Definition of Computer Cables

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Computers are all about connectivity and are loaded with cables--both internally and externally--that allow data to be exchanged between the computer's components and peripherals.

Power Cable

Desktop computers typically use a universal power cord for power, while laptops use power adapters, often made to the specifications of the manufacture.


VGA and DVI cables use a series of pins to transfer video signals between devices, such as a monitor and the computer. VGA is analog, and DVI is digital.


IDE and SATA cables transfer data between the computer's internal components and the motherboard. The cables are pretty much the same as far as speed is concerned.

USB and FireWire

USB and FireWire cables allow peripherals to connect to your computer and transfer data at high speeds. FireWire cables can send and receive data at the same time, while USB cables cannot.


Ethernet cables are used to join two network devices. The cable contains four thin wires that allow data to be transferred at high speeds between the devices in the form of a series of electrical pulses.

references & resources