Apple seems to be steering people further and further away from multiple ports for their new devices.
The New Macbook and the MacBook Pro have USB-C/Thunderbolt ports and look very different from Macs you may have used in the past. So let’s go over all the Mac Ports so you’ll know what adapters you may need!
USB-A and USB-B
You probably use USB-A the most. Usually, for hard drives, your iPhone, etc, USB-A is most common. USB-B you may recognize from a printer hook up. (Macbook Pros have never had a USB-B port so you won’t need an adapter for it.) If you have devices that need USB-A (thumb drives, hard drives etc.) you will need a USB-C to USB-A adapter. I’ll outline the adapters in the next blog article.
Firewire was/is much faster than USB and some believe was the key for Macs to enter the video editing market. Your older machine may have a FW 800 port or a FW 400 port so you will need an adapter. Those will be discussed below.
Thunderbolt & Mini DisplayPort (MDP) (They look the same, but they aren’t!)
Thunderbolt is the latest in the series. If you have an older Mac, you may have a mini DisplayPort on your mac. You would’ve used this to plug in an external monitor. Thunderbolt came along around 2011, and can do everything that the MDP can do, but it can also transmit data really fast! The Thunderbolt ports are more versatile, and usually used for data transfer instead of a monitor, because these later Macs also had HDMI ports to serve that purpose.
HDMI is a video and audio cable, the same one you may be using now for your TV! There’s an adapter for that.
Your older computer may have an ethernet port. This connection allowed people to hard-wire to modems and routers. This is becoming more and more rare and most connections are wireless now (wi-fi). Yep, there’s an adapter for that too!
This is an older port. This is just for video only, no audio or data transmission. You would see this on some older Macs between about 2004-2009. These adapters are harder to find these days, but they still exist! In fact, they used to come free in the box when you bought a new Mac back in the early days, imagine that!
Macs have been through many different transitions over the years.
If you need to plug something into your Mac, chances are it can be done with the right adapter. Contact us if you need help figuring out what you need!