How to Pick a Good USB-C Cable for Your Gadgets

It’s the cleverest form of connectivity yet, but here’s what you need to know.

The USB-C connection could be the connection that the tech world has been waiting for. This clever port not only allows you to charge a device, but also to connect other tech to that device. And, crucially it’s small enough that it can be used on even the slimmest laptop or mobile. But while that means that if all your devices are USB compliant, one cable will theoretically do it all, in reality there are still a few things worth bearing in mind.

Multiple Power Options

This multi-pack includes tangle-free, high-strength wires of different lengths for a hassle free home, and power where you need it. AIOXQNL

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Think about where you most commonly need power, where your outlets are and pick your cable accordingly. If you always plug your phone in to charge on your night stand, which is right next to a socket, you probably only want a short cable, as a longer one will just be a trip hazard, a dust collector or both. But if you like to lounge on the sofa with your tablet, and that means you’re six feet or more from the nearest outlet, you’re going to want to look for something longer.

Swift, Strong Power Supply

Durable, flexible and tangle-free. Six different hues let you contrast or coordinate with your device. JSAUX

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The weakest point of a cable is where the wire meets the section that actually plugs into a device or charger. That’s where it’s most likely to get bent, resulting in it becoming frayed and damaged. This is more of a problem if you regularly put the cable under strain, or carry it around with you. If that’s the case, it’s worth checking whether there’s any additional protection built in there, and whether the company guarantees the product with a certain number of bend tests—effectively stress tests to prove the cable’s longevity.

Speedy Data Transfer

This pair is tested up to hold a maximum load of 11 pounds and will charge devices quickly. AINOPE

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Check to see how much charging current your cable can handle. If you’re hoping to fast-charge a device, not only will your device have to be capable of fast-charging, but both the cable that you use to deliver power and the power block will have to have a certain amount of current capacity. In the case of USB-C cables, 2.4A is standard, while 3.1A should allow fast charging.