compatible devices together for convenient portability, such as using an Apple portable display with a MacBook Pro laptop by connecting both with one cable. Thunderbolt supports faster speeds as well; it’s up to four times faster than USB 3.0 and 20 times faster than FireWire 800 when transferring information between computers over short distances—it’s also backwards compatible with both technologies if you have older devices you want to connect.

Disadvantages of Thunderbolt Ports

These ports offer incredible data speeds and large bandwidth to support multiple high-resolution monitors, however, they aren’t available on every computer yet. Although they can be used on PCs, many computers still use USB 3.0 or 2.0 and lack support for Thunderbolt. Users who want to transfer data between two Macs will also need an adapter—Thunderbolt cables can only connect other computers with a Thunderbolt port.


Both of these ports have their own advantages, and neither is better than the other. If you’re not sure what type of port to use in your next device, there are three things to consider: speed, charging, and compatibility. Start by thinking about how quickly you need to transfer data between devices—and then choose a port that can keep up with your pace.


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