Using a USB on your computer makes transferring documents from one device to another. Also, most USB hubs contain other ports to aid the usage of more than one device at a time. In this guide, we shall discuss the best USB hubs out there. It is imperative you read through this guide before you purchase any of the USB hubs because we have carefully provided a guide to help in your selection.
What Is a USB Hub?
A USB hub is a handy way of adding additional USB ports to a setup. They’re the USB version of a regular plug extension lead, converting a single USB socket into a hub of them. You plug it into your computer, then use the additional ports to use mice, keyboards, and other USB devices all from a single port.
Benefits of USB Hubs
You Want to Increase the Number of USB Ports on a Laptop
While there are some laptops out there that come with a bunch of USB ports, many only have two. This restrictive number of ports really isn’t great in our current USB-saturated landscape. If you use a USB keyboard and mouse, you don’t have any spare ports to charge devices, hook up an external hard drive, or connect a printer.
Of course, this may be fine depending on what you do with your laptop. If you’re always on the move and you don’t need a mouse or a keyboard, you won’t have this problem. Maybe you’ll just need to charge your iPad and use an external hard drive or a two-factor authentication key.
However, if you use a laptop as your primary computer, or regularly do more than just sending emails and writing while you travel, a small USB hub might be a really useful tool.
You Want to Charge a Multitude of Devices on One Port
A USB hub is great for charging a number of different devices at once. While unpowered USB hubs need to be plugged into your computer to do that, powered hubs instead use the mains. This lets you charge as many devices as you like, regardless of if your computer is on or not.
USB hubs are the perfect companion for someone with lots of power-hungry USB devices. From phones to tablets to desk gadgets, a USB hub can meet the needs of any gadget that needs USB power. It’s also convenient that you don’t need to hunt for a spare mains plug; just plug everything into the same hub.
You Want to Move a Lot of Data between USB Devices
This is one of the rarer kinds of USB hub uses, but it’s still very valid. If you find yourself in the situation of needing to move a lot of data between a bunch of different devices, a USB hub can be very useful.
If you want to back up photos from your computer, tether your mobile phone to use cellular data on your PC, download images from your camera, print some documents, and upload music to your iPad, a high-quality USB hub can help you do all of that at the same time.
Buyer’s Guide for USB Hubs
The Number of Ports
This may seem a little condescending, but it’s good to think beyond what you need for ports. For example, let’s assume you hate the touchpad and keyboard of your laptop. As such, you naturally assume you need a two-port hub — one for a mouse, one for a keyboard.
But take a little while to think before you buy. Do you use a USB stick to transfer data? If so, is there another USB port on your laptop you can use for it? If not, consider getting more than two ports. That way, you don’t have to unplug a keyboard or mouse to use your memory stick.
Forward-thinking like this will prevent annoyances in the future. It’s worth looking at the USB hubs that have a few more ports than what you need; if the increase in price is negligible, you can grab that one and save yourself some trouble in the future.
The Power Output of the Hub
When you’re buying a hub, you can choose between hubs that work off the original port’s power or hubs that use an external power source. The former may seem more tempting; after all, they’re often cheaper than an electric plug socket.
However, consider what you’re plugging in before buying a hub without an external plug. Each of your devices drains a specific amount of power from the USB port. When you convert a port into a hub, the computer port’s total power limit is divided among the ports on the hub.
What this means is that if you overload a hub that doesn’t have an external power supply, some of the devices on the hub won’t work.
The Hub’s Power Source
Speaking of powering the hub, take some time to think about what you’ll use the hub for. Let’s say you’d like the hub to power or charge your devices while the PC is off. If you get a hub powered by an external source, you can charge your gadgets regardless of whether your PC is on or not. You may have a PC that can still charge devices when turned off, at which point you can probably forgo the external plug.
The Hub Port’s USB Version
Be sure to take a look at the version of the ports on the hub itself. Some hubs will use USB 2.0 to lower costs, but this will result in slower data transfer for USB 3.0 devices. Of course, if all your devices use USB 2.0, this is fine! If you do have some 3.0 devices, however, it’s worth paying a little extra for a hub that can keep up with them.
Best USB Hubs
Most laptops are equipped with a limited number of ports. This could be a significant difficulty when connecting devices, SIM cards, and SD cards.
However, thanks to this USB hub, users will never have to deal with this issue again. With its 7-in-1 USB C-type hub, the Vava achieves the best overall performance. It is cheaply priced and equipped with an optimal number of ports to facilitate the transfer of large amounts of data swiftly.
This USB hub is compact and lightweight, so you can easily transport it without causing any inconvenience. In addition to three USB 3.0 ports, the portable hub contains an HDMI cable, a PD charger cord, an SD card slot, as well as a SIM card reader.
- 7 ports
- Contains SD slot and SIM card reader
- USB 3.0 port
- Provides a satisfactory resolution.
- Can be used with any C-type device that supports USB 2.0.
- Can be used to mirror your computer screen on HDTVs and projectors.
- Lacks a headphone jack
A C-type USB hub is a must-have item for any computer, and the Ugreen 9 in 1 C hub is the ideal option. Added to the standard USB ports are two-gigabit ethernet ports and two VGA connectors, allowing this USB hub to connect with older screens and projectors via an add-on service.
Aside from that, this device is equipped with two high-speed USB-A connections and a special USB-C charging port with a maximum power of 100W. This is an advantage that many people will appreciate, as it eliminates the need to surrender another USB-C connector for charging.
This USB hub is a high-quality device that has only minor heating issues. Other than that, you can quickly move data from one location to another with this USB hub.
- 100W power
- 9 ports
- 9 Port USB-C Dock
- Ideal for C-type USB computers.
- Ensures a reliable internet connection
- The USB design isn’t appropriate for data transfer.
- You can’t utilize HDMI and VGA simultaneously.
The uni USB-C 8-in-1 Hub is a compact external device connected to a desktop, laptop, or tablet through USB-C. It provides a variety of connections, including USB 3.0, conventional SD, MicroSD, HDMI, and ethernet. It is available in black or white.
None of the USB-C hubs or docks which have been released so far — including those that are intended to be portable — have truly embraced a tough design philosophy. They also permanently attach the cable, rendering it inoperable in the event that it is destroyed or if it is cut too short.
In order to meet this need, UniAccessories created the uni Dock and the uni Hub – a pair of USB-C accessories that are capable of resolving those concerns with outstanding outcomes.
- Contains SD, and MicroSD
- HDMI and Ethernet ports are available
- Superior-quality cable
- A good enclosure that includes silicone protection
- Reasonable pricing
- Average port quality
- It is not suited for use as a stand-alone power distribution system.
Belkin has a long reputation for products that are solid if a little pricey. That’s the case with this 6-in-1 hub. It packs a pair of USB-A 3.0 ports alongside a single USB-C 3.0 connector. The HDMI port supports 4K monitors, but only up to 30Hz. It draws all the power it needs directly from the connected computer via its built-in USB-C cable. At 4.6 ounces, it weighs just over a quarter-pound and it’s small enough that you could slip it in a pocket if you don’t have time to cram it into a travel bag. The understated design also works well with the business travel motif with no flashy lights or unnecessary graphics.
- Weight: 4.6 ounces
- Product Dimensions (LWH): 4.61 x 1.85 x 0.63 inches
- Number of USB ports: 3
- USB-A and USB-C ports
- Pass-through charging up to 100 W
- Very compact and easy to pack
- Slightly pricy
- Lackluster HDMI support for high-res monitors
High-end creative environments require fast methods for moving data. Anker’s Elite 7 delivers, not only two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports for transfer speeds of 10Gbps, but also two Thunderbolt 3 ports that support 40Gbps transfers. This makes working with video and 3D graphics files in real-time significantly easier. The hub also supports video refresh rates of 60Hz for 4K monitors.
Anker rounds out the unit with three USB-A jacks for printers, keyboards, thumb drives, or other peripherals. An ethernet port supports gigabit networking. Anker conveniently placed slots for SD and MicroSD cards on the front of the Elite, as well as charging ports for both USB-A and USB-C devices, and a mini-TRS audio input and output jack.
- Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Product Dimensions (LWH): 4.96 inches by 3.5 inches by 1.65 inches
- Number of USB Ports: 8
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports support 40Gbps transfer rates
- Two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports support 10Gbps transfer rates
- Supports 60Hz refresh rates for 4K video signals
- Requires external AC power
- Not very portable
If you’re using a desktop computer then you probably already have an ethernet connector and either HDMI or video out for your monitor. You really need more USB jacks for all your peripherals, hard drives, thumb drives, and portable devices. Sabrent’s 10-port hub satisfies that need, and with 5Gbps data speeds from each, the hub can efficiently handle all your files.
The Sabrent’s upward-facing design makes plugging and unplugging USB cables much easier. It also saves space on your desk and makes it hard for cables to accidentally disconnect. The hub’s handy on/off switches—one for each jack—help rein in power consumption by shutting down peripherals that aren’t in use but that you don’t want to unplug.
- Weight: 1.33 pounds
- Product Dimensions (LWH): 5.7 inches by 1.9 inches by .94 inches
- Number of USB Ports: 10
- All ports are USB 3.0
- Individual on/of switches
- The upward-facing design saves desk space
- No SD or MicroSD card reader
- No USB-C jacks
Sabrent’s tiny, portable hub fits the bill. Its four ports only clock in at 480Mbps, but that’s perfect for attaching a printer, scanner, thumb drive, or webcam while keeping your machine’s built-in USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt jacks free for high-speed applications.
Individual power switches help keep your office energy efficient, and the compact design slips cleanly into a laptop bag.
- Weight: 2 ounces
- Product Dimensions (LWH): 3.4 inches by 1.4 inches by .61 inches
- Number of USB Ports: 4
- Extremely cheap
- Compact, portable design
- Individual on/off switches
- Only delivers USB 2.0 speeds
- Only has USB-A ports, so adapters might be needed for USB C devices
The Wenter is uniquely designed. All 11 of the ports are USB 3.0, but four (marked in red) support fast charging for mobile devices up to 2.4A. Each port has a corresponding power switch with an LED indicator to match. That means you can turn individual ports on and off without cutting power to the entire hub. The LEDs will flicker when data transfers are happening to help you discern which ports are currently in use.
It comes with a power adapter and has a dedicated power supply, which makes sense considering it’s so large.
- Interface: USB 3.0
- Number of Ports: 11
- Data Transfer Rate: Up to 5Gbps
- 11 ports total; seven USB 3.0 and four with fast charging
- Dedicated power supply
- On/off power switches for every port
- Fast data transfers
- No safety features
- Power and USB cables must be connected
This four-port mini USB hub from Anker is anything but. Wonkegonke didn’t just slap the “mini” moniker on it for no reason. It’s sleek and ultra-portable at just 0.27 inches thick. The built-in USB cable adds convenience, while the rugged but light metal housing keeps it protected even in the messiest of handbags or backpacks. The cable is also surrounded by a damage-resistant shell.
It features one USB 3.0 port and three USB 2.0 ports on the side. The 3.0 port can handle fast data transfers up to 5Gbps, but it is a shame there’s only one.
- Interface: USB 2.0, USB 3.0
- Number of Ports: 4
- Data Transfer Rate: Up to 5Gbps
- Super sleek and portable
- Built-in USB cable with damage protection
- Rugged but lightweight metal chassis
- Fast data transfers
- Only one USB 3.0 port
- No dedicated power supply
The Acasis 16-port USB hub is one of the biggest you’ll find. All 16 ports are USB 3.0, they all support fast charging up to 2.1A, and they each support fast data transfers up to 5Gbps. No compromises, no ports left behind—just full functionality across the entire unit. There are also seven- and ten-port variants if you want something slightly smaller.
This beast is almost 9 inches long and weighs 1.8 pounds. Every port has a power switch, and a bright blue LED indicator.
- Interface: USB 3.0
- Number of Ports: 16
- Data Transfer Rate: Up to 5 Gbps
- All 16 ports are USB 3.0
- Durable aluminum chassis
- Built-in surge protection
- Fast data transfers and fast charging
- Not ideal for travel
- Connection latency for offset ports
In conclusion, USB hubs bring a lot to the table. Furthermore, the USB hubs on this list have several other features that would aid your data transfer process. Don’t waver in acquiring one from this guide as we have carefully picked the best USB hubs.