Hardware

What does a US plug look like?

US plug
Foreign powers: US plug sockets have thin prongs

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Sometimes you write articles for your own benefit. Because here I am, in Las Vegas for the world’s biggest technology show, with a bag full of European plug adapters, having packed entirely the wrong set. So – for future me’s benefit as well as yours – what does a US plug look like and how does it differ from a European plug?

The US plug

Here’s a picture of a US plug adapter.

US plug

It has the thin prongs, unlike the circular prongs that are used by European plugs.

By the way, don’t panic if you see sparks when you put a US plug into the socket. It’s unnerving at first, as you rarely see it on UK sockets, but it’s entirely common when using a US plug socket.

The European plug

For reference, here’s what a European plug looks like:

As you can see, the prongs are more rounded than the US plug.

Hopefully, that will stop you making the same mistake I did on your foreign trips!

Now read this: What is USB-C?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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