External Bus

What Does External Bus Mean?

An external bus is a type of data bus that enables external devices and components to connect with a computer.


It enables connecting devices, carrying data and other control information, but is only restricted to be used external to the computer system.

An external bus is also known as external bus interface (EBI) and expansion bus.

Techopedia Explains External Bus

An external bus primarily enables connecting peripherals and all external devices to a computer. These devices can include storage, monitors, keyboard, mouse and more.

Typically, an external bus is composed of electrical circuits that connect and transmit data between the computer and the external device. Being external to the computer, external buses are much slower than internal buses. Moreover, an external bus can be both serial or parallel.

Universal Serial Bus (USB) , PCI bus and IEEE 1294 are common examples of external buses.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.