Google engineer warns against cheap USB Type-C cables


As a tech enthusiast who spent plenty of days messing around with computers, television sets and consoles, finding cables was never too much of a problem as they were littered everywhere in the house. One thing I have noticed over the years is that cheap and expensive cables are not always that much different but in cases that matter, forking over a few more bucks can save you a world of trouble.

Benson Leung, an engineer at Google, has put that notion to the test with the new USB Type-C cables. Leung has worked closely with this kind of technology at Google, especially via the Pixel products. According to him, USB Type-C is “an amazing little connector” but the surge of new device that support the standard has made several cheap listings pop up on websites like Amazon and eBay. Some of them are fine and work as advertised but many of them fail in the new standard and can even damage your computer.

Since there is no real USB Type-C certification program, manufacturers do not have to adhere to specific standards. The thing is that this connector transmits up to 3A of current or 50-100% more than the previous standards and the faulty USB Type-C cables are either not wired correctly or fail to identify the correct power source. This is mostly due to the fact that all new cables and connectors have to be 3A compatible but they do not have to provide support for lower 1.5A/2.4A currents, meaning that connecting a USB Type-C device and a regular USB one will most likely damage the older one. For now, all you can do is read up on reviews and only buy cables from trusted companies even if they are a bit more expensive.