What is PS/2?
The PS/2 port is a 6-pin mini-DIN connector used for connecting some keyboards and mice to a PC compatible computer system. Its name comes from the Personal System/2 series of personal computers, which was introduced in 1987.
How does PS/2 work?
PS/2 devices send data one bit at a time at a rate of 10,000 bits per second. The device uses two wires to communicate with the computer—one for sending data and one for receiving data.
Are there any disadvantages to using PS/2?
One potential disadvantage of PS/2 is that it uses a proprietary connector rather than a more common standard like USB. This can make it difficult to find adapters or replacement cables if you lose or damage the ones that came with your devices. Additionally, some newer computers do not include PS/2 ports, so you may need to use an adapter if you want to use older devices with these computers.
What types of devices can PS/2 use?
PS/2 is most commonly used for connecting keyboards and mice to computers, but it can also be used for other devices such as trackballs, barcode scanners, and fingerprint readers. Some industrial equipment also uses PS/2 ports for data input and output.
Can I use a USB device with a PS/2 port?
Yes, you can use a USB device with a PS/2 port by using a special adapter cable that converts the signals from USB to those used by PS/2 devices (and vice versa). These cables are readily available from online and brick-and-mortar retailers that sell computer accessories.
Do all keyboards have PS/2 ports?
No, not all keyboards have PS/2 ports—many newer models connect via USB instead. However, it is still possible to find keyboards with PS/2 ports if you shop around or look for older models (which may be preferable for some users anyway). If you have a keyboard with a PS/2 port, you can also use it with a USB port by using an adapter cable.
Do all mice have PS/2 ports?
No, like keyboards, many newer mice connect via USB instead of PS/2. However, it is still possible to find mice with PS/2 ports if you shop around or look for older models (which may be preferable for some users anyway). If you have a mouse with a PS/2 port, you can also use it with a USB port by using an adapter cable.
I have lost my PS/2 adapter / cable / etc.—where can I get replacements?
As mentioned previously, since PS/22 uses a proprietary connector, it can be difficult to find adapters or replacement cables if you lose or damage the ones that came with your devices. However, there are many online retailers that sell these types of products specifically for PS/22 devices (just do a quick search on your favorite online retailer or search engine). You may also be able to find them at brick-and-mortar stores that sell computer accessories and parts—though depending on your location, these stores may be few and far between.
My computer doesn’t have a built-in PS/22 port—can I still use my old keyboard / mouse / etc.?
Yes—if your computer doesn’t have built-in PS/22 ports but you have devices that use these ports, you can simply connect them to your computer using an adapter cable (which converts the signals from PS/22to those used by USB devices—and vice versa). These cables are readily available from online and brick-and-mortar retailers that sell computer accessories.
Why would I prefer PS/2 over USB for keyboards and mice?
You may prefer PS/2 over USB because it can offer better performance in certain situations. For example, PS/2 allows for more simultaneous key presses than USB (known as "n-key rollover"), which can be important for gamers or touch typists who need to press multiple keys at once. Additionally, since the PS/2 interface is dedicated to keyboard and mouse input only, it can provide a more stable and reliable connection than USB, which has to share bandwidth with other devices.
Can I use a PS/2 keyboard or mouse with my laptop?
It depends on your laptop's hardware—if it has a built-in PS/2 port, then you should be able to use a compatible keyboard or mouse with it. However, many newer laptops do not have PS/2 ports (since they are becoming less common), so you may need to use an adapter cable that converts from USB to PS/2 if you want to connect older devices.
What is the difference between a 6-pin mini-DIN connector and a regular DIN connector?
A regular DIN connector is larger and has more pins than a mini-DIN connector—it was commonly used for connecting keyboards and other devices in the past but has largely been replaced by smaller connectors like mini-DIN (and later USB). The 6-pin mini-DIN connector used for PS/2 devices is similar in size to the larger DIN connector but has fewer pins.
Are there any security concerns related to using PS/2 devices?
One potential security concern related to using PS/2 devices is the possibility of keystroke logging—where someone could intercept and record your keystrokes in order to steal sensitive information like passwords or credit card numbers. While this type of attack is possible with any type of keyboard (including those that connect via USB), it may be slightly easier with PS/2 since the communication protocol is simpler and therefore more susceptible to snooping.
Can I use both a PS/2 keyboard and mouse at the same time?
Yes—most computers that have built-in PS/22ports will support connecting both a keyboard and a mouse simultaneously. You will need two separate cables/adapters—one for the keyboard and one for the mouse—but otherwise, the process is straightforward. Once both devices are connected, you should be able to use them just as you would with any other keyboard and mouse combo.