This Gadget Can Tell if Your USB Type-C Cable Is Dangerous

Not all USB Type-C cables are created equal. Some poorly made cables, in fact, are dangerous because they deliver too much power, which can damage your devices. This is where Satechi's Type-C Power Meter ($24.99, available now) comes in.

The Power Meter uses its USB Type-C port and connector to be placed in the middle of a connection. Its display shows a voltage reading (in volts) from the power source, the current (in Amps) going into the device and how much power has travelled to your device (in mAh Milliamp Hours) since charging.

MORE: USB Type-C FAQ: Everything You Need to Know

You don't need the Power Meter to stay safe, however. If you only buy charging cables that are certified by the USB Implementer's Forum, you won't have a problem. The organization keeps a list of certified cables here.

You can also look at the list of cables verified by Google software engineer Benson Leung.  After a Type-C cable fried Leung's equipment, including a $1,499 Chromebook Pixel, he took upon the work of testing the cables for safety. Leung posts his results to this Google+ collection.

As long as the Power Meter's readings are accurate, not only will it give users a real-time view of the cable's power usage, but the measurements could show any decline in performance over the life of the cable.

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