USB Cable vs OTG Cable

👤 Diwas Poudel    🕒 03 Oct 2022    📁 TECH

Welcome to Ourtechroom, Today, we are going to discuss a new topic on the differences between USB types and OTG cables. It is important to remember that an OTG cable is not the same as a USB-type cable and that both cables serve different purposes. Before we begin to discuss the difference between each of them, let’s know what exactly are they.

USB Cable 

A Universal Standard Bus Cable, sometimes known as a USB Cable, is used to connect various electronic devices to a computer. They make it simpler to configure connected devices and enable faster data transfer at higher speeds. 

Also read: Guide to Different USB Port Colors

The use of USB Cables is common among computers. USB Cables typically have a rectangular connector, known as a Type A USB port, which is inserted into a computer and the other end of a USB cable can have a variety of plugs, including Type B, Mini B, or Micro B USB, as well as USB Type B and USB Type C. They have a male USB port at both ends.

Why USB are called Universal Connectors?

USB is known as the Universal Connector because it can be used to connect any peripheral that has a USB port without any configuration.

In a USB Cable connection, one device must act as the Host, Server, or Master. When using a USB cable to connect your PC to other peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard, digital camera, and so on, the PC always acts as the Host device. They are in charge of making the connection.

Normal USB Cable
fig. Normal USB Cable

USB cables can be inserted and removed without turning off the computer or device. There are numerous types of USB cables available today. We have a USB Standard USB Type C cable that has a type C connector on both ends and can connect two USB Type C devices.

In this context, "peripheral" refers to things like mice, keyboards, storage devices, video and audio processors and displays, as well as cameras; however, the list is considerably longer than that.

OTG Cable 

OTG Cable is an abbreviation that stands for "On The GO Cable." It is also known as an OTG Connector or OTG Adaptor, and it was initially put into use before the end of 2001. It enables two USB devices to communicate with one another without the assistance of a personal computer or laptop.

Also read: Benefits of USB Type C

OTG Cable is frequently used in combination with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It fills the role of an adapter and makes it possible to connect certain ports to your smartphone and other devices that do not have those ports built in. For instance, if you have a hard drive and you would want to connect it with a smartphone that does not have a port, then an OTG Adapter is one choice for connecting the port of the hard drive and the port of the smartphone.

wired and wireless OTG Cable
fig. wired and wireless OTG Cable

USB OTG cables have a male Micro B USB or USB Type C port on one end and a female USB Type-A port on the other. The Micro USB Port is connected to the charging port of your phone or tablet, and the other end to peripheral devices such as a hard drive, Pendrive, digital camera, and so on.

Prior to OTG, phones, and tablets were always slaves or peripherals, while laptops were always hosts. When you connect your phone to your PC, the PC becomes the host and the phone becomes peripheral. However, with the introduction of OTG, those phones and tablets can now function as hosts when connecting those phones or tablets to peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard, or pen drive.

Also read: What is USB upstream/downstream port on monitor?

So, connecting a Micro B port to your smartphone or tablet will act as a host, and the other end of the OTG cable will be connected to a PEN Drive, Hard Drive, or Digital Camera, allowing you to read from those peripherals into your smartphone.

otg cable
fig. otg cable

The device that is attached to the end of the cable labeled "A," also known as the "A-device," serves as the default host. The device that is connected to the end of the cable labeled "B," also known as the "B-device," serves as the default peripheral. Additionally, the OTG cable internally has 5 pins in which pins 4 and 5 are connected together which alerts Android to the fact that it needs to convert the smartphone or tablet to host mode.

Users need to remain cautious when purchasing an OTG adaptor and should select one based on whether or not their phone supports the regular micro USB or USB C connection.

Also read: Difference between USB Charging Cable and Data Cable

Case Study of the OTG:

  1. One phone can be charged using USB OTG when connected to another phone.
  2. The transfer of data from mobile devices to hard drives, pen drives, card readers, and other storage devices.
  3. Hook up the Mouse to the Mobile Device
  4. Attach the Keyboard to the Mobile Device
  5. Use the mobile phone to connect both the webcam and the digital camera.

In summary, we can distinguish between USB and OTG cables as follows.

USB Cable USB OTG Cable
They typically have Type A on one end and any type, such as USB Type C or Type B, on the other. They have a micro USB or USB Type C connector on one end and a USB A connector on the other.
In general, a computer, laptop, or PC serves as the host, while the others serve as peripherals. In this case, the host is a smartphone or tablet, and the others are peripherals.
To support host mode, PCs do not require USB OTG. To support host mode, smartphones and tablets need USB OTG.
None of the Pin or wires are shorted in USB Cable. Pin 4 and 5 wires are shorted in OTG Cable
OTG Cable has both male Ports. USB Cable has one Male Port and another Female Port.


Can we charge the device using a USB OTG Cable?

Ans: USB OTG cable allows you to use the OTG capability on any device running Android or Windows while simultaneously charging those devices. You can use this cable with any device.

Do you need a special cable for OTG?

If your mobile device or tablet supports Type C connections, and your flash drive has a Type C end, then you do not need an OTG cable; you can connect the two devices directly to one another. However, as not all mobile devices and flash drives have type C, you will need an adapter or USB OTG connection in order to use your device.

What's wrong with my phone's OTG?

It's possible that your device's OTG connector or port is faulty. You can test it by connecting the OTG connector to another device and seeing if it works. If it is not working, the OTG connector appears to be defective.

Does OTG work on iPhone?

You are required to purchase a particular kind of flash drive that is solely built to be compatible with iOS devices, and you can find several of these flash drives on online shopping websites and the apple store.

Lightning USB OTG
fig. Lightning USB OTG for iOS Devices