Computers are only getting sleeker as more operations move to the cloud. To continue connecting physical devices to our computer, you’ll need a USB-C hub. Apple is particularly ruthless in the port-elimination game, offering just two USB-C ports on their latest laptops. A good hub brings back the data transfer capabilities of SD card readers and old-but-not-forgotten USB-A flash drives, while adding the ability to hook up an external monitor with HDMI or allowing direct connection to the internet via Ethernet. We waded through an ocean of options to find the best USB-C hubs for your given situation.

Best Overall: Anker 555 USB-C Hub 8-in-1
Best Budget: Sabrent Multi-Port USB Type-C Hub
Best for MacBookPro: Satechi Type-C Multi-Port Adapter 4K with Ethernet V2
Best for 4K Monitors: Anker 655 USB-C Hub 8-in-1
Best for iPad Pro: HyperDrive 4-in-1 USB-C Hub for iPad Pro
Best for M1 iMac: Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

How We Picked the Best USB-C Hubs

There are literally thousands of USB-C hubs out there. It was a lot to sift through, but we narrowed down the playing field by listening to what the pros recommend, how users felt about a given device’s reliability, and reading lots of user manuals. Drawing on our years of tech familiarity, we looked for brands that we knew delivered steady performance.

Most people in need of a USB-C hub are probably using it on their laptops. Since we noticed a common complaint among users was the drain that the hubs put on their batteries, we eliminated any hub that didn’t have the option of powering the laptop or tablet through the hub itself. As Apple is the biggest culprit when it comes to de-porting their computers, we also went with hubs that were compatible with today's OS devices.

Best USB-C Hubs: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Anker 555 USB-C Hub 8-in-1

Power Player. Anker

Why It Made the Cut: Combining the built-in reliability of Anker with ample ports and high-quality video output, the 555 USB-C Hub 8-in-1 will capably satisfy most people’s hub requirements.

Specs:
USB Ports: Two USB-A 3.2, one USB-C (data), one USB-C (power)
Video/Audio Ports: One HDMI
SD Card Slots: One microSD, one SD
Other Ports: One Ethernet
Power Delivery: 85W (watts)

Pros:
— Hi-def HDMI port for monitor extension and mirroring
— Pass-through power delivery capable of charging most laptops
— Durable and sleek travel-sized unit
— Two USB-A 3.2 ports for fast data transfer
— Additional USB-C data-supported port

Cons:
— Short cable

As one of the biggest mobile charging brands around, Anker has a rep for making reliable tech accessories, and the 555 USB-C Hub is another feather in their cap. Smaller than a smartphone, it offers up seven ports that handle some form of data transfer, along with a USB-C port dedicated to power delivery. Since USB-C hubs tend to result in a battery drain for most users, that port’s 85 usable watts of power will come in handy — and should be enough for even the burliest laptops.

The HDMI port supports displays (and cables) that can handle 4K resolution and 60 Hz frame rate so you can get clear, un-stuttery graphics on your external monitor. An Ethernet port lets you hardwire into the internet for faster speeds, and dual card slots (SD and microSD) allow for transfer of images, video files, and audio to your computer. Data transfer from USB-A devices will go about as fast as possible as the ports are both the latest version (USB 3.3 Gen 2) of the ubiquitous interface plug.

What makes this hub stand out is the additional USB-C port. Most USB-C hubs only offer one USB-C input, and that’s often dedicated to power only. Here you get the power delivery from one USB-C port and data capabilities from the additional USB-C port. So if you’ve got a portable monitor, set of headphones, or other peripheral with a USB-C output, this hub will let you plug in without taking up another port on your laptop or computer — which is sort of the whole point.

The 555 even comes with its own travel case, a nice touch for a full-featured hub that isn’t on the highest end of the price spectrum.

Best Budget: Sabrent Multi-Port USB Type-C Hub

Utility Player. Sabrent

Why It Made the Cut: With a bargain basement price in a no-frills package, Sabrent’s Multi-Port USB Type-C Hub replaces your most needed ports while offering reliable operation. 

Specs:
USB Ports: One USB-A 3.0, one USB-A 2.0, one USB-C (power only)
Video/Audio Ports: One HDMI
SD Card Slots: One microSD, one SD
Other Ports: None
Power Delivery: 60W

Pros:
— Extremely affordable
— Includes four of the most commonly needed ports
— Compact size
— Pass-through charging up to 60W 

Cons:
— No data USB-C port 

Six ports for under $20 is pretty amazing. Sabrent is probably best known for their internal SSD storage and external memory cards, so you’d expect their Multi-Port USB Type-C Hub to include both SD and microSD slots. You also get an HDMI port for streaming to monitors, just keep in mind the 4K resolution delivered will top out at 30 Hz. Though if you’re simply working (not gaming or streaming) that refresh rate should be fine.

The included USB-C port is for power delivery only, passing 60 watts through to your computer. That should be enough to charge lightweight laptops when your battery dips. There are two USB-A ports, one running the older USB 2.0 standard (good for plugging in peripherals) and the other handling the USB 3.0 standard with data transfers of up to 5 gigabytes per second. About the size of a single Twix bar, it’s an inconspicuous (and crazy cheap) method for getting back your port capabilities.

Best for MacBookPro: Satechi Type-C Multi-Port Adapter 4K with Ethernet V2

Good for Streaming and Gaming. Satechi

Why It Made the Cut: A great-looking, hard-working hub with plenty of ports, Satechi’s Type-C Multi-Port Adapter puts back what’s missing from Apple’s flagship laptop. 

Specs:
USB Ports: Three USB-A 3.0, one USB-C (power only)
Video/Audio Ports: One HDMI
SD Card Slots: One microSD, one SD
Other Ports: Ethernet
Power Delivery: 60W

Pros:
— Quality aluminum build in Mac-matching colors
— 60 watts of pass-through power
— Supports 4K 60 Hz monitors
— Plenty of ports 

Cons:
— USB-C input is power-only 

Part of what draws us to Apple offerings are the aesthetics, and Satechi does a great job creating accessories to complement the sleekness. Their Type-C Multi-Port Adapter comes in space gray, gold, and silver aluminum to match the shell of your MacBook. This version is an upgrade of Satechi’s previous model. This time around, they didn’t change the ports or look, instead focusing on some internal tweaks to improve performance.

Once connected, the Multi-Port gives you three USB-A 3.0 ports, offering a data transfer rate of up to 5 gigabytes per second. If you’re screen mirroring or extending the size of your screen with an external monitor, the HDMI port supports 4K resolution at 60 Hz refresh rate. That’ll keep things smooth even if you’re streaming video or gaming at the sub-pro level.

Ethernet and SD card slots round out the ports, along with a power delivery USB-C port. It’ll deliver 60 watts, which should keep your MacBook Pro topped off and happy. From looks to reliability, nothing is really missing here, though an additional, data-capable USB-C port would be nice. At less than $100, it’s a great add-on to bring a little more functionality to your MacBook Pro.

Best for 4K Monitors: Anker 655 USB-C Hub 8-in-1

Get Hollywood Visuals. Anker

Why It Made the Cut: A stylish hub that will appeal to visual creators, Anker’s 655 USB-C Hub passes through 85 watts of power and sends smooth, clear images to a 4K monitor.

Specs:
USB Ports: Two USB-A 3.2, one USB-C (power only)
Video/Audio Ports: HDMI, 3.5mm aux
SD Card Slots: One microSD, one SD
Other Ports: Ethernet
Power Delivery: 85W

Pros:
— HDMI port supports 4K 60 Hz monitors
— Power delivery of 85W
— 2nd Gen USB-A ports for fast data transfer
— Cool exterior design 

Cons:
— Short cable
— No data-capable USB-C port 

Looking a bit like a retro 35mm camera, Anker’s 655 is their newest hub and is great for projecting your laptop’s screen to an external monitor. Assuming you have hardware (laptop, HDMI cable, monitor) that can support the data flow, you’ll get clear and un-gappy visuals on a bigger screen for editing, watching, video conferencing, or stalking bad guys in the wasteland.

An Ethernet port will grant you faster online speeds than most WiFi signals and the two USB-A are both 3.0 second generation, with data transfer rates up to 10 Gbps. Micro and standard SD card slots are great for photographers or even podcasters downloading audio from a voice recorder and there’s an aux 3.5mm port for extra listening options.

What’s most striking about the unit is probably the way it looks, with a vintage vibe, braided cable, and faux leather exterior. The cable even plugs into its own USB-C port to create a little handle. For under a hundred bucks, it’s a high-performance unit that doesn’t ignore the fact that it’ll likely take center stage on your desk.

Best for iPad Pro: HyperDrive 4-in-1 USB-C Hub for iPad Pro

Crank Up the Tunes. HyperDrive

Why It Made the Cut: Granting three additional ports to the iPad Pro, Hyper’s HyperDrive 4-in-1 USB-C hub is form-fitting and high-performing. 

Specs:
USB Ports: One USB-A 3.0, one USB-C (power only)
Video/Audio Ports: HDMI, 3.5mm aux
SD Card Slots: None
Other Ports: None
Power Delivery: 60W

Pros:
— Unobtrusive design melds with iPad pro
— 60 watts of pass-through charging
— Adds crucial 3.5mm headphone port
— Allows for mirroring to an external monitor  

Cons:
— USB-C port is power-only 

With just one port, the iPad Pro practically demands a USB-C adapter. Hyper makes a bevy of hubs for Apple products, but their HyperDrive 4-in-1 stands out thanks to its patented design that grabs on tight to the edge of your iPad Pro (or Air or Mini) without blocking the speakers. 

Maybe the simplest problem the hub fixes is the lack of headphone jack on the iPad. Instead of making Bluetooth mandatory, the hub lets you listen using whatever headset you happen to have. An HDMI cable will let you send video to an external monitor and the USB-A is a Gen-1 3.0, delivering data at a respectable 5Gbps. 

Hyper created this with the aim of turning an iPad Pro into a workstation, something it does admirably — considering all an iPad can do, it’s a great idea. And yes, the space gray and silver colorways will match your tablet.

Best for M1 iMac: Twelve South StayGo USB-C Hub

Sleek and Versatile. Twelve

Why It Made the Cut: With an extra long cable, Twelve South’s StayGo USB-C Hub keeps your iMac desk setup clean and uncluttered while providing the most-used ports for better productivity. 

Specs:
USB Ports: Three USB-A 3.0, one USB-C (power only)
Video/Audio Ports: One HDMI
SD Card Slots: One microSD, one SD
Other Ports: Ethernet
Power Delivery: 85W

Pros:
— An extra long cable keeps desks uncluttered
— Provides ports for external monitors and data transfer
— Sleek design
— Included travel cable stows within the unit  

Cons:
— More expensive
— USB-C input is power-only

Minimalist design is a selling point of an iMac, which is why so many hubs miss the mark when it comes to super short cable lengths. The Twelve South StayGo solves the problem by offering a three-foot cable that will neatly stow at the back of your desk, where you can plug all your peripherals and external devices in as you please, hiding the cables at the same time.

All the major ports are represented, with three USB-As using the 3.0, first-generation standard which transfers data at 5 Gbps. There’s an Ethernet port for networking, micro and standard SD card slots, and a power-only USB-C port that passes on an impressive 85 watts of power (should you want to use it for your MacBook).

The most genius feature is the short travel cable that’s included with the unit. It stows inside the hub so it doesn’t get damaged in travel and lets you plug in the hub to your laptop when you’re out and about (and the aesthetics of your minimalist desk isn’t top of mind).

Things to Consider Before Buying a USB-C Hub

It’s impressive what simple USB-C ports are capable of doing. In addition to eliminating the wrong, wrong, correct frustrations of USB-A, many USB-C ports can handle power delivery along with different types of data protocols. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the best USB-C hubs.

Pass-Through Charging (Power Delivery): Most USB-C ports on laptops are also your power delivery port. Since a USB-C hub will take up at least one of those ports, you’ll either need to plug your power cable into another USB-C port or choose a hub that supports pass-through charging. Some hubs don’t offer this, but we eliminated hubs without power delivery from our picks as hubs can be a big battery drain on laptops and tablets.

Keep in mind that the pass-through charging powers both the hub and the computer. So a hub with a 100-watt power delivery will keep a little of that power for itself (maybe 15 watts) passing on the rest to your laptop (the remaining 85 watts). It’s also important to note that you’ll need to make sure the charging cable you’re using is powerful enough. For example, the charger included with your tablet might not be powerful enough to deliver the whole 100 watts of power to the hub.

Using HDMI: A couple of the hubs we recommend (the best overall and the best for 4K monitors) support 4K resolution at a 60-Hz frame rate. But there’s a caveat. In order to deliver those hi-def images, you’ll need to make sure you have a laptop or desktop with a DisplayPort 1.4 USB-C (most late-model computers have this). You’ll also need a HDMI cable capable of handling the data (if you bought your HDMI cable in the past ten years, you should be good). Finally, the monitor itself has to support 4K and 60 Hz.

Bus-Powered Device Limits: While many USB-C hubs have multiple USB-A ports, it’s generally not recommended to run multiple bus-powered peripherals off of one hub. Downgraded performance or even overheating can occur if you do. Typically the multiple USB-A hubs are intended for one bus-powered peripheral (headphones, keyboard, mouse, etc). Though when it comes to heating, remember that many of these devices are built to handle heat during normal operations. Reaching more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t uncommon.

FAQs

Q: What is a USB-C hub?

A USB-C hub is a gadget that plugs into a USB-C port on your laptop, tablet, or computer. The hub has different ports on it, such as a USB-A, Ethernet, HDMI, SD card slots, or additional USB-C ports. By plugging the hub into your computer, you now have more ways to physically connect additional peripherals like keyboards or monitors through the ports. You can also plug data storage devices like a flash drive or memory card into the hub to transfer files to and from your computer. An Ethernet cable allows you to use a hard wire for connecting to the internet instead of using WiFi.   

Q: Are all USB-C ports the same?

All USB-C ports are not the same. USB-C simply refers to the shape of the plug. It is rounded and rotationally symmetrical, meaning you can plug it in one way or flip it 180 degrees and it will still fit. As for what the USB-C port can do, that depends on the port and plug. Some can deliver power and data. Some can only deliver power. Of the USB-C ports that do deliver data, different USB-Cs have different transfer rates and capabilities. 

Q: Is there a hub with multiple USB-C ports?

There is a hub with multiple USB-C ports. While such a hub was pretty hard to find just a few years ago, a few manufacturers now make a USB-C hub with multiple USB-C ports. One we recommend is the Satechi 4-Port USB-C Hub.

Q: Is a USB-C port the same as a USB port?

USB-C is not the same as a USB port. When most people use the term USB with no letter attached to the end, they’re generally referring to USB-A. This is the flat, squared-off plug that can only be inserted in one direction. While both are capable of powering devices and transferring data, the newer USB-C is taking over and the USB-A is being slowly phased out. The newest USB standard, USB4, will only work with USB-C ports and plugs.

Final Thoughts 

If you need more than two ports on your laptop to get your work done or your game on, a USB-C adapter or hub is a necessity. We think Anker’s 555 USB-C Hub 8-in-1 will work for most people as it replaces the more critically lacking ports, runs reliably, and isn’t overly expensive.

Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.


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