Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a serial bus standard to connect devices to a host computer. USB was designed to allow many peripherals to be connected using a single standardized interface socket and to improve plug and play capabilities by allowing hot swapping, i.e., by allowing devices to be connected and disconnected without rebooting the computer or turning off the device. Other convenient features include providing power to low-consumption devices, eliminating the need for an external power supply and allowing many devices to be used without requiring manufacturer specific device drivers to be installed.

USB is intended to replace many varieties of serial and parallel ports. USB can connect computer peripherals such as mice, keyboards, PDAs, gamepads and joysticks, scanners, digital cameras, printers, personal media players, flash drives, and external hard drives. For many of those devices, USB has become the standard connection method. USB was designed for personal computers, but it has become commonplace on other devices such as PDAs and video game consoles, and as a power cord between a device and an AC adapter plugged into a wall plug for charging. As of 2008, there were about 2 billion USB devices sold per year, and about 6 billion total sold till December 2008.