Guide to Buying Lightning Cables and Adapters

Guide to Buying Lightning Cables and Adapters

We live in an extremely mobile world and chances are that you have one or more mobile/tech devices, ranging from your portable hard drive, to your iPhone or iPad, Bluetooth speaker, or Android phone, amongst others. One similar feature about all these devices is that you will be needing cables – whether it the Lightning cable for iDevices or Micro-USB for other devices. If you are anything like me, you will need multiple cables for your iDevices – I shuffle my bedroom, to my sitting, and my car, and trust me, I hate carrying cables around. It will be better and in my opinion safer having a device for each location. The problem with this is that there are a lot of identical products that cuts across a variety of prices. I never knew there were several brands and models – I literally thought all cables were the same, until I got my fingers burnt buying fakes. Possible questions that come to mind if you intend buying a Lightning cable or adapter includes; where can I find cheap Lightning cables, best Lightning cables, best Lightning adapters, and so on. Whether you are looking to replace a busted original cable, get longer or shorter cables than the original, as your needs demand, or having a few extras just like me, this guide will help you in your search.

But first, let’s do some history and a bit of science…

What is Lightning Cable?

The Lightning cable/connector, otherwise known as interface cable was introduced in 2012 by Apple, with the aim of replacing their 30-pin dock connector. It is an 8-pin connector that has digital signal. The idea was that all new hardware will use the Lighting cable, starting with the iPhone 5, iPod Touch, iPod Nano (7th generation), and iPad (4th generation). Now what makes the Lightning cable so special?

The first highlight is that the Lightning cable comes off as totally reversible, meaning it can be inserted face up or down; a feature that isn’t available on the 30-pin connector. Additionally, the cable is smaller, more durable, and smarter.

Just like the old me, even though these cables look the same they can vary dramatically; from charging speed to durability. It is important to note that because Lightning cables were made for relatively newer iDevices, you will be needing adapters if you were to connect an older device. Apple offers a range of adapters such as USB cable, 30-pin Adapter cable, VGA, HDMI, and SD cards.

Buying Lightning Cables – What to look out for

Although Apple warns against counterfeit and uncertified Lightning accessory, you don’t necessary have to run off to an Apple store to buy a new or extra cable if the original gets damaged. What you should be looking out for is cheaper and genuine products that can still do the work, flawlessly – yeah, we all know original Apple products can be expensive.

So what should you look out for when buying a cable or adapter?

  1. Compatibility: This may sound hilarious, but you don’t want to go buying a cable that doesn’t work with your device. Ensure that the lightning cable works with your device.
  2. Cord Length: You want to make sure that your cable is long enough to be useful wherever you intend using it – car, home, office, etc. You don’t want to stay too close to the charging switched because your cable is too short and you need to use your phone. Get a longer cord, buddy! The idea is to get a cord that won’t be annoying or a potential hazard.
  3. Certification: Since the idea is to go for cheaper products without sacrificing quality, this may not be a particular superb tip. However, there are a lot of third party companies that make good cables. Finding a certified lightning cable that work for your particular device is more of an assurance. 
  4. Durability: This is particularly helpful if you have the opportunity of inspecting the cable before purchase. It is not unusual to see wires on some cables fray and become exposed quickly. This is both a performance and safety issue. Hence, when buying a cable inspect the thickness and flexibility of the outer protective covering. The thicker the better.
  5. Reviews: Chances are that you won’t be hitting a store to buy a cable when you could just order it from your room. However, this increases the possibility of buying a fake. So as a check, always read reviews before purchasing a cable or adapter. Users often review the speed of charging and syncing, as well as the durability of these cables, and you should be on the lookout.

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