Difference Between Adapter and Converter (With Table)

New inventions often bring new electrical equipment to the market with minor changes in their designs. Some designs come with new input and output segments that can be different from the already existing ones.

Some designs also have voltage requirements that are different from the existing market standards. In such cases, an adapter and converter can be of great help. Both adapter and converter have been invented for other purposes.

Adapter vs Converter

The main difference between an Adapter and a Converter is that an adapter is used when the input terminal has a different structure than the plug or socket. On the other hand, a converter is used when there is a need to convert electric power or voltage of an electrical unit.

An adapter is a device that is used to connect two incompatible devices. In general, an adapter connects an electronic device to the source of power or electricity. An example of an adapter is a phone charger that combines the power outlet and phone to charge the battery.

A converter is a device that helps the electrical energy flow from one source to another. Converters are used to maintain the correct voltage flow. Every electrical appliance has a different voltage requirement, and hence the converter plays an imminent role in regulating the flow of voltage from the source to the device.

Comparison Table Between Adapter and Converter

Parameters of ComparisonAdapterConverter
DefinitionAn adapter is electrical equipment usually used to charge another device by connecting the device to the power source.A converter converts high voltage to low voltage or high voltage to medium voltage as per the requirement of the electrical equipment.
TypesThe different types of adapters include host adapter, video adapter, fax adapter, terminal adapter, etc.There are different converter types like AC to DC converter, AC voltage regulator, frequency converter, etc.
UseAdapters are primarily used in devices that need charging up the battery, like cellphones or laptops.Converters are used in electrical appliances like television, air conditioners, and refrigeration.
Parts and componentsAn adapter does not have many components since the application is simple.A converter contains various features that help convert and carry the voltage from one source to another.
ConcernsEven if the wrong adapters are plugged into bad sources, it will not create any problems either in the adapter or the head.Using a converter at a start that is higher than its limits can cause substantial damage to the converter, the device, the source, or to all three.

What is Adapter?

An adapter is an extension that makes one hardware adapt to another hardware (usually an electrical socket). Adapter in computing also implies a piece of equipment that can connect two or more incompatible devices to run various functions.

When an adapter is connected to a socket, it draws AC from the primary circuit. Then the wired course transforms the altering current to direct current (DC). DC is then transferred to the connected device via a cable.

The transferred current causes the battery inside the device to charge or allows the device to start functioning. An AC adapter is ubiquitous in any household as it is always needed to source electricity for standard electrical appliances.

Adapters have been a boon for the telecommunication industry. The Analog Telephone Adapters (ATA) are often used by industries that deal with telephone or internet services.

Some other types of adapters are fax adapters and network adapters. Fax adapters are internal modems that make data exchange over fax convenient. Networks adapters help connect multiple devices like computers or servers to send and receive data.

What is Converter?

A voltage converter is a more famous name for a converter. Another common name of a converter is a stabilizer. The name is that a converter stabilizes the current flow that is passed from the power source to a heavy-duty electronic item.

Many of the electronics equipment runs of either AC or DC. The ones that can run on AC have no issues directly connecting to the power source. However, specific electrical equipment is suited to run on AC.

In such cases, a converter first receives AC from the sockets. Then, due to the circuit inside, it transforms it into the DC. Once the current is changed, the DC is transferred to the electrical equipment to function.

The voltage requirement of any electrical equipment depends on the place of manufacture. Some support a voltage range of 200V -240V, while some support 100V to 120V. Imported electronic items mostly need a converter to maintain the consistent flow and requirement of the electronic item.

Main Differences Between Adapter and Converter

  1. An adapter is compact. On the other hand, a converter can sometimes come in big sizes.
  2. An adapter acts as a connecter that passes electricity between the mains and the input dock of a device. At the same time, a converter converts the AC from the main and transports it down to the electrical equipment in DC form.
  3. An adapter being compact has fewer components. On the other hand, a converter is more prominent in size and has many parts.
  4. The primary use of an adapter is to charge a device while a converter regulates the voltage sent to a piece of electrical equipment.
  5. Repairing a faulty adapter is easy and done faster while repairing a faulty converter can take longer.

Conclusion

Adapters are converters are both electrical extensions that help keep the electrical up and running. However, an adapter is a travel-friendly device that can be carried in a small case. On the contrary, a connecter is only suitable for extended stays at a very distant place.

Since both adapter and converter are electronic devices, keeping them away from damage is imminent. Once damaged, it should be replaced to avoid the loss of other critical electrical items connected to it.

An adapter and converter have their respective pros and cons. Still, they now come into the category of essential items, given that all significant day-to-day functions are not possible without the help of either adapter or converter.

References

  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7930938
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/9233975/