Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Adapter and Converter

Adapter vs Converter

Due to the wide number of standards in use today, not everything fits into everything. In order to make our gadgets work when the available options are not compatible, we need to have devices that act as an interface and allows for compatibility. An adapter is basically a device which takes one shape of input and has a differently shaped output. A good example would be an adapter for the power plug. Some plugs and outlets have flat prongs while others round ones. An adapter can take round prongs and have flat ones or the other way around. If you have a microSD memory card but your laptop’s card reader can only accept SD cards, you can use a microSD to SD adapter to make it work.

Converters on the other hand have nothing to do with the shape of the connector but more with the type of energy that flows through it. Probably the most popular converters are voltage converters. There are two current standards for power lines, 220 volts and 110 volts. Since most devices can only use one of them, you can use a voltage converter to either step the voltage up or down. There are also USB-SATA converters that let you connect a hard disk drive as if it were a flash drive.

Due to the complexity of converters and the simplicity of adapters, expect to find a huge price margin between the two. Converters have a lot more components in them that are used to change the electricity that is going through them. Adapters do not have anything special in them, just a bunch of conductors that connect one end to the other in order to conduct electricity.

Making a mistake in choosing an adapter would only mean that you cannot plug into the wall or you cannot plug your device into the adapter. Although it could also be this harmless for converters, it can also go bad fast. This is very apparent in power converters as inputting a voltage that is much higher than what the device could tolerate could fry its components and render it unusable. So before you plug-in your device with an adapter, make sure whether your device is able to handle the voltage or if you would need a converter as well.

Summary:

1. An adapter is a device used to make one plug fit another type of terminal while a converter changes the energy to make it usable at the destination

2. Converters have much more components in them than adapters

3. Incorrect adapter cause no complications while incorrect converters can cause serious damage


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