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Finally! The new USB charger compliance program will help you avoid toasting your device

Nothing is worse than the dreaded day you lose or break the charger that came with your device. No matter where you hunt, you’d never know for sure if the next one that comes along will be as good as the first. There was no way to tell if a $30 USB charger is really that much better than a $12 one.

But that’s changing. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) is instituting a compliance program for USB chargers. The USB-IF is a support organization devoted to the use and advancement of USB technology.

Related: Malware alert — don’t plug in that USB stick you found on the street

One of the problems that users run into is that sometimes after market chargers don’t measure up to the standards for all of the devices that they are plugged into. Some can even cause damage to your laptops, cell phones, and tablets.

The new system will allow companies which meet the standards for USB compliance as set forth by the USB-IF to include a special logo on their products which marks them as safe to use. Other substandard chargers will not have the logo, and USB-IF warns that using these can be damaging to your electronics. Charger companies are not required to submit products to be tested, but testing is the only way to attain the stamp of approval. Keep in mind that this certification only covers the chargers, and does not at this time extend to the cables.

usb-cert

A certification program for USB chargers is a pleasant, long overdue reveal. It’s surprising that such a program never existed before, given how much damage a $10 charger can do to hardware that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars. But it’s better late than never, right?

Look for the logo to start appearing on chargers at a store near you later this year.