Adapters: Make Some Important Connections
If you have any technology in your life (and since you're reading this on a screen, you definitely do), you've probably run into a situation like this before: You're happy to bring home a new computer monitor so you can watch videos and get work done on a larger screen. You unpack it, start hooking it up to your laptop – and come to a dead stop. The monitor's connector cable doesn't fit any of the ports on your laptop!
After biting back a few choice words, you come up with the solution: an adapter. A quick trip to the nearest Best Buy gets you the adapter you need and soon you're binge-watching your favourite TV show on your beautiful new monitor.
You could say adapters are basically "technology diplomats" because they allow different types of products to get along well and work together seamlessly. The next time you run into a situation where your gadgets aren't able to talk to each other, browse Best Buy's enormous selection of adapters and you'll be sure to find one that'll get the job done.
Types of Adapters
On the most basic level, adapters feature a certain type of connector or port on one end, and a different type of connector on the other end. (Some adapters are equipped with more connector types than just two.) The adapter allows the signal to be transmitted between the connectors.
You can find adapters that are a single, solid piece, with the different connector types on either end. Other adapters take the form of a cable (or multiple cables), with distinct connector types on the ends of the cable(s).
Each main product category has its own set of ports, connectors, and adapters. Here are a few of the main ones.
Video and Audio Adapters
If you're connecting a monitor to a laptop or an older gaming system to your TV, you'll probably need some sort of HDMI adapter. These adapters usually have an HDMI connector on one end and composite, component, RCA, or VGA adapter on the other end. Other common connector types include DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, DVI, S-Video, optical audio, and 3.5mm.
USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, which is an appropriate name because you can find USB ports pretty much everywhere. The USB standard itself comes in different forms, such as USB-A (or USB Type A) 2.0, USB-A 3.0, micro-USB, mini-USB, USB-B (or USB Type B), and USB-C (or USB Type C), to name the most popular ones. Since most of these connectors have different shapes, you'll need a USB adapter to bridge the connection between most of the different types of USB ports.
A few other connector types you might run into include Ethernet, Lightning, and Thunderbolt.