From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This mains power plug travel adapter allows British plugs to be connected to American or Australian sockets.

An (electrical) adapter or adaptor[1] is a device that converts attributes of one electrical device or system to those of an otherwise incompatible device or system. Some modify power or signal attributes, while others merely adapt the physical form of one electrical connector to another.

Travel adapter[edit]

Countries with ties to Europe use 230 volt, 50 cycle power plugs and sockets. While many countries use the same 230 volt systems, there are a variety of different connectors used. Difficulty arises when moving an electrical device with a unique plug to another country with a different socket. An electric power adapter sometimes called a travel plug, may enable a plug from one region to use a foreign socket in another region. When traveling to and from continents that use 120 volt 60 cycle power, using a travel adapter is a safety hazard, check on the list of voltage by country.

AC adapter[edit]

A "power cube" type AC adapter

An AC adapter, also called a "power cube" or "recharger", is a small power supply that changes household electric current from mains voltage ( either 120 or 230 volts AC) to low voltage suitable for consumer electronics.

Computer port adapters[edit]

For computers and related items, one kind of serial port adapter enables connections between 25-contact and nine-contact connectors,[2] but does not affect electrical power- and signalling-related attributes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Both spellings are used in both British and American English. "Macmillan English Dictionary". Macmillan Publishers Limited. 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-14. adapter noun [countable] /əˈdæptə(r)/ or adaptor an object that allows you to connect two pieces of equipment of different types or sizes a. British an object that allows you to connect several pieces of electrical equipment to one electricity supply b. an object that allows you to use electrical equipment in countries where there is a different type of electricity supply from your own
  2. ^ Andrews, Jean (2007). A+ guide to managing and maintaining your PC (6th ed.). Boston, Mass.: Thomson Course Technology. p. 395. ISBN 0-619-21758-8.