USB-C is used to connect modern laptops, tablets, and smartphones. A USB-C connector can transfer data, video, audio, internet connectivity, or all of these at once, depending on the device. That last sentence is crucial. Because USB-C ports are adaptable and can handle many types of connectivity at once, you can connect multiple devices to a single USB-C port.
Since USB-C became popular half a decade ago, I’ve used dozens of USB-C hubs and evaluated hundreds of USB-C devices. USB-C was designed to make connectivity simple, but it hasn’t worked out due to its adaptability. USB-C devices, such as hubs, come with a variety of functionalities, and they don’t always perform as planned.
Most people’s needs will be met by the Aukey 6-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter, which is still reasonably priced.
- Three USB-A 3.0 ports, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, and USB-C
- 87 watts of power
If you need to enhance a device’s connectivity at a fair price, Aukey’s 6-in-1 USB-C Hub is a good option.
Despite having fewer ports than some competitors, the ports on this device are the most regularly used by computer users. It can connect to four additional USB devices and add video output and Ethernet. Although the Vava version below is less expensive, it lacks Ethernet connectivity.
It can also charge almost any laptop that supports USB-C power delivery swiftly.
The hub’s HDMI connector only supports 4K resolution at a refresh rate of 30Hz, which is a minor drawback. This hub will make a 4K display feel slow and unresponsive. However, if you use a 1080p monitor, this isn’t an issue.
Aukey’s hub offers excellent value for money, thus we suggest it to most individuals. It’s powerful, inexpensive, and provides the capabilities that most USB-C hub users seek.
For MacBooks, the best USB-C hub
The Satechi Type-C Pro Hub Adapter has a sleek design that won’t detract from the appearance of your MacBook.
- Two USB-A 3.0 ports, two USB-C ports, HDMI, and regular and microSD card readers are included.
- 87 watts of power
Any USB-C hub will work with Apple’s MacBook devices with USB-C ports, but Mac aficionados may prefer one that matches their laptop. The Type-C Pro Hub Adapter from Satechi is the ideal answer.
The importance of design cannot be underestimated. This hub connects to both USB-C ports on the left side of a current MacBook and sits snugly on the laptop’s flank once attached. The hub is available in metallic grey, silver, or rose gold to complement the aesthetic of your MacBook.
For charging a connected MacBook, one of the USB-C connections allows power supply of up to 87 watts. This same USB-C connector can also transfer video, thus a USB-C monitor can be connected to it.
Although this hub lacks Ethernet, Satechi offers an alternate model that does. The Ethernet model loses one USB-C port and does not support conventional SD cards, but it retains the microSD reader.
The Type-C Pro Hub adaptor from Satechi is pricey for the connection it offers. Its price is justified by its appealing, compact appearance, which complements recent MacBooks beautifully. Although this hub isn’t the most cost-effective, it will look great on your desk.
Overall, the best USB-C hub
The Vava 7-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter offers a lot for the money, with no frills but plenty of connections.
- Three USB-A 3.0 ports, HDMI, a TF card, one SD card, and a USB-C port with power delivery
- 89 watts of power
Vava’s 7-in-1 adapter is a decent substitute for Aukey’s 6-in-1. It has a similar level of connectivity but isn’t as appealing. That is, with the exception of one critical component: Ethernet. This USB-C hub does not include Ethernet connectivity.
A important feature is the USB-C power delivery. This hub can deliver up to 100 watts of electricity and is rated to use only 11 watts of that power, leaving up to 89 watts available. Vava’s 7-in-1 hub is one of the most affordable hubs with this capability.
The Vava 7-in-1, like the Aukey 6-in-1 hub, can only handle 4K video at a 30Hz frame rate through HDMI. It hasn’t been a pleasant experience. I only advocate utilizing this hub with displays that are 1080p or 1440p.
At this price, the Vava 7-in-1 adapter has the most ports, and its superior power supply makes it a solid choice for charging a laptop.
The best USB-C hub for the money
The Sabrent Multi-Port USB Type-C Adapter is a low-cost USB-C hub that covers all the essentials for less than $15.
- Two USB Type-A 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 Type-A port, HDMI, and USB-C (charging only)
- 60 watts of power
Are you looking for a simple USB-C hub that allows you to connect a few extra devices as well as a 1080p display through HDMI? The Sabrent Multi-Port USB Type-C Adapter will do the job at a fraction of the cost.
This hub includes two USB Type-A 2.0 connections for connecting older wired devices such a keyboard, mouse, and external hard drive. There’s also an HDMI port for connecting an external display. There is a USB-C port, but it can only be utilized for power delivery.
Buyers should be aware that, while the hub claims to support 4K monitors, it is limited to a 30Hz refresh rate, which will seem slower and less responsive than most screens. If you want a good connection to a 4K monitor, you’ll need a more expensive hub.
Sabrent’s hub, albeit minimal, covers the essentials. If you only need to connect a few USB Type-A gadgets, there’s no need to invest in a more expensive hub.
The best USB-C hub with 12 ports
The Aukey 12-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter can connect a variety of devices and is reasonably priced.
- Two USB-A 2.0, two USB-A 3.0, two HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, TF and SD card readers, and a USB-C port with power delivery are among the ports available.
- 89 watts of power
Do you require a hub that can link a large number of devices? The 12-in-1 USB-C Hub Adapter from Aukey is the best option. It offers a wide range of connectivity while remaining cost-effective.
Up to 100 watts of electricity can be delivered over USB-C. The hub is rated to consume 11 watts of electricity, thus a connected device will receive a maximum of 89 watts of power from the hub. It’s an excellent option for powering a laptop.
The Aukey 12-in-1, like many other hubs, can only handle 4K at a 30Hz refresh rate, making it feel lethargic and unresponsive. It can, however, support additional 1080p monitors, and Aukey’s official connectivity guide includes a thorough list of possible monitor setups. If you have an older monitor, the VGA port comes in handy.
Although the Aukey 12-in-1 is one of the more costly hubs on this list, it offers decent value and undercuts several competitors with similar port combinations.
The best USB-C hub that also has a DisplayPort
The Cable Matters Multiport Travel Dock, which supports 4K at 60Hz through DisplayPort, is a good option for those with high-end or gaming monitors.
- USB-A 2.0, USB-C, Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort are among the ports available.
- 60 watts of power
If you need a hub that can operate with a high-end 4K display or a gaming monitor, the Cable Matters Multiport Travel Dock is the way to go.
It features a unique feature: a full-sized DisplayPort. This hub can handle 4K video at a 60Hz refresh rate, which is a significant increase over many 4K hubs’ lackluster 30Hz refresh rate. The hub’s HDMI 2.0 port can also provide 4K/60Hz capability, which is uncommon. The hub’s video communication is completed by a VGA port.
Although this hub has three video connections, it is not capable of supporting multiple monitors. In other words, only one monitor can be connected at a time. Multiple monitor hubs, such as the Cable Matters Triple Monitor USB-C Hub, are available from Cable Matters, however they are more expensive.
The hub’s main feature is DisplayPort, but the other features aren’t bad either. It has one USB-A port and one USB-C port, the latter of which can give up to 60 watts of power to a connected laptop. Although Ethernet is included, it only offers a maximum data rate of 100Mbps.
Tablets’ best USB-C hub
The Anker PowerExpand Direct 6-in-1 USB-C Media Hub is ideal for iPads and other tablets because it is small but powerful enough to power some gadgets.
- One USB-A 3.0 port, HDMI, 3.5mm aux jack, SD card reader, and microSD card reader are available.
- 60 watts of power
Anker’s PowerExpand Direct 6-in-1 USB hub is intended exclusively for tablets, including the iPad Pro. It’s small and snaps on to the iPad Pro for a secure fit and a minimal profile. On the flipside, this means that most tablet cases and covers will not work with this hub.
It has a USB-C port that can deliver up to 60 watts of power, which is more than enough to run an iPad Pro or any other tablet.
Even at a typical 60Hz refresh rate, the HDMI connector can offer 4K resolution. Owners of iPads shouldn’t get too enthusiastic just yet, as iPadOS does not yet enable secondary displays. This hub can only be used to mirror the display of your iPad.
Anker’s PowerExpand 6-in-1 is expensive for the number of ports it provides, but it’s still less expensive than other compact hubs made exclusively for tablets. The price is justified by the tiny design.
For USB-A, the best USB-C hub is
For a modest price, the Anker 4-port USB-C Hub provides a lot of USB-A ports.
- Four USB-A 3.0 ports
- N/A in terms of power
This four-port hub focuses on extending the USB-A connectivity of a USB-C device. A single USB-C port may be converted into four USB-A 3.0 ports with the Anker 4-port USB-C Hub. That’s more USB-A ports than most hubs on the market today.
This hub does not contain power delivery and will not charge external devices because it concentrates on USB-C to USB-A. There isn’t any video or Ethernet connectivity.
The Anker 4-port USB-C Hub is tiny due to the lack of additional connectors. It’s about the size of a pack of chewing gum.
The cost is also low. While the capabilities of this hub are restricted, it’s ideal for connecting older USB-A peripherals to newer devices, such as a connected keyboard or external hard drive.
What else did we think about?
Aukey USB-C 6-in-1 Hub Adapter: This USB-C hub will most likely meet most people’s demands while remaining reasonably priced. However, the Vava model in our current overall top spot provides a little more, with one additional connector, a minor advantage in power supply, and a $10 price difference. This Aukey model doesn’t have much room in our top picks, but if you like its appearance, you won’t be disappointed.
Frequently Asked Questions about USB-C Hubs
What is a USB-C hub, exactly?
The name “USB-C hub” is a little ambiguous because no standard defines it. A USB-C hub, in general, is a device that allows a single USB-C port to enable several connections, such as USB-A, video, and Ethernet. You might desire a hub if you find yourself frequently disconnecting your mouse to plug in an external hard disk.
The majority of USB-C hubs feature power delivery and are meant to provide additional connectivity while simultaneously charging a laptop. This type of hub has a USB-C port that you plug into a USB-C charger. The hub then sends the information to your laptop. The USB-C power delivery standard, which allows up to 100 watts of power, makes this possible.
Some low-cost or niche hubs, including some on this list, do not, however, support power delivery. Any hub that supports it will advertise the feature, so if it isn’t included, you can assume it isn’t.
USB-C docks differ from hubs in that they require an external power supply, which is usually included with the dock. The majority of docks will send power to devices, and high-end docks can power many devices at once. Docks typically support more ports than hubs, but they are also significantly more expensive.
What features should a USB-C hub have?
Your brain will spin if you look at a list of USB-C hubs at Amazon or Best Buy. There are hundreds of alternatives, many of which differ slightly. Don’t be concerned with tiny things such as cable length or size. Instead, concentrate on what is important to you.
Look for a USB-C hub that includes the ports you require. You might need a lot of USB-A ports to connect your existing wired mouse, keyboard, and hard disk. Perhaps you’re a photographer who needs a hub with a built-in SDcard slot.
Here’s a rundown of the most popular ports and the scenarios in which they’re used.
- Connecting older wired USB devices with USB-A (Some are labeled as USB 2.0 or 3.0, with the difference being primarily in data transfer speed.)
- Connecting contemporary USB devices with USB-C
- Connecting a standard 1080p display or a gaming monitor via HDMI
- Connecting a gaming display, 4K, or high-refresh monitor via DisplayPort
- SDcard or MicroSD card: Connecting to the Internet without Wi-Fi Using a computer to transfer files from a camera
- Transferring files from a smartphone to a TFcard
What is USB-C Power Delivery, and how does it work?
USB Power Delivery is a crucial feature featured on many USB-C hubs, as previously stated. It can also be challenging to comprehend.
Because USB Power Delivery is a different specification than USB-C, it can only be found in devices that support it. In order for Power Delivery to work, every device in the USB-C chain must support it. A USB-C charger and USB-C hub with Power Delivery, for example, will not be able to charge a USB-C laptop that does not support Power Delivery.
A number of alternatives are supported by the specification. Many USB-C hubs that support Electricity Delivery can offer up to 100 watts of power. Some hubs, however, can tolerate lower power levels, such as 65 or 45 watts.
You’ll need a hub that can produce the same amount of electricity as the charging adapter that came with your laptop when connecting to it. The power adapter’s wattage is frequently printed on its label. If it isn’t, you can usually discover it on the manufacturer’s website as part of the laptop’s published specifications.
Even if a USB-C hub doesn’t have the same amount of power as your laptop’s power adapter, it can still charge the laptop. However, it will charge it slowly, and it is possible that the laptop can lose power when using demanding apps like as video editing software or 3D games.
What about generic USB-C hubs with no brand name?
Many of the USB-C hubs sold at major shops are unbranded or come from brands with little or no public presence in North America. It’s difficult to tell who lives up to their expectations and who doesn’t. Amazon review fraud is a serious issue, and as a result, customer evaluations are nearly useless as a quality indication. Unbranded hubs may have inconsistencies in their marketing. Some don’t have websites, making it impossible to get in touch with them if you have any queries or concerns.
Only a few dollars more will get you a USB-C hub from a manufacturer with superior service and more accurate product listings. In certain circumstances, they’re priced similarly. Don’t buy a hub from a company that doesn’t provide up-to-date product lists or customer service.
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