An electrical connector is an electromechanical device used to join electrical conductors and create an electrical circuit. Most electrical connectors have a gender – i.e. the male component, called a plug, connects to the female component, or socket. The connection may be removable (as for portable equipment), require a tool for assembly and removal, or serve as a permanent electrical joint between two points. An adapter can be used to join dissimilar connectors.
Thousands of configurations of connectors are manufactured for power, data, and audiovisual applications. Electrical connectors can be divided into four basic categories, differentiated by their function:
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