Home > BLOG > Why Do Different Countries Use Different Power Plugs and Sockets?
Why do different countries use different power plugs and sockets? All of the plugs do the same thing after all, right? They charge our devices and allow us to use what needs constant electricity. You are here because you are wondering why the heck can we just not have one simple plug that works worldwide? Obviously so we can sell our travel adapter, right? Actually no, it more so relates to electricity actually being used for so long.
Standards Didn't Matter
Electricity isn't some new invention. It isn't even from the last century. Well, actually electricity as it is isn't even a human invention, it has been here before us. And it's in us. Instead of creating it, we merely discovered how to create it and distribute it, and that was before the start of the 20th century. And we are in the 21st century now. Planes weren't even invented. Abraham Lincoln has only been assassinated less than 20 years before this happened.
Back so long ago, people didn't travel as often as we do. If you took a trip, it was most likely because you were moving to a different country. It didn't matter what voltage or plug was used as long as it worked. People didn't care about whether the Americans used the same plug as the Europeans as it didn't really matter. The fact that something worked at all was what mattered.
Give somebody a pen. Tell them to write a story on a certain theme. Tell them to design a house. Frankly, it doesn't matter what it is. The result matters though. And the result will always be different. It would take an enormous amount tries for somebody to re-create a design that was already made by somebody if they didn't see it before.
The lack of care about standards from the very beginning led to many different variations of plugs. And technology wasn't there either to spread standards. Perhaps if the internet were around back, then we all probably would be using the same plugs.
Of course, talks about standards did happen. The International Electrotechnical Commission did make efforts to change it, but then the World War 2 began.
Will We Ever See a Universal Plug?
USB ports are universal. Plugs though? It just wouldn't work. It would take an enormous investment to swap out everything that's already built to have one standard. And that's perhaps why different countries will continue to use different power plugs and sockets for a very long time.
So what's the solution to this whole plug problem if you want to travel?
A Travel Adapter
You go to a shop, and you see travel adapters. Plenty of them. You buy them all. I mean, if you want to travel around the world, you will have to. There's no other way. You will end up spending a fortune on adapters that will most likely stop working in the near future. And let's not even talk about how much space they will take.
We at Zendure came up with a solution to this problem. Our Passport Global Travel Adapter comes with an auto-resetting fuse. On standard adapters, once a fuse was gone, that was it for that adapter, and when it comes to adapters, fuse problems are common.
The problem with travel adapters is that if you are going to the US and have products from the UK and the rest of Europe, you will need two different adapters. With the Passport Travel Adapter, it doesn't matter what you are trying to plug in and where. Take it to more than 150 countries, and it will work. And of course, who has time for several adapters, we also include four-USB ports.
The lack of easily accessible information combined with the fact that travel wasn't common in a world where people were only seeing electricity for the first time led to a large variety of different plugs. That's what happens when several people design something.
Most likely nothing will change in the future. Why would somebody remove what's working already? That means that sooner or later you will more than likely need an adapter.
Written by Michael Smolski.