Difference between jack, connector, plugin, plug

What are the differences between

“jack”, “connector”, “plugin”, “plug”


Which of them are only used for power cables?
Which of them for computer network cables?
Is there a diff between british and american english?


A “jack” is the hole that you insert a “plug” into.

A “connector” can be either a plug, a jack or a combination of both things. It’s a vague term. We only know that it is a jack if you say it is on the side of a device, for example, or that it is a plug if you say it is at the end of a cable. Otherwise it’s not clear.

“Plugin” is also not a clear term. It’s hard to know whether it’s a jack, a plug, both, or a noun derived from a verb to describe an action.

All of these terms are used for network cables. The only one that is also used for power cables is “plug”. The equivalent of “jack” for power cables would be “socket” or sometimes outlet.

I believe that all of these terms can be used in British or American English. However, when it comes to power cables, there is a British term I would avoid if you are aiming at international readers, and that is “mains”. In some technical literature you will see expressions like “mains cable”, “mains socket” or “the mains” to mean an electrical (or power) cable, an electrical socket or the electrical line. If people outside of the UK are going to be reading your instructions, do not use this term “mains”, because most native English speakers in the world don’t understand it. You can think of it as “British slang”.