I was today years old when I learned USB cables with on/off switches exist and I want five

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The Miyoshi Company just released a new USB 3.0 extension cable (opens in new tab) with an on/off switch (spotted by PC Watch), and I find myself going, "Wow, great idea. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?"

Well, it is a great idea, and as it turns out, someone did think of this, like, a lot of someones, years ago. 

Not only have these cables existed for ages, but you can find them for $12 (opens in new tab). Do I feel a little foolish? Absolutely! Does it change that having an off/on switch on a USB extension cable is still a good idea? Absolutely not.

So, what's the big deal about an on/off switch? Some USB devices like lights, Raspberry Pi projects, or storage devices don't have power switches. You're left constantly disconnecting those devices when you want them turned off. Just thinking about the thumb drives I've ruined and DC ports I've ruined over the years is upsetting. 

These cables do both data and power, so if you're concerned about privacy, you could plug in a webcam and just hit the switch whenever you're done. Most importantly, having these devices off is more power efficient when not in use. Say you have a smartphone and are worried about degrading the battery by overcharging it. This is a good solution for that. 

In my defense, my hardware colleague Jacob Ridley (opens in new tab) was also shocked to learn about the existence of USB switches which made me slightly less embarrassed. We both feel like men explaining how this whole 'fire thing' will be an absolute game-changer in 2022. Better late than never, I guess.  

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Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for nearly ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, and Tom's Guide.