10 Important Difference Between Firewire And USB (Tabular Form)

difference between firewire and usb
What is the difference between Firewire and USB?

Both FireWire and USB are technologies for connecting devices to a computer and transferring data quickly, but they aren’t as similar as they appear.

USB and Firewire were not created as rival technologies.

Apple‘s Firewire technology was designed to provide high-speed connections to devices that required them.

USB, which stands for Universal Serial Bus and was created by a collection of firms including Intel and Microsoft, was designed to replace the low-speed connections used by most computer peripherals.

The fundamental difference between FireWire and USB is that the former is an Apple version of the IEEE 1394 interface that permits high-speed data transmission between devices, whereas the latter is an interface that allows communication between devices and a host controller such as a personal computer.

Firewire was often known by the brand names i.LINK by Sony and Lynx by Texas Instruments.

Consumers can choose which types of devices to buy if they understand the finer points. In most situations, this means using USB ports on some devices and FireWire on others.

USB 1.1, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Gen. 1 and USB 3.1 Gen. 2 are the different USB versions based on their capabilities (speed/power) and cable. USB falls into different versions according to their speed and power capabilities and cable.

Firewire comes in a variety of standards and variants, such as Firewire 400, Firewire 800, Firewire S800T, Firewire S1600, Firewire S3200, and so on.

What Is Firewire?

FireWire is a data transmission protocol for digital devices, particularly audio and video equipment. They are also known by the name IEEE 1394 High-Performance Serial Bus. 

Because FireWire is plug-and-play, the operating system identifies new FireWire devices automatically and prompts you for the driver disc.

External hard drives and digital camcorders with high transfer rates, as well as other professional and consumer equipment, are frequently connected via FireWire. Their transfer rates can reach 800 Mbps in some cases.

It is projected that these rates will climb to 3.2 Gbps in the not-too-distant future. Additionally, hubs that use FireWire 800 can link devices that are up to 100 meters apart.

What Is USB?

A Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a standard interface that allows devices to send and receive data with a host controller, such as a computer or smartphone.

The Universal Serial Bus, or USB, is a relatively simple and effective way of delivering connectivity, and it is widely utilized than firewire.

From keyboards and mouse to music players and flash drives, USB-connected devices span a wide spectrum of applications.

It’s also possible to get electricity through the connector, which makes it even more handy to use, especially while you’re on the road.

USB is a serial data transfer protocol that permits up to 127 separate peripherals to be attached to a single port; however, this number would require the usage of a hub or hubs to be reached.

A 1.0/1.1 USB has a data transfer rate of 12 Mbps,

A 2.0 USB has a data transfer rate of 480 Mbps.

A  3.1 USB has a data transfer rate of 10 Gbps.

Difference Between Firewire And USB: Firewire VS USB

FireWire is a data transmission protocol for digital devices, particularly audio and video equipment. FunctionA Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a standard interface that allows devices to send and receive data with a host controller.

By Apple in mid-nineties
Developed ByBy IBM, Intel, and Microsoft in 1996. Indian-born Ajay Bhatt is honored for creating the USB.
4.5 meters for each cable while 16 cables can be daisy-chained.LengthFull speed devices – 5m
Low-speed devices – 3m
1 bit as it is a serial busWidth in bits1 bit as it is a serial bus
Maximum of 30VVoltageMaximum of 5V
800 megabits per second(Mbps) = Firewire 800Data throughput12 Mbps – USB 1.1
63 devices can be connected simultaneouslyNumber of devices127 devices can be connected simultaneously.
Peer to peerType of NetworkMaster – Slave
1.5AMaximum amount of current0.5A(USB 1.1)
Firewire network topology is daisy-chainNetwork topologyUSB network topology is the hub.
LessCostMore(USB 3.0)
Suitable for audio and videoApplicationSuitable for other data
MoreCircuit complexityLess


After comparison of Firewire and USB we conclude that, both of them are industry-standard interfaces for connecting electronic devices. In terms of speed, USB initially lagged behind FireWire, but with advancements like USB 3.0, it is now on pace with FireWire.

Both USB and FireWire have greatly improved the usability of computers and digital electronics. Both interfaces are hot-swappable and have a place in today’s world of networked, interoperable gadgets.

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