Before buying a cable from Taobao, you need to be sure of the type of cable your external hard disk drive uses in order to buy the correct cable you need. Below is a guide which shows you the usual types of cables external HDDs use.
The Mini-USB cable, also known as the Mini-b USB cable, is used by older versions of external hard disk drives, and usually does not support USB 3.0.
The connector of an external HDD which uses the Mini-USB cable is shown below.
Micro-B USB 3.0 Cable
The Micro-B USB 3.0 cable, or simply known as the Micro-B USB cable, is the current standard for external HDD USB cables. Used by most newer versions of external HDDs, it is designed to increase data transfer speed, and only comes in USB 3.0 flavor. The only drawback of this cable is that it isn't backward compatible with USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 ports.
The connector of an external HDD which uses the Micro-B USB 3.0 cable is shown below.
The Micro-USB cable, also known as the Micro-B USB cable, is used by some manufacturers of external HDDs, though most of this cable's usage comes from some mobile devices running the Android OS. The speed of transferring data of the Micro-USB cable is not as fast as Type-C or Micro-B USB 3.0 cables. Some game controllers, such as the Sony PlayStation Dualshock, uses the Micro-USB cable for charging and connecting to the computer.
The connector of a device which uses the Micro-USB cable is shown below.
Type-C USB Cable
The Type-C USB cable is the newest type of USB cable on the market. Used mainly by newer models of the Android devices, it has faster charging and data transfer speed. It supports USB 3.1 and USB 3.0, and is backwards compatible with older versions of the USB ports, USB 2.0 and below. The Type-C USB cable is designed such that it can be inserted either way into an external HDD or mobile device.
The connector of an external HDD which uses the Type-C USB cable is shown below.
Now that you know how to differentiate between the different USB cable types, you can easily find and purchase the right kind of cables for your external HDD.