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Is A USB-C Cable Capable Of Transferring Video Files?

A USB-C cable is an incredible upgrade to the classic USB cable that’s become such an essential part of how we use phones, tablets, and laptops. As time goes on, the USB-C cable will support more and more devices, and it might someday even completely replace the Lightning connector that comes with iPads and iPhones. But is the USB-C capable of transferring video files?

A USB-C cable is only a connector; the ability to transfer video files depends on the specifications of the USB-C port on your device. If your device’s USB-C port supports Intel’s Thunderbolt 3.0 or DisplayPort/HDMI Alternate port, then you can transfer video files with your USB-C 3.0 cable. 

The USB-C cable is undoubtedly an excellent interface, but it can’t do everything. Let’s look at what a USB-C cable exactly does and whether it can transfer video files. We’ll also look at the best cables available today, so that you can find the one that best suits your needs. 

What Is the Purpose of a USB-C Cable?

Large power bank with USB type-c cable and plug

The USB Type-C, or USB-C, cable is slowly becoming the standard USB connector for transferring power and data to and from an incredibly wide range of computing devices. 

Thanks to its symmetrical design, you can insert the cable from either end, completely eliminating the frustrating process of finding the right orientation before connecting a cable.

It’s also more powerful and easier to use than older USB types; it can quickly charge several popular devices, including the Nintendo Switch (on Amazon) and the MacBook Pro (also on Amazon)

The cable is closely linked to many powerful new technologies as well, including USB Power Delivery and Thunderbolt, both of which have the potential to completely change the way we think about our devices and the way we work on the road, at the office, and at home. 

Can a USB-C Cable Transfer Video Files?

It’s important to note that a USB-C cable is only a connector, so the answer to this question depends on the specifications of the USB-C port on your device. Not all USB-C ports support the transfer of video files, so make you check your device’s specifications.

Keep in mind that all Type-C ports can handle USB data transfers, but you can’t guarantee the transfer of anything else. In fact, it’s possible for Type-C ports to only support USB 2.0, though USB 3.1 is more commonly implemented. 

However, the good news is that most newer desktops and laptops are designed with USB-C ports that support Intel’s Thunderbolt 3 technology, theoretically allowing you to achieve data transfer speeds of 40Gbps. 

So, if your device has a USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3.0 or DisplayPort/HDMI Alternate mode, then you can transfer video files with a USB-C cable. 

What Are the Benefits of a USB-C Cable? 

While the specifications for a USB-C cable were first released in 2014, it’s only in the last couple of years that this technology has really caught on and evolved. The cable has several benefits over older USB types, including the following:

  • The USB-C is a smaller, reversible physical connector.
  • The USB-C connector is compatible with almost all newer devices, so you won’t need to keep a ton of different USB cables for all your different devices.
  • Some USB-C cables support USB PD, which increases power delivery up to 100 watts and allows you to even charge a laptop.
  • USB-C cables are bi-directional, so devices can both receive and send power.
  • Type-C cables are extremely durable and can withstand up to 10,000 removal and insertion cycles. 

What Are the Limitations of USB-C Cables?

It’s important to note that not all USB-C cables are the same. In fact, each cable is built on a different Universal Serial Bus (USB) specification, which can make things a bit confusing. Most Type-C cables support 2.0, while only a few of them support 3.1 or 3.0, so make sure you read the specifications carefully.

Also, keep in mind that all USB-C cables and devices don’t support USB PD. So, when you purchase a cable, make sure it supports both USB PD and USB-C. 

What Are the Best USB-C Video Cables?

White USB-C to USB-C cable

Not all USB-C cables can be plugged into a monitor to display images, but here are some of the best ones that can: 

Cable Matters USB-C Video Cable

The Cable Matters USB-C cable (on Amazon) offers the perfect balance of quality, length, and price. While it only has a data transfer speed of 5GB/s, it can still smoothly handle 4K at 60Hz, as long as you don’t try to use multiple 4K monitors. 

The cable has a length of six feet, so you have enough wiggle room to connect your device to your display. 

Anker USB-C Video Cable 

Anker has always produced high-quality cables, and the USB-C video cable (on Amazon) is no exception. Boasting a data transfer speed of 40GB/s, this cable will work with multiple 4K monitors and can even handle 8K monitors. However, it’s a bit short — it only measures 2.3 feet in length.   

Rampow USB-C Video Cable

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a cable, the Rampow USB-C Video Cable (on Amazon) offers some impressive features at a low price. 

The cable transfers data at 20GB/s and can easily handle 4K images on multiple displays. It’s available in lengths of both 6.6 and 3.3 feet and is braided for an extra level of durability as well.